Kanye West – Graduation (2007)

After dropping out and registering late, Kanye West has now graduated and is making the transition from higher education to “real life.” He has matured by dropping the skits of the last two albums, focusing on tightly produced songs. The main singles “Stronger” (sampling Daft Punk) and “Good Life” fit with the style of his earlier hits like “Gold Digger.” But he gets much more personal in “Everything I Am,” reflecting on his own fame and the paradox of death on the street and what seems like a celebration of that fact in most rap music. This album continues West’s streak of good albums.

Graduation features a select group of collaborators, like Mos Def, Lil Wayne and Coldplay’s Chris Martin. One of the great parts of the physical album is the album art done by Takashi Murakami. And West has put his celebrity to work as a main supporter of www.edin08.com, a movement to make education in America a political priority.

Greg Veltman

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