Kanye West The College Dropout
Rolling Stone: Included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Records Of 2004 - "[T]he red-hot producer delivered a solo debut that partied all over its contradictions..."
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item number: ZABI 00308
- Released: February 10, 2004
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: Roc-A-Fella
Rolling Stone - 3/4/04, p.633.5 stars out of 5 - "West has something to prove on DROPOUT....His ace in the hole is his cozy sound - dusty soul samples, gospel hymns, drums that pop as if hit for the very first time."
Rolling Stone - p.153Included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Records Of 2004 - "[T]he red-hot producer delivered a solo debut that partied all over its contradictions..."
Spin - p.68Ranked #1 in Spin's "40 Best Albums of the Year" - "He is witty, provocative, and intensely devoted..."
Entertainment Weekly - 2/13/04, p.71"[H]is surprising debut disc is the most impressive hip-hop CD of the young year....[T]he Chicago native shuns hip-hop's tired SCARFACE iconography for a broad topicality..." - Rating: A-
Uncut - 5/04, p.1064 stars out of 5 - "West's rhymes are wry, witty, warm and unswervingly self-aware."
Uncut - p.75Ranked #12 in Uncut's "Best New Albums of 2004" - "[H]e leavens the swagger and bling of hip hop with lyrics that are wry, witty and aware."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1024 stars out of 5 - "The numerous guests never out-shine their host's vocals, meaning this is one drop-out graduating near the top of his class."
- $0.99 on iTunes1.Intro
- $1.29 on iTunes2.We Don't Care
- $0.99 on iTunes3.Graduation Day
- $1.29 on iTunes4.All Falls Down - (featuring Syleena Johnson)
- $0.69 on iTunes5.I'll Fly Away
- $1.29 on iTunes6.Spaceship - (featuring GLC/Consequence)
- $1.29 on iTunes7.Jesus Walks
- $1.29 on iTunes8.Never Let Me Down - (featuring Jay-Z/J-Ivy)
- $1.29 on iTunes9.Get Em High - (featuring Talib Kweli / Common)
- $1.29 on iTunes10.Workout Plan
- $1.29 on iTunes11.The New Workout Plan
- $1.29 on iTunes12.Slow Jamz - (featuring Twista / Jamie Foxx)
- $1.29 on iTunes13.Breathe in Breathe Out - (featuring Ludacris)
- $0.99 on iTunes14.School Spirit Skit 1
- $1.29 on iTunes15.School Spirit
- $0.99 on iTunes16.School Spirit Skit 2
- $0.99 on iTunes17.Lil Jimmy Skit
- $1.29 on iTunes18.Two Words - (featuring Mos Def / Freeway / The Boys Choir of Harlem)
- $1.29 on iTunes19.Through the Wire
- $1.29 on iTunes20.Family Business
- 21.Last Call
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel: Kanye West, CLC, Consequence, Jay-Z, J. Ivy, Talib Kweli, Twista, Ludacris, Mos Def, Freeway (rap vocals); Jamie Foxx (spoken vocals); The Harlem Boys Choir, Syleena Johnson (background vocals).
Producers: Kanye West, Brian Miller, Miri Ben-Ari.
Personnel: Ken Lewis (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, percussion, sampler); John Legend (vocals, piano, background vocals); Tarey Torae, Tiera Singleton, Lavel Mena, Aisha Tyler, Tony Williams , Thomassina Atkins, Kevin Shannon, Candis Brown, Brandi Kuykenvall, Beverly A. McCargo, Consequence, The Boys Choir of Harlem (vocals); Eric Johnson (guitar); Miri Ben-Ari (violin); Josh Zandman (piano); Keith Slattery (keyboards); Bosko (talk box); Tracie Spencer (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Manny Marroquin.
Recording information: Baseline Recording, New York, NY; Conway Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Digital Insight, Las Vegas, NV; Edie Road Recording Studio, Argyle, NY; Full Time Dreamer Studios; Larrabee Sound North, Los Angeles, CA; Light @ The End Of The Tunnel, New York, NY; Quad Recordings, New York, NY; Sony Music Studios, New York, NY; The Enterprise, Burbank, CA; the Record Plant, Hollywood, CA.
Arranger: Miri Ben-Ari.
For most artists who are discovered behind the mixing boards, making the transfer from producer to MC proves a daunting task. Fortunately for Kanye West, his verbal skills more than rise to the challenge of his consistently superior beats. A sprawling concept record that tackles issues of everyday life with wisecracking humor and unexpected honesty, THE COLLEGE DROPOUT confirms West's status as one of hip-hop's most refreshing voices.
The leadoff single, "Through the Wire," perfectly exemplifies West's distinct vision. Recorded while his jaws were still wired shut after a near-fatal car accident, West hilariously reflects upon his predicament over a sped-up Chaka Khan sample. Other songs address potentially somber topics--ghetto life ("We Don't Care"), religion ("Jesus Walks"), and family turmoil ("Family Business")--yet somehow retain a truly hopeful spirit. Although THE COLLEGE DROPOUT features top-notch cameos from Talib Kweli, Common, Mos Def, Freeway, Jay-Z, Ludacris, and Twista, it's clearly West's show.
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