Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Kanye West: College Dropout
Kanye West is the biggest name in hip hop right now. I don't like him as a person. Well since i don't know the guy like that i don't like the persona Kanye puts out to the public and if that is actually how he is fuck him. Even though i don't like him i gotta respect the music genius that he is. Kanye jumped onto the music scene with his talent behind the boards as one of the breakout stars of Jay-Z's 2001 release of The Blueprint. Kanye had always aspired to be a rapper and was finally getting his shot. His album changed the game because the main sound in rap was gangbanging and Kanye made it cool to be conscious again which has then led to mainstream rap going away from thug stories. So if you want to blame the state of mainstream rap with all the corniness in it today you could sorta kinda blame Kanye, *cough Medium Sean cough*. Anyways the reason why i'm giving this another listen is because i wanna see what made this album so good. I've heard the songs but have not listened to it all the way through many times because i hated the skits on it and all the tracks were not some shit i would instantly go back and replay. But ima give it an unbiased thorough listen this time and see if it really is the classic every one says it is.
Ratings right here:
0- never playing this shit again or just hitting the next button
1- if it comes on i'll let it play
2- i go out of my way to play this
1. Intro (any link that takes more time finding it than playing it is not work looking for)
Remember how i said i hated intros and skits and whatever. I actually like this intro. Only about 20 secs but the guy is letting us know what the album is about. People may think it is only a segway for the next song but "Give something for the kids" he is telling Kanye to give the kids an album they could slap and and no one would say anything. Try to educate the kids on some positive shit for a change.
2. We Don't Care
Right off the bat Kanye is telling us what it's like to live in the hood in Chicago. He isn't talking about it from a hustler's perspective though, he is talking about through his the perspective of someone living in the hood and observing his surroundings. Because the rap game was flooded with flossy fly gangsta shit the stereotype of someone growing up in the hood white people assumed everyone in the hood is a thug and deals. Kanye says, "nah fuck your opinion" and proceeds to explain why the people who do get into dealing or rob do what they do. Everyone needs to make ends meet somehow and people sometimes have to do it illegally. 2
3. Graduation Day
Another skit with the dude from the first skit calling Kanye a nigga after that first track. Pretty much asking Kanye how is he going to uplift the kids yet justify dealing dope still. Pretty sure i was hearing some autotune at the end there too.
4. All Falls Down
Kanye put out a nice video to go along with one of his singles off the debut. He speaking on the materialistic nature of Americans and especially the youth. It's not only a black problem though, it is a problem for many kids. Growing up we don't have much money for ourselves so the second we get some cash most of us are not wise to put it in the bank and instead cop the freshest stuff. The media tells us to look a certain way but ultimately it is our problem. We see these trends and follow them then make fun of our friends when they're not up to date so kids always have to be on top of their game. Real good mainstream hip hop track because it has a great message in it. 2
5. I'll Fly Away
yet another skit with someone singing some gospel song. I think Kanye is saying that once his debut drops and becomes successful off of that he will be able to leave his past life behind him.
6. Spaceship feat. GLC and Consequence
If anyone wonders why Kanye feels the need to have a superiority complex it is because he feels he works harder than anyone. Just listen to his verse and he is saying he only has time for shit that benefits him. When he finally does make it, he will be sure to reward himself and you know what, the arrogant prick was right. Then GLC comes in complaining bout his life but he does shout out Freddie Gibbs. Consequence, of Beats, Rhymes, and Life fame, comes in and saves the track from the damage GLC did to it. Pretty much same thing that Kanye is talking about that he is still struggling but can't wait to make it...which he still hasn't after all these years. Sorry dude. 1 If there's a button to skip GLC's verse it gets bumped up to a 2
7. Jesus Walks
This my shit here. First off props to Kanye for making a beat that just makes you want to punch a baby and not even feel an ounce of remorse. And like only Kanye can he makes a song that is taboo to the radio yet it was a top 20 hit. He is talking bout police brutality in the hood, his faith in Jesus, and reason why rappers shouldn't be role models especially if they're not trying to be. He took a big risk touching on the religion subject and proceeded to knock it out of the park. 2
8. Never Let Me Down feat Jay-Z
It's a big deal getting the biggest dude in rap on your debut album but apparently Jigga didn't get the memo since he just recycled his verse off Hovi Baby. Kanye said "he going to do that to me...fuck that i'm laying down my best verse i ever wrote." Talking bout his mom and at "age of 6 she was arrested for the sit-ins/that's why i was born to be different." That might be my favorite Kanye line of all time right there but then again it's not like I keep a book of kanye lines. Then he talking bout how he told Mr. Rainey was about to marry his daughter...oops we all know how that turned out. Anyway Kanye wasn't going to let Jigga get away with that throwaway verse so Jigga man lays down a new verse probably 'cause kanye was bugging the shit out of him and went in but made sure he didn't destroy Kanye on his debut although it would have been tough to outshine kanye on this track. i forgot to mention the J. Ivy spoken word part. I liked that shit, real nice change up because i don't know too many people that be doing that on a hip hop album. idk maybe i'm ignorant. 2 Despite that bullshit recycled verse at the beginning Kanye and J Ivy's verses make up for it
9. Get Em High feat. Common and Talib Kweli
Kanye just proved he could hang when the big boys come through and greet him on the track now he has to do it again with Common and Talib rolling through the neighborhood. So he starts the shit off explaining why he dropped out of college, hence the title of the album. Now second verse comes in with Kanye finally getting groupies to call him and shit but not really knowing exactly who he is. He's gotten notoriety from his production work including Guess Who's Back by Scarface but hasn't done much in front of the camera for hoes to know his face. He resorts to name dropping Talib Kweli to show he has connections in the industry. Then Talib comes in and his whole verse is playing off of Kanye's previous verse. Definitely not even close to the best shit he has done but its alright. Then Common comes in and steals the show. It's just Common doing some Common things talking bout people saying he fell off but NO he's right here still ripping tracks apart. I might have to do a Basement Evolution review in the future, shout out to Common. 2
10. Workout Plan Skit
11. The New Workout Plan
If any girls actually use this song while they work out just give up on life. 0
12. Slow Jamz feat. Twista and Jamie Foxx
This track clearly aimed for the radio and i ain't too mad at it. The track is paying homage to r&b singers of the past and it's cool. If people wondering why Jamie Foxx felt the need to release an actual album blame Kanye. Now don't get it twisted Django is a talented motherfucker and i'm honestly not mad if he shows up on a hook every now and then but please don't be jumping in the studio for any more studio projects. He either thinking he can do no wrong or he had too much to drink and you can blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol. Twista did his thing. First time i ever heard the motherfucker and i was impressed. Not like i ever checked any of his other shit out but it revived his career sort of. 1
13. Breathe In Breathe Out feat Luda
This the track that has the famous Kanye line "First nigga with a benz and a backpack." Obvioulsy stating he is the first back pack rapper to make it so big that he can afford a benz while staying true to his hip hop roots, although he appears to prefer lambos now and abandoned backpack rap. He is proving he can cater to both the underground and mainstream with his album and this track captures the appeal perfectly. 1
14. School Spirit Skit #1
Great this mean there's going to be at least another school spirit skit. The dude is talking how everything is bullshit. You can move up in a company but there will always be someone ahead of you purely based off of connections no matter how hard you work or how much time you put in at school.
15. School Spirit
First off i can't find a link because Kanye apparently couldn't get the Aretha Franklin sample cleared so you guys are just going to have to take my word for it. Ain't feeling this track to be honest. The hook is trash but he got some stuff to get off his chest. He saying school doesn't guarantee you success in the future especially if you're passion has nothing to do with school then might as well leave school and get on with it. And for all the parents thinking he is demeaning schools, he is saying it's not worth the bullshit if you're not even going to use it. skip 0
16. School Spirit Skit #2
This shit just talking about the entitlement someone has when talking about their education. don't believe everything this motherfucker says
17. Lil Jimmy Skit
This shit is dummy unnecessary times 2.
18. Two Words feat Mos Def, Freeway, and the Harlem Boys Choir
Aye yo the only reason i feel like this track is called two words because kanye and freeway had no idea how to attack the beat and ended up taking Yasiin Bey's flow. Anyway when Mos Def is first on the track i guess the only option is to follow what he does because you aren't going to have a flow nicer than his. They go spitting some country is corrupt shit and how many times is jackie joyner going to be referenced as the fastest woman. I know this was in 04 but even then that's pushing it. I know Childish Gambino referenced here in a track too and that's just some outdated stuff. Can we get some love for Sanya Richards or Allyson Felix. C'mon now. 1
19. Through The Wire
First off, props to kanye for spitting this while his mouth was wired shut. That's what separates him from everyone else. If i didn't get a good night sleep i'm unproductive the rest of the day, guess that's why i ain't the biggest motherfucker in hip hop right now. Anyways this was the first time we were introduced to kanye as a solo mcee and you can tell this shit meant a lot to him. I forgot to mention props to kanye for flipping chaka khan's track into a dope sample. It's a perfect debut track. It also showed us how much determination he has to do this music thing. Even his limitations as a lyricist wouldn't stop him from putting out the best hip hop album of the year. Much respect to Ye. Should we have ever doubted kanye after this? 2
20. Family Business
Now Kanye isn't the best wordsmith by any stretch but it seemed like he improved throughout the album. This shit has his best flow and its the second to last track. He was a producer at the Roc so he definitely picked up on some shit just by being in the studio with Jigga and Beans and it's obvious he soaked up some information. He getting his story telling on here talking bout his family and how they're dysfunctional yet they seem just like any other family out there so his family isn't as special and unique as he likes to think. Plus i thought it was hella funny how he don't want anyone knowing his family business yet he going to tell everyone their story. Shout out to the Fugees. 2
21. Last Call
Nice reference to the Alkaholiks, fuck calling them the Liks, with the "last call for alcohol."If you're going to have a track dedicated to the haters and the naysayers, or an I finally reached the top track, this is how you do it. Put it at the end because ain't no one really trying here generic hater anthems. So it's a hater anthem track plus Kanye so of course this shit is going to be over 12 minutes long. If you wanna hear his story of how he went from little known producer to releasing his own album definitely give this a listen. But honestly unless you a fan no one going to listen to this whole thing. Especially since the last 8 minutes is just him talking. 2 now that i think about it i ain't tripping off listening to the whole track and i ain't even a fan like that. Probably the perfect way to end a debut album
Total Rating: 75% excluding skits
Aight first off i needa make some changes to the rating system because this got me looking like a Russian judge and i'm not even like that. Looking back i hated on the skits and there are a De La Soul amount of skits in there but i was actually digging them. I ain't a fan of skits that are pointless or but i am a fan of skits that compliment the album or are just funny like the ones off The Chronic. I'll rerate this shit along with the first two in the future because that just ain't fair. If you wanna hear Kanye at his humblest this is your last chance and even about halfway his inner prick self started to come out. So we have only known a humble Kanye for about 20 minutes. You can hate the man but you can't hate the music. I didn't even really touch on it during the review but bonus points for Kanye handling all the production. We have all heard stories oh him mixing tracks an insane number of times to get the perfect sound but that's why he is at the top right now. I always got respect for people that spit on their own beats. One of the best debuts ever. Let me know if there is any albums i need to be listening to, don't even have to be hip hop. peace.
Lord Finesse- Check The Method
that cat from the 90's. Part of the legendary Diggin In The Crates crew and he is one of the more underrate MC's we have had. Made the beats and he could rhyme. Unfortunately he is best known as the guy who sued Mac Miller for $10 mil for using his beat without permission. I feel Lord Finesse overreacted to this all out of jealousy because the hip hop game is based off of sampling. Now i know Mac didn't sample he straight up just took the beat but it was for a FREE MIXTAPE. I think it's just an ego thing that now people believe Mac is responsible for the Hip 2 Da Game beat rather than Lord Finesse so i could see why he is mad there. But dam talk about not wanting to see another dude shine he took that to another level.
Gangstarr- Full Clip
Guru spitting rhymes with Preemo lacing yet another track. One of the greatest hip hop duos ever. RIP Guru