Kanye West is no doubt a genius to me but College Dropout goes wrong with one thing. The production is amazing and it shows that he is a great producer. His lyrics are nice and even though he can go to the trash that everybody else raps about he actually talks about something different every once in a while. The problem would be the fact that there are way too many skits. The skits are weak and you start to lose track of the songs. Nice debut but I'm glad he learned his lesson with the boring and unneeded skits and didn't use them in Late Registration because they kill the originality of his album.
This debut from the most sought-after hip-hop producer not named Pharrell delivers the unthinkable: West magically sledgehammers home his opinions on taboo topics over beats that are equally daring. The envelope-ripping beats shouldn't come as a surprise given that he's supplied the soundscapes to monster singles by everyone fromAlicia Keys("You Don't Know My Name") toTalib Kweli("Get By"). What is freakish is that in West's world, rhymes about strippers, God, college life, and guns can co-exist tidily and not undermine each other. On "Breathe In Breathe Out" he raps "I gotta apologize to Mos and Kweli/is it cool to rap about gold if I told the world I copped it from Ghana and Mali"--tongue firmly planted in cheek. On the catchy "Through the Wire," fuelled by aChaka Khanhook, he spits some impeccable rhymes despite his jaw being wired shut after a near-fatal car accident. Maybe it was this brush with mortality that kicked his lyrics into high gear on "All Falls Down." The skits on here are just as potent, one poking fun at the overeducated underclass that makes a small fraction of the loot he does. With jaw-dropping cameos fromJay-Z,Common,Mos Def, and theHarlem Boys Choirplus the feel-good club tune of the year, "Slow Jamz" featuringTwista,College Dropoutis as explosive, contradictory, and complex as rap music gets.--Dalton Higgins