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 459 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. 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? 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. 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 Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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. 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