Top 100

#100 The College Dropout – Kanye West (2004)

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Track Listing:

  1. Intro
  2. We Don’t Care
  3. Graduation Day
  4. All Falls Down
  5. I’ll Fly Away
  6. Spaceship
  7. Jesus Walks
  8. Never Let Me Down
  9. Get Em High
  10. Workout Plan
  11. The New Workout Plan
  12. Slow Jamz
  13. Breathe In Breathe Out
  14. School Skit 1 – Skit 1
  15. School Spirit
  16. School Skit 2 – Skit 2
  17. Lil Jimmy Skit
  18. Two Words
  19. Through The Wire
  20. Family Business
  21. Last Call

So here we go, the start of my brave new adventure. I am going to be reviewing Consequence of Sound’s top 100 albums of all time which was published in 2010.

Number 100 is The College Dropout by Kanye West, which for me is really jumping in at the deep end.

I have never listened to a hip hop album all the way through in it’s entirety. This is a confession I am ok to make. As a white working class lad from Derbyshire, England, my main love is rock music and I will listen to anything with guitars in it. But I have always said that I will listen to all albums objectively and give them all a fair review.

So, my opinion of Kanye West is that he is a rather confident young man who is extremely convinced of his own talent. I expected his debut album to be an unsure sounding record. The sound of a man trying to find his voice in a crowded musical world.

However, his delivery is bold across the album and he has a real talent for rhymes. The production is alse very strong, the tracks meld together seamlessly in places.

Musically, I enjoyed it a lot more than I though I would. In the office today I had a few of the bass loops stuck in my head and also found myself tapping my desk remembering the beats as well.

Lyrically, as you can imagine by the album title it is very anti-education. Kanye seems to forget that we are not all uber talented stars and that we rely on our educations to escape our difficult and rough neighbourhoods. I hope he hasn’t inspired too many people to ditch their schooling and embark on fruitless music careers!

I enjoyed the lyrics on ‘I’ll Fly Away’ as we can all dream of jumping in our metaphorical spaceships and escape our humdrum workaday lives. ‘The New Workout Plan’ was less enjoyable with it’s juvenile silliness.

The album did feel a little long, Kanye probably could have cut a few tracks off especially the skits, particularly towards the end. The last track ‘Last Call’ was fascinating in that it was biographical and revealing.

There were a lot of guest slots on this album and to contradict what I wrote earlier, this may show a slight lack of conviction in his talents as they were quite distracting from his vocals.

I’m not sure I completely understand the hiphop genre yet, however I am interested and curious about the albums within this top 100 that I will encounter.

I am interested to hear how Kanye’s albums have developed over time, whether his albums do indeed justify the ego.

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