Late Registration (2005)
|Artist: Kanye West|
|With Late Registration, Dr. West has indeed delivered the medicine. And once again, he did the only way he can: with honesty, humor and his conviction in continuing to prove himself by making great music. Enlisting composer/producer Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann) to lend his skills to the album's production, West's newest offering is a big album in every sense of the word. His trademark sample-based arrangements have expanded to include live instrumentation. West has always been an artist who challenges not only himself, but his audience and his fellow musicians with new ideas and new ways of expressing the joys and sorrows of life through music. Late Registration does just that as it takes down avenues and alleyways filled with sound and vision.|
Throughout, Late Registration's sheer depth of musicality is what's most impressive. Dark and eerie at times, uplifting in others - tracks like "Touch The Sky" and "Celebration" come to mind--the album finds Kanye at once madly in love with hip-hop music, and fighting with it like a lover scorned - trying to push it's boundaries, to see how far it will go. A daunting task, indeed. But it seems as though West--as stressed as he is--is more than up to the task.
"[An] even more ambitious, superbly crafted follow-up. Los Angeles Times
"...an undeniable triumph, packed front to back, so expansive it makes the debut sound like a rough draft. Rolling Stone
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Personnel: Kanye West (vocals); Common, Consequence, GLC , Plain Pat, Jamie Foxx, Jay-Z, Adam Levine, John Legend, Keyshia Cole, Nas, Paul Wall , Game, Cam'ron, Lupe Fiasco, Really Doe, Deray, Tony "Penafire" Williams, Don C., Brandy, Charlie Wilson (vocals); Dave Tozer (guitars); Ervin Pope, Tom Craskey (keyboards); Keenan "Keynote" Holloway (bass guitar); Michele Gondry (drums); A-Trak (scratches).|
|Rapper/producer Kanye West's second album, LATE REGISTRATION, incredibly lives up to expectations following his universally acclaimed debut, THE COLLEGE DROPOUT, which took the art of sampling to a new plateau. Here, for example, "Gold Digger" features a sample of the legendary Ray Charles alongside actor Jamie Foxx in Oscar-reprising character as Charles. "Addiction" pairs a frenetic African beat with a stuttering, singular use of a snippet of Etta James crooning "My Funny Valentine," while "Diamonds From the Sierra Leone" teams the majestic Bond glory of Shirley Bassey's "Diamonds Are Forever" with perfectly subtle Miami bass to explosive effect. All the while, West pulls lyrics out of his rhyme bag at a fever pitch, tackling hefty topics like civil war in Africa and the impact of drugs on leading Black minds.|
|Throughout the album, West merely continues to perfect his craft, slowing tracks down and speeding them up into an awe-inspiring mosaic. While his MC style is often discounted as being of secondary importance, he shines when put up against the best in the game, as with Common on the bluesy "My Way Home" or Nas on the lush "We Major." And in the spirit of Bob Dylan, West knows how to make the most of a very original voice. LATE REGISTRATION is ample proof of West's staying power.|
Producer: Jon Brion; Kanye West; Warryn Campbell; Devo Springsteen
8Ball and MJG | A Tribe Called Quest | Common | DJ Premier | Dr. Dre | Goodie Mob | Mase | Nas | RZA | Slick Rick | Timbaland
Andr? 3000 | B.o.B | Beyonc? | Big Sean | Bruno Mars | Cam'ron | Common | Consequence | Diddy | Drake (Rapper/Singer) | Game | Jadakiss | Jay-Z | Just Blaze | Kid Cudi | Lupe Fiasco | M.I.A. (Maya Arulpragasam) | Missy Elliott | Nas | Nicki Minaj | Obie Trice | P!nk | Pharrell Williams | R. Kelly | Rhymefest | Sean Kingston | T-Pain | The-Dream (Terius Nash) | Timbaland | Tyga | will.i.am | Wiz Khalifa
Associated Artists and Works
|Release Date : 08/30/2005|
|Original Release Date : 2005|
|Catalog ID : 0004813|
|Label : Def Jam (USA)|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 00602498824016|
- 5 stars out of 5 - "...LATE REGISTRATION is an undeniable triumph, packed front to back, so expansive it makes the debut sound like a rough draft...."
- Ranked #1 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2005" - "'Gold Digger' is the best kind of hip-hop hit: relentless, obnoxious, too smart and self-deprecating and laugh-out-loud funny..."
- "West showcases a more versatile, eccentric flow than on DROPOUT..." - Grade: B
- Ranked #3 in Entertainment Weekly's 'Top Ten Records of the Year' -- West works on a commandingly large canvas. Hip-hop, not to mention pop, rarely sounds this surprising, panoramic, and irresistible."
- "West thinks creatively, not just monetarily; he has an artist's head and heart...[LATE REGISTRATION] rarely fails to engross at every step." - Grade: B
- 4 stars out of 5 - "Nobody deploys vocal samples better than West..."
- Included in The Wire's "2005 Rewind: 50 Records Of The Year."
- Ranked #10 in Mojo's "Top Ten Urban Albums Of 2005."
No matter who you are or where you lived in 2004 - if you owned a radio, television, computer or CD player, you felt Kanye West's presence. Since the release of his 3 million selling, critically acclaimed-debut The College Dropout, the Chicago-born 27 year old rapper/producer/hip-hop icon has been at the top of the charts and at the top of his game. From the red carpet of the 47th Grammys - where he topped all nominees with a historic ten nods and took home awards for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best R&B song - to the millions of albums sold, a sold-out stadium tour with Usher, and his ubiquitous presence on MTV, BET, CNN, and radio stations nationwide, West grew from being an artist to watch to an artist you experience.
Since stepping out from behind the production booth that birthed chart-topping hits like "Izzo (H.O.V.A.), "Get By", "Stand Up" and "You Don't Know My Name" for marquee artists such as Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Ludacris and Alicia Keys to focus on his tremendous talents as a lyricist and songwriter, West has proven himself to be the most vital artist in hip-hop today.
After co-producing tracks for Harlem World and the Mad Rapper at the tender age of 20, West caught his break when the heads of A&R at Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records--Kyambo "Hip-Hop" Joshua and G. Roberson - were blown away by his soulful approach to hip-hop production. Even back then, West's unique talent made him stand out above the crowd. His use of vintage R&B samples and live instrumentation gave his work a warmth and emotional honesty that wasn't to be found anywhere else at the time.
While his early work suggested greatness, it was on Jay-Z's now-classic The Blueprint that West first achieved it in a major way. Drawing from the Jackson 5 ("Izzzo (H.O.V.A)), the Doors ("Takeover") and the Temptations' David Ruffin ("Never Change"), West created the soulful yet gritty sound behind Jay's best tracks that his imitators (whose numbers would grow with each release) are still trying to copy today. But like any true original, West was in a league of his own--creating the future of hip-hop as he dug back in time with his unique samples to connect the past with the present in a brand new way. Before long, West was being hailed as the future of hip-hop.
West's groundbreaking work with Jay-Z made him the most in-demand producer in the game and as word spread of the "wonderkid from Chi-town," he would produce hits for some of its biggest stars: Talib Kweli, Cam'ron, Scarface - the list went on and on. Already having signed Kanye to their production company, Hip-Hop Since 1978 (formerly Roc The World), Hip-Hop and G secured a deal at Roc-A-Fella for West as a recording artist. Now recognized as a fiercely talented producer and MC, it seemed as though nothing could stop West - until an auto accident in October of 2002 turned his world, and the hip-hop world he was conquering one hit at a time, upside down.