Saturday, January 23, 2016

The College Dropout - Kanye West

In honor of So God Help Me, or SWISH, I decided to finish this review that I started back in 2012. Actually it's dated 6/14/12 to be exact. I didn't do much to it but I started it back then. This is the 2004 debut album by well known rapper Kanye West. I guess this took four years, 1999-2003, to record. Well I know stuff about him. I've heard and reviewed his 2010 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and 2013 Yeezus albums in full and scattered tracks off his Late Registration and Graduation albums. Thought I wasn't in love with it, I still bought a CD copy of it. The latter I cared for even less, but bought it the day of release.
  1. Intro: This is a vocal introduction skit of someone talking and telling Yeezy to play something "for the kids". The guy talking is Deray.
  2. We Don't Care: No this isn't an MGMT cover. Hey, this is a positive message right. I mean even if it's a joke, I am not really laughing. But even more so this track isn't as hard hitting as Jesus WalksNever Let Me Down or Spaceship. Those songs kicks your ass, this kind of.... well I'll probably forget it once the albums over. This basically segues into the next track by way of Deray.
  3. Graduation Day: Not digging that Deray thing, and if he keeps popping up I'll probably get annoyed. The ending and the autotune and the soul vibe, I could see this playing on the radio if it was longer or if this and the prior track were edited for a single mix.
  4. All Falls Down: This track features Syleena Johnson who is someone I don't know. Well I looked her up, she's gorgeous and she's also Sly Johnson's daughter. Her father is someone I know from his 1976 Total Explosion album. I actually like this intro, but maybe if West just shut up in the beginning but it is what it is. As much as I dig the fuzzy guitar towards the ending, the repetition gets annoying.
  5. I'll Fly Away: A title that reminds me so much of Sinatra. This is a very Sinatra esque song, maybe not in this rendition, but I could see him singing this maybe. It's kind of a stretch, but still. This is very gospel though just vox and piano. Its actually a cover. 
  6. Spaceship: This track features GLC and Consequence. This also contains a sample of the song Distant Lover by Marvin Gaye (soon I will be able to add that link ;)). The sample of which is just ear candy to me, the way it's pitch shifted and it's the chorus. I love it, it's fricken great. I also love the follow from the last track into this one. I actually like the beat and think West does a great job here. Not just Mr. West but also the other rappers featured. Damn there is this just urge to start playing Let's Get It On front to back and do a review for that now too.
  7. Jesus Walks: This is the albums crowning achievement. I couldn't possibly get all the shit I need to say done in one listen of this song, and not because I need to dissect it. I can't type fast enough to keep up with the track. The thing I can get done in one listen is that it's sad seeing how this is a very heartfelt song and how fame and little stupid dumb shit can make someone, whom I assume believes, just dwell on such dumb superficial shit on Yeezus and MBDTF. It's very sad.... But this song is an emotional roller coaster of guilt. 
  8. Never Let Me Down: This track features Jay-Z and also J. Ivy. One of about only and albums worth of track I really dig with Jay on it. This is another track that is gonna need another listen. I mean the fricken, this instrumental just makes me cry every time I hear it front to back. J. Ivy reminds me a little of AESOP Rock. With tracks like this it kind of melts cynicism away and reminds me to not just do a shit job on the review.
  9. Get Em High: Talib Kweli and Common both appear on this, the 9th track of this LP. Did Pharell produce this beat. This reminds me a lot of Lapdance, it's distorted and compressed sounding. Well at least Talib knew he was an asshole back then. Maybe this was his warning to us what would be his future. Not musically, but that asshole comment. I do like that girl talking part who is Sumeke Rainey. That's probably my favorite part.
  10. Workout Plan: Not digging this, though I like the sanding sound. The fact that this track has women gossiping and talking  the "beat" remind me of the women filing their nails. Now this may or may not be intentional, but I enjoy it none the less. To be straight the nail file sounds not the topic or words of the track. This is like interlude intro for the following track. 
  11. The New Workout Plan: Probably the most complex track on the album, this has a lit going on. Also I need to say, I love the violin in this intro. By far the best part of this track is the strings. The violin is played by Mimi Bel-Ari. It's so eastern sounding, which I looked her up and she is from Israel. The vocals at the hook are unmistakably Slim Shady inspired, hell I could see it being him. The only thing is this would be on like Encore or The Eminem Show. So his lesser albums, though Relapse is probably his worst by far. The vocals talk boxed (I read the credits before I heard the track) sound very vocooded and reminds me of Daft Punk. This is a fun song, but I mean this should have been like on an Ep maybe that'd be pretty fun and cool. I gotta give him props for the whole shifts in parts. There was a lot of thought that went into this track. But that guitar reminds me of something, but I couldn't put my tongue on it. 
  12. Slow Jamz: This track features one Jamie Foxx and also Twista. This sounds a ton like something Lil B would have used as a beat. But this sounds like sonically there is a little bit more attention to detail, so he might not use it. I prefer Twista's line, it's pretty fast and sounds pretty cooler instead. And Jamie Foxx his little thing, not huge on it. It's still a solid track though. I could imagine if Frank Ocean was older he's be on this track.
  13. Breathe In Breathe Out: Feat. Ludacris as a guest on this track. I'm not huge into him and I've never been interested enough to really sit through an album.  I do like the beat and the guitar that sounds like it's on a phaser. Also love the violin moments. Not huge on the vocal rhaspiness in the hook.
  14. School Spirit (Skit 1): Shut the hell up.
  15. School Spirit: Solid beat, and pretty great piano sound. Just not into the lyrics, thought I can dig the vocal melody. I just don't give a fuck about him telling me about fraternities. 
  16. School Spirit (Skit 2): Shut up again bah
  17. Lil Jimmy (Skit): Again, except this is supposed to be funny.
  18. Two Words: This track features the contributions of fellow rapper Mos Def, Freeway and also The Boys Choir of Harlem. Awesome beat and intro and frickn harpsichord. An d that frequent guitar, a great track, and guess what else freak'n violin. AHHHH!
  19. Through The Wire: So frickin God's Father mixtape it isn't even remotely funny. But hey, that's a good thing. The flows are even somewhat familiar. I guess.
  20. Family Business: This is a solid ending to the album, much better then the following track.
  21. Last Call: This is one of the worst songs I've ever heard Kanye do. No offense but 12 minutes and 40 seconds is a long time to tell a story of meeting Jay-Z. It'd be much better if it was shorter. You know this would be a lot more hart warming if Kanye wasn't the world famous arrogant person people love to have.
Overall I have to give this a 6/10. The best thing is that this is one flowing piece of music in a way. The thing is though, it's long. really long. I love strings through out. Not a single complaint in that department. I'm gonna need to check the samples on this album they are pretty solid. I think the next upload is the one I already alluded to in my last review. Also then on to more music that will help me. 

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