One of the most famous figures in all of pop culture is the Atlanta rapper, Kanye West. He always has his name in the news yearly from stopping Taylor Swift give her speech at the VMA’s, to him literally peeing on his Grammy, how about his presidential run in the most recent election. While many know him for his public persona, fans of his understand he is one of the best rappers of our time. With his incredible production to insane hooks and beats, the man has unmatched quality; and to celebrate his tenth album, DONDA, releasing this Friday let’s look back on some of his best albums. I am only counting solo projects, so unfortunately Watch the Throne and KIDS SEE GHOSTS will not be seen.
Kanye’s more recent outings are also one of his best. Ye is a deconstruction of who Kanye is as a person, as he continues to struggle with his main enemy which is his own mental health. With only 7 tracks and less than 30 minutes of runtime, Kanye is at his most somber with this record. Ye is a fantastic end to the “Wyoming Era” and offers fans to understand how fame has caught up to him.
Sorry for those who I offend but Graduation is a fantastic album and one of the main turning points in his career sonically. He experiments with different sounds and steers away from the traditional rap that Kanye took inspiration from. With perfect tracks such as I Wonder and Flashing Lights, Kanye truly makes songs meant for a crowd. It is Kanye at his most fun and experimental. A fantastic way to end the School Trilogy.
3. The College Dropout
We discuss how the trilogy ends, now how about where it begins. The College Dropout is where Kanye albums become perfect albums in not only his discography but in the entire music scene in general. Kanye discusses themes of materialism, racism, classism, and religion. His production is a shining force here, every track pays homage to his predecessors while creating something of his own. Hell, Kanye made a song soon after a car accident.
2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
This album was going to come up sooner or later. The album that YouTube critic Anthony Fantano has given a 6 out of 10. What more can be said about this 11-year-old album that has not been saying before. It is the turning point for Kanye’s discography, where he collaborates with everyone from Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, Pusha T, and so many more. No rapper in the 2010s will ever have a greater three-track run than Kanye West on this album starting from So Appalled and ending on the lyrical masterpiece that is Runaway. It is a classic for a reason.
Yeezus turned me into a fan of Kanye. It is his most experimental and audacious project yet and has some of the best moments in hip-hop. From the loud and berserk opening that is On Sight to that hyper-centric thrill ride that is Black Skinhead. And has my favorite song and moment off of any Kanye album in the track New Slaves. It is the moment where nobody where he could go next and people still do not know where he is going next.