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Surpassing the simultaneously spiritual and comical material on his Grammy-winning debut, The College Dropout, might've seemed like an impossible feat. But that's exactly what rapper and producer Kanye West does with Late Registration. On his sophomore follow-up, West ups the ante with co-production from film composer and Fiona Apple producer Jon Brion, who helps the cocky MC inject his instrumentals with a sense of grandeur, thanks to a vast array of instruments atypical of Jay-Z-cosigned concoctions. Wistful xylophones and saxophones anchor the Nas-assisted anthem of empowerment "We Major," lending the track a jazzy feel that's further evident on the melancholy "Addiction." Equally adept at body-rockers, West invites Jamie Foxx to revisit his Ray Charles impersonation on "Gold Digger," while an enthusiastic 20-piece orchestra gets the party started on "Celebration." Although production remains West's forte, his rhyme skills and storytelling have noticeably improved. He displays surprising social insight on "Crack Music" ("Crack raised the murder rate in D.C. and Maryland / We invested in that / It's like we got Merrill Lynched"), but Kanye saves his strongest lyrics for the Otis Reddingsampled "Gone," ending the cut with a verse heavy in signature self-assurance: "I'm-a open up a store for aspiring MCs / Won't sell them a dream, but the inspiration is free." Late Registration cements West's superstar stature and justifies his arrogance. Amid a sea of mainstream hip-hop mediocrity, the thoughtful and entertaining Late Registration arrives right on time. Matt Barone
Performance CreditsKanye West Primary Artist,Vocals
Richard Todd French Horn
Jamie Foxx Vocals
Mathew Cooker Cello
Richard Dodd Cello
Terry Glenny Violin
Gary Grant Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Armen Ksadjikian Cello
Victor Lawrence Cello
Andy Martin Trombone
Bruce Otto Bass Trombone
Tom Tally Viola
Brad Warnaar French Horn
Tony Williams Vocals
Charlie Wilson Vocals
Susan Chatman Violin
Adam Levine Vocals
Julie Rogers Violin
Paul Wall Vocals
Ervin Pope Keyboards
Eric Gorfain Violin
Daphne Chen Violin
Denise Briese Double Bass
Piotr Jandula Viola
Tom Craskey Keyboards
Dave Tozer Guitar
Plain Pat Vocals
Alyssa Park Violin
Francis Senger Double Bass
Audrey Solomon Violin
Marisa Kuney Violin
Keyshia Cole Vocals
John Legend Vocals
Marda Todd Viola
GLC Vocals,Track Performer
Lupe Fiasco Vocals
Really Doe Vocals,Track Performer
Jason Torreano Double Bass
Amy Wickman Violin
Steven Holtman Trombone
David Sage Viola
Victoria Lanier Violin
Michele Gondry Drums
Keenan "Keynote" Holloway Bass Guitar
Tony "Penafire" Williams Vocals
Daniel Fornero Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Don C. Vocals
Technical CreditsRichard Rodgers Composer
Jon Brion Producer,Executive Producer,String Arrangements,Brass Arrangment,Audio Production
Lorenz Hart Composer
R. Simmons Composer
Adam Levine Composer
C. Willis Composer
J.J. Barry Composer
Andrew Dawson Engineer
Darin Black Composer
Doug Joswick Package Production
Kanye West Composer,Producer,Executive Producer,Audio Production
Anthony Kilhoffer Engineer
Eric Gorfain Orchestration
Warryn Campbell Producer,Audio Production
J. Smith Producer
L.D. Harris Composer
Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua Executive Producer
Tom Biller Engineer
Eric Weissman Sample Clearance
Brian Sumner Engineer
Ibn Jasper Groomer
Richard Reitz Engineer
Devo Springsteen Producer,Audio Production
Jayceon Taylor Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ordered this album about a m
this is vinyl not a cd correct? i just ordered it and i see so many comments saying how it is such a great cd.
Mt favorite Kanye album so far, it is great all the way through. Some really great featured artists that just kick it up a notch. I like Gold Digger with Jamie Foxx, Touch the Sky with Lupe Fiasco, and Heard Em' Say with Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Fan of Kanye or not, you won't be disappointed.
Kanye is def one of the most innovative, creative, and distinctive MCs and producers in the game! He comes back everytime with something, that although sometimes is borrowed, is brand new to your ears. And its all a pleasant sound. Gotta give an extra shout-out to my boy Malik Yusef who's doing the spoken word end to "Crack Music." Big ups to Kanye, Common, and Malik for always reppin the Chi to the fullest!
I didn't think he would top the 1st album but he did. This album is so crazy. I understand why he said he better get a grammy. I like all the songs but my top 5 are heard em say, touch the sky, we major, late, and drive slow. The skits are funny 2.
its a really mellow cd. i only liked a couble songs hey mama, gold digger, and diands from sierra leone. this album is weak...different not really hiphop its more of a tribe called quest vibe, jazzy feel.. i personally thought it was a waste of money.
I really enjoyed this album. If you liked Kayne's first album The College Dropout, you will enjoy this album even more! Different artists feature in here as well. Artists such as Maroon 5's lead singer Adam Levine, Jamie Fox, Jay-Z, Common, Nas and Brandy
This is a very well done album. The samples are very clear and melodic, and the beats are maybe not dance worthy but still move. However, this album for me is not classic status for it doesn't push any new bounderies in hip-hop. Kanye has taken hip-hop and made it sound "better."
Amazingly, EVERY song is good. Not the standard 'how tough I am' fare. However, could've used less (none, actually) curse words and would have been just as poignant.
For the most part I'm into R&B and Smooth Jazz. However, when an exceptional rap CD comes out (not the standard Money, Cars, Women, and Bling-Bling mess that's fed to us steadily), I take notice. This is hip-hop at it's best! My favorite track is Diamonds from Sierra Leone.
West was sort of in the same boat as 50 Cent was, tryin' to follow up one of the greatest recent hip-hop albums with an even better second one. And while those expectatations are pretty unrealistic, "Late Registration" isn't exactly chopped liver either. The best part about the CD: the singles released aren't the album's best songs. Tracks like "Roses", "Bring Me Down" ft. Brandy, "Drive Slow" ft. Paul Wall and GLC, and (particularly) "Gone" ft. Cam'ron and Consequence are better than anything else out there in hip-hop. While the freshman feel and honeymoon period is over for the "... Dropout" and it lacks some of the sentimentality from his first CD, "Late Registration" was worth the wait and has again raised the bar in hip-hop.
Okay okay...I've decided to give my spin on this album. I was never really a Kanye West fan before "Late Registration." I liked "Through The Wire," but I payed no attention to anything else being that I am more into hardcore rap. I picked up the CD by chance and as I began to listen, I began to appreciate Kanye's unique style. I was highly imressed by his talent and lyrical content. The thing I like about Kanye is that he truly has things to say...most of these rappers out here talk about things they've never done or the same things we've heard a decade before. Kanye makes you sit down and think about real issues while he still brings worthwhile music to you. The beat production was so amazing on nearly every track. I'm headed out to check on "The College Dropout." Maybe I missed soemthing his first time around...
With all the guest appearences, including nas on a Roc A Fella cd, this lives up to the expectations and quite possibly surpasses them. He takes sampling to a new level and deserves three more grammys for this one.
It's not exactly groundbreaking. Well, the production may be. The rapping, however, is solid and stays true to hip hop's creed. You won't be laughing really hard or wondering how West put together a particularly difficult rhyme, but you'll undoubtedly enjoy the songs.
"Late Registration" is nothing but flawless. Since, each songs goes well with each other and you feel the energy of how each song is arranged. My favorite song on his CD is "Bring Me Down"/f. Brandy is the deepest song on the CD that talks about everyday life. Overall, better than "The College Dropout."
kanye west is my personal ryhmin mentor, gold digga is inspiring as well as jesus walks
What can I say. I'm more surprised that anyone. I was channel surfing and came across Kanye on MHD - Life & Rhymes of Kanye West. All I can say is, the song "Hey Mama" brought tears to my eyes. After that, I could not change the channel. This guy has talent and I like his message. Surprising, because i'm 35 and grew up on the Eagles and Van Halen.
To have a rap artist express himself with such poignant honesty without flashing any grills or bragging about rims on his car or having half naked women in his videos (goldigger being the exception) is rare nowadays... hanye released a personal, flawless album before... I loved through the wire so much and everything else... I thought this man couldn't get any better... I was wrong... Kanye proves he is as good as he says he is and he is underrated as far as I'm concerned... my personal favorites are celebration, crack music, roses and hey mama... I'm not a rap music fan... but with this cd... he restored my faith in rap... thank you kanye... you are rap's closest thing to the pope
This album didnt strike me at first but when I got to really listen to it, I was very impressed with the fact the perfection can get better. His first album was a classic,and to out do a classic is unheard of. Thanks Kanye for continuing to raise the bar..
O.K. all admit it there're a cupple cuts on this but he acts like he's god for making this what the big deal.if kanye reads this he'll probly neen 6 pepole to remind him how great he,he is pretty great though.
Such an awesome album...just got it today....I've been waiting on it forever. I've had the chance to see Kanye and John Legend in concert and I loved every bit of it. I support Kanye and his music...His views and the way he expresses himself. This is an album to have even if you've just experianced his greatness through just one song. I would recommend getting College Dropout and listening to that first so you can get the whole feel of Mr. West's music. My friends and I know every word to College Dropout and I'm catching on to the lyrics of Late Registration. I love this cd so much....I knew this was going to be a hot one when Diamonds came out and then Gold Digger. It's amazing......get it NOW!!!!! If you ever read this Kanye.....send me an email! LOL!
Whenever Jay-Z raps any portion in Kanye's song, it ruins the song. Diamonds from Sierra Leone remix was messed up by Jay-z's useless addition--does he ever say anything in any song besides useless ego drippin bull? It's the same thing in college dropout, wherever Jay-z adds his portion,people have to bare through what would've been a good song. Kanye good on race not on women--how do you sing about how great your mom is and then label a bunch of women as gold diggers in one album? He needs to work on his patriarchy/male chauvinist issues.
This is an awesome CD. all the songs are awesome, especially diamonds and celebration. the only problem i had was that the other artists in the cd only got small parts in the songs, but other than that, this is great. it seems that kanye has took his talents and style from his last cd and made it twice as good. Great cd to get concidering that its only 10 bucks and full of grammy worthy songs. and no, im not white.
He has A GR8 single diamonds from Sierra Leoneo. If you havent heard it HEAR IT! And the Remix has Jay-z that song is going to be in this AWSOME ALBUM!!!! CANT WAIT TILL AUGUST 30th. Hope is is as good as his other album!!!!