College Dropout

College Dropout Image
Metascore
87

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

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 738 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. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    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. Blender
    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 161
  1. MARKH
    Feb 14, 2004
    10
    NICE
  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.
    Expand
  3. StuT
    Mar 23, 2004
    10
    The best album of the year. possibly the best freshman album ever. Can't wait to hear his next one.
  4. Max
    Feb 22, 2005
    10
    Killin y'all n****z on that lyrical s**t Mayonnaise colored Benz, I push Miracle Whips
  5. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    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 braggingI 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
  6. J.M.Sarabia
    May 28, 2005
    9
    Kanye West gives you something different from ordinary rap/ hip hop. He has a perfect balance of songs. From songs Spaceship to Jesus Walks Kanye West gives you something different from ordinary rap/ hip hop. He has a perfect balance of songs. From songs Spaceship to Jesus Walks to Slow Jamz, he gives different flavors of music. There were times when I thought there was room for improvement, lyrically on a few songs. Kaywe West gives incredible production as well. Technically I'm giving the album 9.5. This album leaves you urging for more Kanye. 2.We Don't Care 8/10 4.All Falls Down 9.5/10 6.Spaceship 10/10 7.Jesus Walks 10/10 8.Never Let Me Down 9.5/10 9.Get Em High 7.5/10 11.The New Workout Plan 10/10 12.Slow Jamz 10/10 13.Breathe in Breathe Out 7/10 15.School Spirit 9.5/10 18.Two Words 10/10 19.Through the Wire 9.5/10 20.Family Business 10/10 21.Last Call 10/10 Expand
  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 161 User Reviews