College Dropout - Kanye West
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Universal acclaim- based on 468 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 468

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  1. Apr 21, 2014
    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.
  2. Feb 4, 2014
    College Dropout is, and always will be, a classic. It's perhaps the most industry-changing hip-hop album of all time. The entire album flows effortlessly, with fun, intelligent, and uplifting beats. This is the debut of a legend. ~ 9.6/10

    Best track: "Family Business"
    Other notable tracks: "Jesus Walks", "Through The Wire", "Last Call", "Never Let Me Down" & "All Falls Down"
  3. Jan 20, 2014
    Way before Kanye West received international fame and millions upon millions of dollars because of his music and record sales, he was in College struggling and working graveyard shifts at terrible jobs where he'd get pushed around by his manager whom which he really wanted to hurt. Before he became self-indulgent and exploited his fame and money, he made a record with some of the best soul samples ever put into a record. Not to mention his knack for wordplay, which he seems exceptionally clever at on this record.

    All I All, Kanye West will never make an album quite like this ever again. B+
  4. Jan 12, 2014
    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.
  5. Nov 5, 2013
    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 from it. I have never heard an album that has vividly expressed one's inner struggle such as College Dropout does. Expand
  6. Aoi
    Oct 12, 2013
    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?
  7. Jun 18, 2013
    I have this album on vinyl, oh my oh my is it amazing. The soul samples sound great on warm vinyl and Kanye's lyrics were absent of bragging unlike his newer albums. The production on this album destroys everything else released during the 2000s and alone deserves the high praise this album has. The rapping is great too, Yeezy may not be the best rapper but he sure does have enough talent to carry the album with guests. Expand
  8. Jun 18, 2013
    Sensational debut. From the classic street-life opener, "We Don't Care", to the social/self critique of "All Falls Down", the soulful r&b bump'n'grind of "Slow Jams", the charging church choir-surged "Jesus Walks", or the near-death experience/hip-hop rebirth revelation that is "Through The Wire", this was a record that kept me not only in love, but returning time and time again. This demonstrated purely what followed, the introduction and eventual blooming of one of rap's/pop's/art's biggest egos and biggest icons. 8.5/10 Expand
  9. Apr 12, 2013
    1 Sensational media stories about millionaire drop-outs miss one thing: The vast majority of America's 30 million college dropouts are more likely to gain more.
  10. Apr 9, 2013
    Lyrically great and production wise top 10. A great start into the game as Kanye started out great. One of the best hip-hop releases in the past 20 years.
  11. Mar 11, 2013
    Kanye West's first album is above one of the most strongest albums ever, creating meaningful and awesome rap songs that will never get old. Ever.
  12. Mar 9, 2013
    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
  13. Jan 4, 2013
    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.
  14. Nov 15, 2012
    West's debut head-bopper is just that: a head-bopper. "Dropout" tries to accomplish a tough juggling act - paying equal attention to subverting braggadocious hip-hop cliches and embracing them (if a bit sarcastically) to make a more lively, enjoyable album. Unfortunately, this juggling comes across as hypocrisy rather than compromise for the sake of art. Because of this, even in "Dropout"'s most magnificent moments - of which there are many - it largely doesn't work contextually. Regardless, terrific production, awesome vocals and some hilarious, even poignant story interludes make this worth plenty of attention even with its faults. Expand
  15. Aug 16, 2012
    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 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
  16. Jul 23, 2012
    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.
  17. Apr 25, 2012
    There are good moments here, but the album is rarely great. Kanye demonstrates his incredible creativity as a producer, but he lacks the vocal tone to be a great rapper. His voice always feels a little stilted. On the two best tracks - "Spaceship" and "Two Words" - West must rely on others to supply many of the best rhymes.
  18. Feb 20, 2012
    It has quite a legacy in redefining modern hip-hop which was in desperate need of changing as its mainstream popularity began to dip. The College Dropout, whilst filled with an annoying quantity of skits is also reasonably consistent and inventive.
  19. Oct 7, 2011
    absolutely a great album whoever says that this wasnt good should go commit suicide . this is kanyes most personal album and it showed. Pure genius one of the best rap albums ever
  20. j30
    Sep 28, 2011
    A strong debut from the producer who brought us Jay-Z's (excellent) The Blueprint record. His rhymes are sometimes funny and poignant. He's one of Hip-Hop's best right now.
  21. Aug 17, 2011
    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.
  22. Aug 8, 2011
    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
  23. Aug 6, 2011
    Probably one of the realest hip hop albums of all time.
  24. Jun 12, 2011
    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 for a reason. Expand
  25. Jun 4, 2011
    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.
  26. May 8, 2011
    this had some good songs i love kanye for his production not for his rapping ability. but this album was pretty good i liked it. but its not my personal favorite kanye album. but yes this album is very listenable.
  27. Apr 21, 2011
    The best debut rap album of all time. get rich or die tryin is the only other one that comes close. a must have classic and my favorite rap album of all time 5.All eyez on Me
    4.The Chronic 2001
    3.Get Rich or Die Tryin
    2.The Eminem Show
    1.The College Dropout
  28. Nov 28, 2010
    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.
  29. Nov 9, 2010
    not surprised that he amazed me with this album but i wouldn't feel right giving it a 10 but it is worth buying and listening too it is amazing nothing but good things but some songs i wouldnt keep on my on the go playlist
  30. Aug 14, 2010
    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.

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
    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
    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.