5 Albums that Changed My Life: Edition Two
For day two, I wanted to talk about the great Kanye West and his classic debut album, The College Dropout. This, like Food and Liquor, represented a shift in the game, in the mid-2000s. Beforehand, Ye was an in house producer for the Roc, mostly for Jay-Z albums, as well as producing for some other artists. Who knew he could rap? West speaks on this, on the song, Last Call. Acknowledging no labels wanted to sign him. Even Jay laughed at him being an mc. Yet the man who made 5 beats a day for 3 summers couldn’t be denied.
Separate what you know about Kanye today. His celebrity and his wife have little to do with what he was back then. In 2004 he was a hungry artist, with an ear for music that hadn’t been seen in a minute. As well as a sharp flow, delving into conscious subjects about his hometown Chicago. Also, playful and witty rhymes that oozed with charisma. The lead single, Through The Wire, was a depiction of West’s journey through a horrific car accident. Couple that with a classic Chaka Khan sample, and you had a gem.
That was the beauty of Kanye. He had a universal appeal. The backpackers, the street cats, all embraced him. That’s why he hung out with the likes of Common, Mos Def and Kweli. All who made appearances on the album. On the classic tracks Two Words, and Get Em High. Maybe the best song, Never Let Me Down showed a personal trading of bars between Ye and Jay-Z. This album had every angle covered. It was a summary of a young man who grinded his way into the industry. An artist who showed cockiness and a humble attitude at the same time. He was in tune with the pulse of society.
So for those who never heard The College Dropout, give it a chance. It can help you comprehend the Kanye of today. How his journey began and shaped the current artist. Yeezus definitely walks.