The College Dropout is the debut album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released February 10, 2004, on Roc-A-Fella Records. It was recorded over a period of four years, beginning in 1999. The production of the album was often halted by the lack of confidence that producers had in West's rapping ability, eventually being convinced based on the success of his early musical ventures. Prior to the album's release, West had worked on rapper Jay-Z's The Blueprint (2001), which showcased his melodic and soulful style of hip hop production. The album's production was handled entirely by West, and features vocal contributions from Jay-Z, John Legend, Ervin "EP" Pope, Miri Ben-Ari, and Syleena Johnson and many other artists. Diverging from the then-dominant gangster persona in hip hop, West's lyrics on the album concern themes of family, religion, self-consciousness, materialism, and personal struggles. The album was promoted by singles including "Through the Wire" and "Jesus Walks", both of which received critical acclaim. "All Falls Down" and "Slow Jamz" both charted within the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, with the latter charting at number one. The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 441,000 copies during its first week. It was a massive commercial success, producing five singles that achieved chart success. Upon its release, The College Dropout received universal acclaim from music critics and earned West several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 47th Grammy Awards. It is West's best-selling album in the United States, with domestic sales of 3.4 million copies and worldwide sales of over four million copies. It has been named by Time and Rolling Stone as one of the greatest albums of all time and is often listed amongst the greatest debut albums ever released by a hip hop artist.
For haters that were eager to see Kanye West hit a sophomore slump--no such luck. Late Registration doesn't replicate the novelty of his debut, College Dropout, but otherwise, this is an impressively more mature and labored-over album. Lyrically, Kanye's only improved a notch but musically, the album sounds incredible, especially with co-producer Jon Brion helping polish the songs to perfection. Ranked on nearly every major music critic's Best of 2005 list.
The ten time Grammy Award winning musical phenomenon, rapper, producer and singer embarks on a new musical journey taking his audience to new heights. Kanye West returns with his fourth album 808s & Heartbreak. His highly anticipated 2008 album features the heart pounding first single, 'Love Lockdown' which premiered live for the first time on the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. An electropop and R&B album, 808s & Heartbreak was primarily sung rather than rapped by West and has themes of love, loneliness, and heartache. The album also contains extensive use of the Auto-Tune voice processor and the Roland TR-808 drum machine, which was utilized and manipulated by West to produce a distorted, electronic sound. Approaching the album's production in a minimalist fashion, West intended to contravene the typical sound of hip hop beat and instead evoke a presence of tribal drums. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 450,145 copies in its first week. It produced four singles, including the hit singles "Love Lockdown" and "Heartless". Despite varying responses from music audiences towards West's stylistic change, 808s & Heartbreak received positive reviews from music critics and was named one of 2008's best albums. The album also influenced hip hop, pop, and R&B, as a new wave of rappers, singers, and producers adopted aspects of the album's musical and thematic content. 808s & Heartbreak has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and has sold 1,700,000 copies in the United States.
Stunning limited edition 12" picture disc of the single Power from Kanye West's forthcoming album. Housed in a clear plastic sleeve with incredible, memorable artwork. Features the revised album version (edited) and the album version of the song.
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Triple vinyl LP pressing. 2010 release from 14-time Grammy-winning producer, writer and performer Kanye West. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy includes Nikki Minaj, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on the smash street single "Monster" and Pusha T on "Runaway" which received the Best New Music stamp from Pitchfork. Other guests include Kid Cudi and Raekwon and contributing producers include RZA of Wu-Tang Clan, Pete Rock, and Q-Tip. The album was recorded in Honolulu and at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
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