Kanye West – The College Dropout

Kanye WestThe College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella)

It’d have been beneficial to Kanye West if he had followed the year 50 Cent had, because 2004 will see the coronation of a new golden boy in hip-hop.

Sure, the Shady/Aftermath crew had 50’s hype rolling long before Get Rich or Die Tryin’ came out, a luxury West hasn’t had. Kanye’s star is rising much more quickly then Curtis Jackson could have ever hoped for, however, and for good reason—The College Dropout is a great album, maybe the best true mainstream hip-hop album since Talib Kweli’s (coincidentally Kanye-produced) Quality. The Chicago beat-wizard, who’s also done work for Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, steps in front of the microphone and despite some lyrical missteps finds time to shine with a few jaw-dropping lines and a consistent sense of the elements that can make hip-hop so strong.

Of course, while most of the talk is about the fulfilled anticipation of West finally dropping lines, his beats are still what writes the checks; and here he is just as strong as ever. West’s style turns a cold shoulder towards the direction the Neptunes and Timbaland—hip-hop’s other two mega-producers—head in, rejecting blips in favor of 60’s soul samples and golden AM-radio nostalgia.

The College Dropout is too heavy on skits, but their presence falls in line with the satire of higher education that permeates everything from the album’s title, content, and artwork. For a debut, West sounds confident in his voice and ability and that confidence comes through in spades. Kanye rhymes like he not only realizes the success about to come but expects it and won’t except anything less. He doesn’t come off as cocky, though, just assured; and he makes sure to credit God for everything—not only his record deal and his success, but also his life following a near-fatal car accident that could have killed anyone else.

Kanye’s got all the tools to make the Roc-A-Fella boss proud and seems destined to lock the top-dawg spot now that HOVA is retired (for now). Everybody wondered if Kanye could really hold it down as an MC, and The College Dropout answers all doubts—he may make a few mistakes along the way, but this drop-out has an entry-level position everyone should envy.

11 thoughts on “Kanye West – The College Dropout”

  1. i fink college dropout is sick but u cant go comparing kanye 2 people like jay-z,memphis bleek,or even 50 cuz dey bn in da game longer and der for hav more experience…However, i fink if kanye carries on makin music den in no time he will b on deir level,maybe even higher….u never no wid da music industry,gdluck kanye west

  2. even though my wife brought me a boot-legged copy of college-dropout’i’m redy to spend the loot for a legit copy.from the moment i listened to the songs, especially (jesus walks)i thought that this kat is talented and like a breth of fresh air to the game.God diffenitely has a plan for kanye. Excuse the spelling cause i didnt finish (college).

  3. Man thank god for kanye b/c rap was gettin phony i was tired of ludacris, nelly and chingy 50 and jay z kanye comes out rappin bout somthin real and thats what hip hop needs this is by far one of the best cds i own besides “all eyes on me”-2pac kanye is the best thing for hip hopright now and he should me gettin twice the props he is now

  4. I love kanye west because he is a great artist.Another reason is cause he from Da chi just like me.

    I love to see people from my city doing it big and representing the chi. There has been a big spurt of new rappers but kanye is my favorite his style is unique and he is right now the hottest thing in the business TODAY!!!

  5. Somebaday tell these ignas who KanYe West is! It was all Black album until the College dropout. And everytime a track ends I still get chills. I’ve been listnin’ to this Rap music since about 88 when it was tha peoples music with storytellin rappers like slick rick, big daddy kane, krs1, humpty hump and the all around the world digital underground pac. I consider Kanye West the rudolf the red nose reindeer of RAP. He has set an all new standard for rap and it’s about time. I was startin to wonder what other ways people were gonna come out and rap about money hoes and rims again. His shiz is crazy yo. Like the rappin anti rapper and the sinful church goin sinner. If HOVA is like Jordan, then Kanye West is the Kobe of the rap game. Karl Malone can play in the NBA for another 20 years, it still don’t mean that he will ever earn propz. (Not hatin on mediocrity, but you gotta recognize when somebody got the Nutz to rap about Jesus and dis the entire system in the most rediculous way that even the MAN is left speechless) Mad propz to Kanye West. –Rocafella Y’all.

  6. i love kanye west because he is fit and i love his music he is so talnted he is a great person im a number 1 fan i have loads of posters of him his albums and all the stuff.

    love you loads kanye west

    love Stephanie

    x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

  7. Hey man u are so awsome the would be nothin like rap with out u THOUGH THE WIRE is the best song u have wroten

  8. From the moment I laid eyes on Kanye, I fell in love with him. I love his music, his style, and everything about him. Kanye’s photos and posters are all over my bedroom wall, on my computer background, everywhere. Kanye raps about things that are true, that lots of people can relate to , ya know. I just wish that I could get in contact with Kanye to tell him this. Oh well, I only wish him success.

    Much love Kanye…

  9. Kanye West is one of the best breakthough artists that I have ever heard. Yes his album is heavy on skits and he has the tendency to rhyme the same words with eachother, but who cares? Just listen to Jesus Walks and you’ll know what changes hip hop is in store for.

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