|song by Kanye West|
|from the album Graduation|
|Released||September 11, 2007|
Sony Music Studios
(New York, New York)
The Record Plant
Henson Recording Studios
|Songwriter(s)||Kanye West |
(September 11, 2007)
"I Wonder" is a song by American hip-hop recording artist and record producer Kanye West. It was released as the fourth song on the track-listing of his third studio album Graduation (2007).
The track was produced by West and retains influences from stadium rock, alternative music, and a variety of electronic-music subgenres. It contains a sample from "My Song" by British singer-songwriter, musician, and poet Labi Siffre.
A key development in the song's creation was West touring the world the year prior with Irish rock band U2 on their Vertigo Tour. Afterwards, he sought out to compose a hip hop-oriented variation of "City of Blinding Lights," the band's 2005 single.
The layered arrangement expresses ambitious orchestrations, with distorted electronic synthesizer that act as the driving melodic instrument. The maximalist synths are further supplemented with a sweeping string section as well as winding keyboards. Its experimental musical composition is also notable for West's rapping technique. His lyrical delivery features a fragmented, forceful flow where he raps minimalist verses in an intense staccato vocal style. Lyrically, "I Wonder" is an introspective number, containing a blend of melancholic yet inspirational lines that discuss finding one's dreams.
Even though it did not enter charts, the album track has become a cult classic amongst fans and listeners. West himself actually cited "I Wonder" as one of top three most favorite songs from Graduation. At one point, he even contemplated releasing "I Wonder" as the album's fourth single, but subsequently chose "Flashing Lights" in its place. Nevertheless, "I Wonder" has since been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Although an accompanying music video was never produced for "I Wonder," a special video clip was made for the track. The video clip premiered during an album listening session West held for Graduation at the New World Stages in New York City. It was one of seven clips that were designed by West and edited by film editor Derrick Lee exclusively for the event. The video clip for "I Wonder" features a montage of scenes that are taken from the 1982 science fiction film Tron. West performed the song on the set-list on his worldwide Glow in the Dark Tour (2008).
Information taken from Graduation liner notes
- Songwriters: Kanye West, Labi Siffre
- Producer: Kanye West
- Recorders: Greg Koller, Andrew Dawson, Anthony Kilhoffer
- Mix engineer: Andrew Dawson
- Assistant engineers: Bram Tobey, Jason Agel, Nate Hertweck, Dale Parsons
- Piano/synths: Omar Edwards
- Keyboards: Jon Brion
- Violins: Emma Kummrow, Igor Szwec, Gloria Justen, Olga Konopelsky, Luigi Mazzocchi, Charles Parker
- Violas: Peter Nocella, Alexandra Leem
- Cello: Jennie Lorenzo
- Bass: Tim Ressler
- Strings conduction: Larry Gold