College Dropout (Explicit Version) CD (2004)

Artist: Kanye West

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Product Overview

Kanye West, the Chi-town producer/rapper who's crafted hits for Alicia Keys, Ludacris, Jay-Z, and Twista, centers his disc on a familiar rags-to-riches motif, but like Will Smith before him, he adds his own black middle-class sensibility to it. "School Spirit" pokes fun at all the college-educated flunkies who didn't follow their dreams. The College Dropout is a must-hear lesson in turning personal triumph into banging hip-hop with universal appeal.


Label Universal Music Group
SKU 60625316
UPC 602498617397
UPC 14 00602498617397
Format CD
Release Date 2/10/2004
Author Kanye West
Compilation Appearance Paper Trail [PA]
Associated Artist/Work Estelle
Associated Artist/Work J. Period
Associated Artist/Work Jay-Z
Associated Artist/Work Kid, DJ Whoo
Associated Artist/Work Sean, Big
Associated Artist/Work Williams, Pharrell
Artist Influence 8Ball and MJG
Artist Influence A Tribe Called Quest
Artist Influence Common
Artist Influence DJ Premier
Artist Influence Dr. Dre
Artist Influence Goodie Mob
Artist Influence Mase
Artist Influence Nas
Artist Influence RZA
Artist Influence Slick Rick
Artist Influence Timbaland
Artist Contemporary Andr? 3000
Artist Contemporary B.o.B
Artist Contemporary Beyonc?
Artist Contemporary Big Sean
Artist Contemporary Bruno Mars
Artist Contemporary Cam'ron
Artist Contemporary Common
Artist Contemporary Consequence
Artist Contemporary Diddy
Artist Contemporary Drake (Rapper/Singer)
Artist Contemporary Jadakiss
Artist Contemporary Jay-Z
Artist Contemporary Just Blaze
Artist Contemporary Kid Cudi
Artist Contemporary Lupe Fiasco
Artist Contemporary M.I.A. (Maya Arulpragasam)
Artist Contemporary Mark Ronson
Artist Contemporary Missy Elliott
Artist Contemporary Nas
Artist Contemporary Nicki Minaj
Artist Contemporary Obie Trice
Artist Contemporary P!nk
Artist Contemporary Pharrell Williams
Artist Contemporary R. Kelly
Artist Contemporary Rhymefest
Artist Contemporary Sean Kingston
Artist Contemporary T-Pain
Artist Contemporary The Game (Rap)
Artist Contemporary The-Dream (Terius Nash)
Artist Contemporary Timbaland
Artist Contemporary Tyga
Artist Contemporary
Artist Contemporary Wiz Khalifa
Artist Follower Big Sean
Artist Follower Charles Hamilton
Artist Follower Childish Gambino
Artist Follower Far East Movement
Artist Follower Frank Ocean
Artist Follower Jez Dior
Artist Follower Kidz in the Hall
Artist Follower Master Shortie
Artist Follower Miguel (R&B)
Technical Info
Engineer Keith Slattery; Anthony Kilhoffer; Carlisle Young; Andrew Dawson; Eugene Toale; Rich Balmer; Jacob Andrew; Brent Kolatalo; Jason Rauhoff; Marcus Fuller; Francis Graham; Tatsuya Sato; Michael Eleopoulos; Dave Dar
CatalogID 9861739
Lable Name Roc-A-Fella (USA)
Released 02/10/2004
Original Release 2004
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 76m : 13s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00602498617397
Musical Guests
Syleena Johnson
Talib Kweli
Jamie Foxx
Mos Def
The Boys Choir of Harlem
Album Notes and Credits
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.
Artist Overview
In the span of a few years, Kanye West went from hip-hop beatmaker to worldwide hitmaker, and he became the most adventurous and successful mainstream rap artist of the new millennium. West changed his sound and style with each new album, and the public followed; with the exception of his number two hit debut The College Dropout, all of his albums debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. He showcased a radical fashion sense that set him apart from most of his peers, and his confidence often came across as boastful or even egotistical, albeit amusingly so. West became a superstar on his own terms, and his singularity is part of his appeal. ~ Jason Birchmeier
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (3/4/04, p.63) - 3.5 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.153) - 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..."
Spin (p.68) - Ranked #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.106) - 4 stars out of 5 - "West's rhymes are wry, witty, warm and unswervingly self-aware."
Uncut (p.75) - Ranked #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.102) - 4 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."
Disc 1
1 Intro
2 We Don't Care
3 Graduation Day
4 All Falls Down - (featuring Syleena Johnson)
5 I'll Fly Away
6 Spaceship - (featuring GLC/Consequence)
7 Jesus Walks
8 Never Let Me Down - (featuring Jay-Z/J-Ivy)
9 Get Em High - (featuring Talib Kweli/Common)
10 Workout Plan
11 New Workout Plan, The
12 Slow Jamz - (featuring Twista/Jamie Foxx)
13 Breathe In Breathe Out - (featuring Ludacris)
14 School Spirit Skit 1
15 School Spirit
16 School Spirit 2
17 Lil Jimmy Skit
18 Two Words - (featuring Mos Def/Freeway/Harlem Boys Choir)
19 Through The Wire
20 Family Business
21 Last Call
Product Attributes
Artist West,Kanye
Label Universal Music Group
Music Format Compact Disc
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