College Dropout Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 517 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. Not only does he create a unique role model, that role model is dangerous--his arguments against education are as market-targeted as other rappers' arguments for thug life.
  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. That level of "realness", the way that the songs ring true whether he's bragging or self-criticizing, joking or praying, is what makes The College Dropout more than worthy of all of the attention that it's getting.
  4. West is at his best the higher the lyrical stakes get, and the more they contradict hip-hop orthodoxy.
  5. 80
    Delivers both ass-shakers and contemplative cuts.
  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 152
  1. melissab
    Feb 16, 2004
    10
    this cd is off the chain, i dont even have to skip tracks because they are all phat! He brings back what lyricist are really about!
  2. 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
    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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  3. NseE
    Mar 28, 2004
    10
    This is simply an amazing cd. Kanye has a wild sense of humour, as well as a deep, spiritual side, which comes off on tunes like ?Jesus This is simply an amazing cd. Kanye has a wild sense of humour, as well as a deep, spiritual side, which comes off on tunes like ?Jesus Walks? and the mind blowing ?Never let me down?, which features Jay Z. ?Spaceship is a tender lilting number of escaping from the cares of life, we?ve all been there. ?Slow jamz? and Through the wire? feature Kanye?s signature style of helium influenced sped up vocals, set to a great groove, and great 80s samples. Other standouts from this dazzling debut are ?Two words?, ?The new workout plan? with it?s disco outro (and hilarious tips on how to get in shape for your man, complete with testimonies of satisfied females) and the 12 minute plus tale of Kanye?s journey to a record deal, set to a gentle groove, interspersed with sax, delicate keyboard tinklings, and a killer hook. Awesome! Expand
  4. marcellw
    Mar 29, 2005
    10
    Best hip-hop album I've ever bought.
  5. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    Sensational debut. From the classic street-life opener, "We Don't Care", to the social/self critique of "All Falls Down", the soulful r&bSensational 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
  6. ghqjhhejghjhlj
    Oct 27, 2006
    9
    the shti for real....
  7. 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 hisI 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 152 User Reviews