College Dropout - Kanye West
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Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 435 Ratings

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  • Summary: The in-demand Chicago-based producer makes his debut with the help of guests Ludacris, Jay-Z, Mos Def, Dirt McGirt, and more.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. 100
    There will be few better albums released this year.
  2. West delivers the goods with a disarming mix of confessional honesty and sarcastic humor, earnest idealism and big-pimping materialism. [13 Feb 2004, p.71]
  3. College Dropout contains some of the most intelligent and clever lyrics hip-hop has produced in a while, be it mainstream or underground.
  4. West's witty, self-produced solo debut, College Dropout, frolics in this space between should and can, between playful hyper-awareness and young, willful naïvete.
  5. West is at his best the higher the lyrical stakes get, and the more they contradict hip-hop orthodoxy.
  6. 80
    He has his own personality: not a gangsta or a player but a diligent pragmatist. [Apr 2004, p.124]
  7. College Dropout is a competent if overlong debut, which serves up solid but by no means groundbreaking production work a little too dependent on familiar hooks from '70s R&B staples.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 147
  1. 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.
  2. Nov 4, 2013
    best album of all time! his production and lyrics on this album is great and also ye is the best rapper of the decade, ppl like eminem and 50 cent are so overated and kanye west it the only talented one@ YEEZUS Expand
  3. 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.
    go out and have a listen to all his others, each being superb in their own individual ways. Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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.
  6. 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+
  7. 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. Expand

See all 147 User Reviews