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 464 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. DennisL
    Feb 16, 2004
    ...Im just trying not to dropout...but he is speaking the truth
  2. 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.
  3. twan/Gunn
    Mar 24, 2004
    College dropout is by far the greatest hip-hop album this year..he lyrics are sick they the truth.Hes bringin a new style to the hip hop society,im tired of hearin the same shit all the time like 50 does! Wow you got shot nine times congrats... kids go buy this album its worth 20$ of ur drug money as for hov you should have neva left the game cause now kanye takin ur place keep it up roc a fella you the best label out there Gunn K.T.Q. Expand
  4. SteveG
    Feb 15, 2005
    simply amazing. covers an amazing variety of subjects with fresh beats and rhymes. worth listening to simply to justify dropping out of college. one of the only albums i've listened to lately with an actual thesis that is proven. Expand
  5. 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
  6. ThomasD
    Dec 25, 2005
    Whether you agree with Kanye's political views or not, you have to agree that he can articulate his points very well and sell them to the targeted audience even better. His lyrics along with his new spin on hip hop have brought him to the top of the industry for a good reason. He is uniquely fantastic. Expand
  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