Kanye West - Graduation
Kanye West is easily one of the most prominent artists of our time. On Graduation he delivers us his conclusion to his college trilogy, which begun with College Dropout and was followed up by 2005's Late Registration. Obviously Graduation was highly anticipated, which even increased due to the highly publicised supposed record feud with 50 cent. Not only has he set the platform with his imminent stardom, he's raised the bar for hip hop contemporaries becoming more relevant in today's music scene. Graduation also sees him converting into the pop category, possibly joining the likes of Justin Timberlake.
Graduation flows more consistently then his previous records, probably due to the cutting of skits which keeps the duration shorter. With the omission of the skits, the record feels like less of a hip hop record, maybe securing his vision of making it a more digestible record for pending fans not well versed in the hip hop record format. As he's stated in interviews he wants as many people as possible to hear this record. Beginning on a high note, "Good Morning" gets the album off and running leading into the massively catchy "Champion" the Steely Dan sampled track. (Kid Charlemagne)
From here on the album is relentless, with a panache production, backed by classy synths and effective beats. Kanye raps and rhymes smoothly over the course of Graduation, consistently expressing his hedonistic lifestyle. The album may very well lack the likes of a "Touch the Sky" or "Gold Digger", but Graduation makes up in consistency. The Daft Punk sample "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" has given Kanye one of the biggest singles of 2007 with "Stronger", with everywhere you go you're assured to hear this track. "Can't Tell Me Nothing" was the first single and shows Kanye in impressive form. Guests this time around include his mentor rapper Jay Z, Young Jeezy, Mos Def, Lil Wayne and Coldplay's Chris Martin. Graduation continues the fresh, lush and elegant production that Kanye's become known for.
With Kanye already a international superstar he's achieved what so many other artists have never been able to do and that's uniting people from throughout the world, even people who aren't really into the genre of music. As far as hip-hop records go this is neither amazing or groundbreaking, it's comfortable. Once you become really familiar with the album it may lose a little of its edge, but it's still a fun record. Whatever path Kanye West chooses to take next I'm sure the world will be watching.