College Dropout Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 1341 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.

Top Track

All Falls Down
Yeah, this the real one baby, Uh, Chi town stand up, South side, south side, We gon' set this party off right, West side, west side, We gon' set... See the rest of the song lyrics
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: 17 out of 225
  1. 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
  2. nikkib
    Apr 17, 2005
    10
    Over a year later and this album is still tight!!!
  3. IslamM
    Feb 18, 2004
    10
    cd is straight fire
  4. Feb 14, 2019
    10
    Kanye West delivers a masterfully crafted debut album, presenting a new style of hip hop before unheard. He shows why his sampling skills areKanye West delivers a masterfully crafted debut album, presenting a new style of hip hop before unheard. He shows why his sampling skills are so revered, layering all tracks fantastically. Expand
  5. MarcusW
    Feb 15, 2004
    9
    This CD is fantastic, it just has one glitch. He left out some of his better songs from the mixtape off this CD. Like the Good, Bad the Ugly This CD is fantastic, it just has one glitch. He left out some of his better songs from the mixtape off this CD. Like the Good, Bad the Ugly and Drop Dead Gorgeous Expand
  6. Mar 12, 2020
    9
    Wonderful Album, the skits are funny, the songs are great, what more could you ask for. Although I do think it peaks halfway through the albumWonderful Album, the skits are funny, the songs are great, what more could you ask for. Although I do think it peaks halfway through the album at "Slow Jamz" there are plenty of great songs after that.
    Favorite Tracks:
    All Falls Down
    I'll Fly Away
    Slow Jamz
    Family Business
    Expand
  7. Dec 18, 2019
    0
    The first time it played sounded worse expected. The vocals fall flat. The CD doesn't have to skip to have skips. As a debut its sounds wereThe first time it played sounded worse expected. The vocals fall flat. The CD doesn't have to skip to have skips. As a debut its sounds were poor. The skits are annoying and dull. The album sounds very poor on vinyl. As a change in music, it's a very poor change. Expand

See all 225 User Reviews

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