User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 534 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 534

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  1. Aug 14, 2010
    10
    One of the best debut albums ever made.

    Before this album, Kanye West didn't become the ruler he is today. He was the acclaimed producer of Blueprint who served up hit tracks one after another. But his real dream was to become a rapper and that was a difficult task. In an industry dominated by gangsta rap and hardcore rap, it was hard for a backpacker like Kanye West to shine. But those
    One of the best debut albums ever made.

    Before this album, Kanye West didn't become the ruler he is today. He was the acclaimed producer of Blueprint who served up hit tracks one after another. But his real dream was to become a rapper and that was a difficult task. In an industry dominated by gangsta rap and hardcore rap, it was hard for a backpacker like Kanye West to shine. But those troubles are furthermore reason why College Dropout is one of the best debut albums ever. Why? Because he overcame them with one HUGE leap.

    Kanye isn't the gangsta/hustler type. He is the average guy who has something to say. He discusses various topics like college education, his drop out, materialism, consumerism, religion and its role in music among others. Not expected of a normal rap album because it sounds too normal. But that is the beauty of the album. West fearlessly dares to rap about things that don't include money, crack, girls, or clothes. And he does it with his own style that is powerful and engaging. He can be funny and serious at the same time. Lyrically, he isn't half-bad. He is able to interest his audience throughout the course of the album.

    And the production? Oh man. The beats are surprisingly so catchy yet inventive. Jesus Walks features a pounding club peat and chants that accompany his messages of Jesus and lack of God on radio simply because there is no profitability. And The New Workout Plan features a booty shaker that is laced with Middle Eastern violins.

    West's wordplay is still to be developed and some songs feel like filler tracks. Nonetheless, College Dropout is an outstanding achievement by one so normal to most of us yet so unique to his fellow rap peers.
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  2. Aug 17, 2011
    10
    Incredible, this is where it all started. So sit down and enjoy one of the greatest rappers on one of the greatest rap albums. classic.
    Then go out and have a listen to all his others, each being superb in their own individual ways.
  3. Mar 11, 2015
    9
    For a former rap producer, Kanye West does make a very impressive debut album. He is a role model, he is not trying to follow a fad, but is actually trying to expanding a genre that I thought was dying. With its slick production, honest songs, and a braggy but truthful persona, 'The College Dropout' will probably go down in history as one of the greatest rap albums of all time!
  4. Tony
    Feb 13, 2004
    8
    Definitely one of the better hip-hop albums to come out in a while. The beats are fantastic, the flows are smooth, and the message isn't about thug life.
  5. JasonC
    Feb 16, 2004
    10
    I cant help it, I have to give it a 10! This cd is awesome. It delivers great life into all the beats and Kanye doesn't bring the same gangsta flow as everyone else.
  6. ChrisB
    Feb 13, 2005
    10
    Jesus Walks is my anthem 'nuff said -Chris
  7. PepaS
    Jan 10, 2006
    9
    This cd was really nice one of the best of 2004
  8. ManManManManManManManManManMan
    Jun 24, 2007
    10
    WOW. Now if I could give halves it would just be like a 9.5, because of the skits taking up such valuable track time. But aside from that, this is the most refreshing Hip Hop album in a long time, and Kanye West is one of the few mainstream artists people should welcome with open arms.
  9. RobbieR
    Feb 17, 2004
    10
    This CD is banging, best of the year so far. Kanye West created a classic CD and his songs are very varied. This coming from a producer/rapper. 50 cent aint got nothin on this.
  10. patriciaj
    Mar 27, 2004
    10
    i love this album .
  11. Jun 4, 2011
    8
    Best transition from someone was a Producer who turned to a Rapper. Kanye made his mark with style and that whole world knew he was from the groundbreaking Through the Wire to Jesus Walks and Family Business. Kanye managed to put in his religious views into the his Album with positive feedback from Fans and Critics alike. He may not be the best lyricist but he is certainly a deep one.
  12. Jul 23, 2012
    10
    Perhaps the best album of the entire decade. This album is so fresh, so unique, so beautiful. His lyricism is outstanding, and the subject matter is different for once. This is revolutionary, and Hip Hop, and music as a whole, needs Kanye West. Fantastic, brilliant album.
  13. Mar 9, 2013
    10
    IMO the best debut rap album of all time. the beats are insane, the album came out in a time where the world needed it the most, the lyrics are incredible and witty. this album is as good as mainstream/soul/r&b hip-hop gets
  14. Jan 12, 2014
    9
    His best album ever tbh. I didn't listen to the whole record yet but I've loved everything till now. My highlights are We don't care, All falls down, Jesus walks & School spirit. The College Dropout should have won that Grammy for Album of the Year.
  15. Aoi
    Oct 12, 2013
    10
    The soul samples and the socially concious lyrics make this one of my favourite albums of all time. Definitely a certified classic. Maybe breathe in breathe out could of been, err, trashed?
  16. Nov 5, 2013
    10
    Looking back on Kanye's discography, this album is definitely the most important. College Dropout gives his background and shows his purpose. This album touches on his struggle to become a musician, the wrongdoings of society, his dreams, and family. I cannot explain exactly what this album is and what it means to me; it is one you have to listen to yourself and find your own message fromLooking back on Kanye's discography, this album is definitely the most important. College Dropout gives his background and shows his purpose. This album touches on his struggle to become a musician, the wrongdoings of society, his dreams, and family. I cannot explain exactly what this album is and what it means to me; it is one you have to listen to yourself and find your own message from it. I have never heard an album that has vividly expressed one's inner struggle such as College Dropout does. Expand
  17. Apr 21, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What can I say? Lyricism-wise, this album isn't the best. Of course, Kanye has his moments of good rhymes, and enjoyable punch lines, but it's nothing special.
    Production-wise, this album is almost perfect. Unbelievable production, with arguably the best use of sampling in hip hop history, this album's beats are perfection. They're groundbreaking, and thoroughly enjoyable.
    But another deal is: what's he rapping about? The topics on this album range from his accident that caused him to want to rap even more, and even Jesus! Very nice to hear Kanye rap about such things, because, when was the last time you heard a mainstream rapper rap about Jesus? His dedication to rap is truly shown on Through the Wire, which he raps with a piece of metal stuck in his chin due to his car crash, and with a fitting 'Through the Fire' sample.
    This album is, as aforementioned, groundbreaking and completely original. Nothing like it has been done before, which makes this a legendary album, and a hip hop classic.
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  18. Feb 15, 2015
    10
    This album is considered one of the 2000's best for a reason. In terms of rapping, the lyricism and wordplay is unbeliveable ("Mayonaisse colored Benz, I push miracle whips.") The guest verses are all great too, the weakest probably being Common on "Get Em High," who seems to emphasize too much on completely average punchlines. But the production is where this album really shines. BuiltThis album is considered one of the 2000's best for a reason. In terms of rapping, the lyricism and wordplay is unbeliveable ("Mayonaisse colored Benz, I push miracle whips.") The guest verses are all great too, the weakest probably being Common on "Get Em High," who seems to emphasize too much on completely average punchlines. But the production is where this album really shines. Built almost entirely on sped up samples of Soul, Gospel and R&B classics, these instrumentals take the mood of their original sources and give them a fresh modern mood with hard hitting drums. In terms of subject matter, this album will definitely get you thinking, Kanye intelligently examines his past on personal tracks such as "Never Let Me Down," "Spaceship," and "Through the Wire," but throughout the album makes us contemplate issues such as religion, gang violence, the minimum wage, racism and even (on a hilarious satirical track) work out plans. At the same time, he gives us room to have fun on playful jams like "School Spirit" and "Slow Jamz" which shows the talents of Chicago peer Twista. Overall, one of the most complete collections of music I've ever heard and will leave you feeling refreshed after finishing it. Expand
  19. Aug 8, 2011
    10
    Released on February 10, 2004, on Roc-A-Fella Records
    Kanye was not new to the rap scene, but with The College Dropout he introduced himself as not only as a dope
    producer but a talented rapper. Every track is pure Kanye gold; itâ
  20. Jun 12, 2011
    10
    Terrific album, lots of tracks make you nervous at first, thinking that it must lose it's stride along the way, but College Dropout delivers, it is a classic album, and in my opinion one of the best debut albums of all time. Kanye let's the audience get perspectives on life that are thoughtful and heart warming, my favourite track is spaceship. Kanye West rises to fame with this album forTerrific album, lots of tracks make you nervous at first, thinking that it must lose it's stride along the way, but College Dropout delivers, it is a classic album, and in my opinion one of the best debut albums of all time. Kanye let's the audience get perspectives on life that are thoughtful and heart warming, my favourite track is spaceship. Kanye West rises to fame with this album for a reason. Expand
  21. Jan 4, 2013
    8
    A near flawless start to one of the greatest album trajectories of this generation, College Dropout is the record that established Kanye West as a force in the music industry. He may not be the greatest rapper, but he knows how to use his sampler and revamps classic soul songs to make enjoyable modern hits.
  22. Nov 28, 2010
    0
    I also think his rap is trash its not what he truly feels. He is a poser trying to fake it. A pretender out for bucks, not interested in his fans or the messages contained it it.
  23. RaulT
    Sep 6, 2005
    3
    I think his rap is trash its not what he truely feels. He doesnt rap about real life like JAy z and Nas
  24. Cope
    Jul 4, 2005
    5
    Has some good beats, and listenable subject matter. However, the sped up soul jacks (beats) get tiresome and receive way more credit than they deserve. Kanye's lyrical ability is non-existant, though you can pretend like you're not listening.
  25. jaimea
    Feb 14, 2004
    1
    rehashed, uninivated,....boring!
  26. labadc
    Feb 18, 2004
    3
    Lyrically, dude is wack. I think that hip hop fans are soooo starved for somthing that is against the norm (bling bling, money, cars clothes) that when someone comes along with something slightly different they jump on it. Unfortunately sampling an entire song, speeding it up, and placing mediocre lyrics on top doesn't not a classic make. While I'm glad West doesn't talk Lyrically, dude is wack. I think that hip hop fans are soooo starved for somthing that is against the norm (bling bling, money, cars clothes) that when someone comes along with something slightly different they jump on it. Unfortunately sampling an entire song, speeding it up, and placing mediocre lyrics on top doesn't not a classic make. While I'm glad West doesn't talk about the typical things that most rappers do, he is still inevitablely wack. Expand
  27. Finfrosk
    Sep 24, 2005
    1
    Kanye sucks. What the hell is wrong with everyone, saying this is such a good album? It's just incredibly, mindblowingly, fantasticly boring! OH my god it's so boring! It has one song with a few good rhymes, but I don't remember the title, and I don't really care!
  28. Jeff
    Mar 28, 2004
    2
    The fact that Kanye does not rap about money and cars and bling bling does not mean he is a "pioneer" as some choose to call him. This album is a big dissapointment, since it was expected to be one of the best hip hop albums this year. It's boring, uninspired, and unoriginal with songs about drug dealing and beating up your manager...it's all been said before.
  29. DanK
    Apr 25, 2005
    5
    Kanye is ruining hip-hop. He has some fly lyrics, but he shadows them my trying to appeal to people who just listen to the beats. If he's gonna make a rap album, he should make a rap album, not push his producing career.
  30. Aug 16, 2012
    7
    I can't claim to be a big fan of hip hop/rap. I won't go out and buy a record from this genre, but occasionally someone will pass me an album and I'll give it a listen and enjoy it. I like a lot of Jay-Z's stuff. Kanye West is another rapper who I can listen to. This, his debut is a strong record, got some great backing tracks going on and some really clever rhymes going on. The productionI can't claim to be a big fan of hip hop/rap. I won't go out and buy a record from this genre, but occasionally someone will pass me an album and I'll give it a listen and enjoy it. I like a lot of Jay-Z's stuff. Kanye West is another rapper who I can listen to. This, his debut is a strong record, got some great backing tracks going on and some really clever rhymes going on. The production is superb. I do have a gripe about couple of the tracks though. I don't mind the occasional use of the F word, at times it will heighten or emphasise an emotion or sentiment but I don't understand the need for excessive F-bombs and motherfing all over the shop one a few of the tracks here. It's pointless, ruins an otherwise very clever record and just conforms to stereotype. This guy is articulate enough to get his point across without resorting to gutter language. I guess that's just a feature of the genre but at times really turns me off. Expand
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Feb 17, 2011
    70
    Like every hip-hop album (even the great ones), Kanye West's The College Dropout is marred by too many guest artists, too many interludes, and just too many songs period. (I challenge every hip-hop artist working today to record just one album with 12 tracks or less-no skits, no guests, no filler.)
  2. Feb 17, 2011
    70
    Most producers who approach the mic do so at their peril, but on Dropout, West turns out to be a full-service hip-hop artiste.
  3. 80
    Delivers both ass-shakers and contemplative cuts.