College Dropout

College Dropout

5.0 4
by Kanye West
     
 

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Producer Kanye West's highlight reels were stacking up exponentially when his solo debut for Roc-a-Fella was released, after numerous delays and a handful of suspense-building underground mixes. The week The College Dropout came out, three singles featuring his handiwork were in the Top 20, including his own "Through the Wire." A daring way to introduce himselfSee more details below

Overview

Producer Kanye West's highlight reels were stacking up exponentially when his solo debut for Roc-a-Fella was released, after numerous delays and a handful of suspense-building underground mixes. The week The College Dropout came out, three singles featuring his handiwork were in the Top 20, including his own "Through the Wire." A daring way to introduce himself to the masses as an MC, the enterprising West recorded the song during his recovery from a car wreck that nearly took his life -- while his jaw was wired shut. Heartbreaking and hysterical ("There's been an accident like Geico/They thought I was burnt up like Pepsi did Michael"), and wrapped around the helium chirp of the pitched-up chorus from Chaka Khan's "Through the Fire," the song and accompanying video couldn't have forged his dual status as underdog and champion any better. All of this momentum keeps rolling through The College Dropout, an album that's nearly as phenomenal as the boastful West has led everyone to believe. From a production standpoint, nothing here tops recent conquests like Alicia Keys' "You Don't Know My Name" or Talib Kweli's "Get By," but he's consistently potent and tempers his familiar characteristics -- high-pitched soul samples, gospel elements -- by tweaking them and not using them as a crutch. Even though those with their ears to the street knew West could excel as an MC, he has used this album as an opportunity to prove his less-known skills to a wider audience. One of the most poignant moments is on "All Falls Down," where the self-effacing West examines self-consciousness in the context of his community: "Rollies and Pashas done drive me crazy/I can't even pronounce nothing, yo pass the Versacey/Then I spent 400 bucks on this just to be like 'Nigga you ain't up on this'." If the notion that the album runs much deeper than the singles isn't enough, there's something of a surprising bonus: rather puzzlingly, a slightly adjusted mix of "Slow Jamz" -- a side-splitting ode to legends of baby-making soul that originally appeared on Twista's Kamikaze, just before that MC received his own Roc-a-Fella chain -- also appears. Prior to this album, we were more than aware that West's stature as a producer was undeniable; now we know that he's also a remarkably versatile lyricist and a valuable MC. [A clean version of the album was also made available, with all of the cursing wiped out.]

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/10/2004
Label:
Roc-A-Fella
UPC:
0602498617403
catalogNumber:
000203502
Rank:
25014

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kanye West   Primary Artist
Tracie Spencer   Background Vocals
Boys Choir of Harlem   Vocals
Tony Williams   Vocals
Bosko   Talk Box
Dray   Vocals
Keith Slattery   Keyboards
Beverly A. McCargo   Vocals
Miri Ben-Ari   Violin,Track Performer
Eric Johnson   Guitar
Josh Zandman   Piano
Jeffrey Glenn   Guitar
Ken Lewis   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals,Sampling,Track Performer
Aisha Tyler   Vocals
Thomassina Atkins   Vocals
Candis Brown   Vocals
Tarey Torae   Vocals
Tiera Singleton   Vocals
Kevin Shannon   Vocals
Brandi Kuykenvall   Vocals
Lavel Mena   Vocals
John Legend   Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Burt Bacharach   Composer
Marcus Fuller   Engineer
B. Miller   Composer
Eddy Schreyer   Mastering
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Albert E. Brumley   Composer
Andrew Dawson   Engineer
Keith Slattery   Engineer
Damon Dash   Executive Producer
Terrence "T-Berry" Hardy   Contributor
Shawn Carter   Executive Producer
A. Franklin   Composer
Miri Ben-Ari   Composer,Violin Arrangement
Carlisle Young   Engineer
Kanye West   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer,Costume Design
Anthony Kilhoffer   Engineer
Kareem "Biggs" Burke   Executive Producer
L.D. Harris   Composer
C.C. Mitchell   Composer
Evidence   Producer
Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua   Executive Producer
Gimel Keaton   Engineer
Tatsuya Sato   Engineer
Tom Keane   Composer
Dave Dar   Engineer
R. Wilson   Composer
Rich Balmer   Engineer
Geroid Roberson   Executive Producer
Rabeka Tuinei   Engineer
Brian Miller   Producer
Eric Weissman   Sample Clearance
Ken Lewis   Instrumentation,Recreation
Eugene Toale   Engineer
Diamond Alabi Isama   Contributor
Jacob Andrew   Engineer
Eric Dwauchelle   Art Direction
Michael Eleopoulos   Engineer
Lauri Rowe   Art Direction
Mike Godshall   Art Direction
Francis Graham   Engineer
James "JT" Knight   Contributor
Brent Kolatalo   Engineer
Bobby Naugle   Logo Design
Jason Rauhoff   Engineer
Jim Morris   Art Direction

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