Graduation is NOT Kanye’s best album

Carlos Allen, Editor

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When talking about rap legends in today’s day and age, it is hard to not talk about Kanye West. Kanye has brought a new meaning to what rap is and has influenced many up and coming rappers now. Putting aside his collaboration albums such as G.O.O.D Music Presents: Cruel Summer or Watch the Throne, his album rankings are as follows:

  1. Late Registration

Highlighted by songs “Gold Digger,” “Touch The Sky,” “Drive Slow,” “Gone,” “Heard ‘em Say,” and “We Major,” Late Registration ranks last, but it is not a bad album. The album is Kanye’s second and has aged beautifully since its 2005 release. Late Registration is full of amazing hooks and “pause and rewind bars.” My only problem with the album is it’s too long by about five songs.

  1. The College Dropout

Hit songs include “All Falls Down,” “Spaceship,” “Jesus Walks,” “Slow Jamz,” “We Don’t Care” and “Family Business.” Kanye’s debut album The College Dropout was his most relatable album. Involving his real life problems, such as young people selling drugs, people buying things they don’t need, and even about having a bad manager at work is what put this album over the top. His lyrics, along with his skits, were a blueprint for rap in 2004. This album reached out to everyone from the street basketball players, kids in the classroom, and especially those at the top of the rap charts. Kanye topped this album off with a very effective line that summarizes his skills: “a creative way to rhyme without using nines and guns,” which makes this album a masterpiece that has also aged well.

  1. The Life of Pablo

Kanye’s most recent album is not his best work, but it is extremely creative. In order to truly understand this album you have to have listened to every album Kanye’s made, for in this album, he’s mixed his style. There are three styles of Kanye. For example, there’s an intellectual Kanye, a dark Kanye, and an arrogant Kanye. In this album all three Kanyes are present, which makes it so good. This album was a gospel as it spoke the soul of Kanye’s career in a whole. The songs that make this album what it is include “Ultralight Beam,” “Wolves,” “Father Stretch My Hands pt.1 & pt.2,” “Highlights,” “Famous,” “Waves,” and “Real Friends.”

  1. Yeezus

“New Slaves,” “Black Skinhead,” and “Blood on the Leaves.” All of these songs showed fans Kanye was on a mission to sound different. Kanye’s sixth album is his shortest. This is when Kanye began to be called “arrogant and full of himself.” Due to songs such as “I am A God,” Kanye was mocked for not actually being the greatest. In this day and age the album won’t be accepted because of its uniqueness. Yes Kanye did call himself a god but at this point in his career there wasn’t an artist around to test him. Complex.com also has this album ranked at #4.

  1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Songs like “Power,” “All of the Lights,” “Monster,” “Gorgeous,” and “Runaway” are  what makes this album beautiful, dark and, at the same time twisted. MBDTF was Kanye’s  beautiful, crafted album. It is his only album he made a short film for which is also beautiful. This is Kanye’s most creative album due to the long dramatic instrumentals throughout the album. This album is a representation of the dark side of Kanye. Kanye’s use of intro, interludes, and outros of his song are what makes this album special.

  1. Graduation

Most people would rank Graduation as Kanye’s best album. It is the third of his Big 3 (The College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation). While every song is truly great, this album is headlined by songs “Champion,” “Stronger,” “Good Life,” “Can’t Tell me Nothing,” and “Homecoming.” The entire album is a hit. Kanye’s clever wordplay in songs such as “Homecoming” will forever make this album a classic. Arguably his best song, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” ever is on this album. So why is it #2? While Kanye’s creative style and production was on full display in every track of this album, it is nothing compared to 808s and Heartbreaks.

  1. 808s & Heartbreaks

This album is Kanye’s best and for many reasons. It marked a beginning in his career where he incorporated auto tune into his style. Also the album was recorded in late September and early October of 2008 and was released in November. Kanye was so sure this album was a masterpiece he released it after just four weeks of working on it. “Heartless,” “Amazing,” “Love Lockdown” and “Say You Will,” are the songs that prove he put his heart into this album.  It also has influenced many artists that use autotune today, such as Travi$ Scott and Kid Cudi. The album was released following tragic events. He lost his mother in 2008 and his fiance left him shortly after. You can tell Kanye put his every emotion into this album. From sing screaming on “Love Lockdown” to being blunt with his feelings on “See You in my Knightmares,” 808s & Heartbreaks is to this date his best album.

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Graduation is NOT Kanye’s best album