Context – shower jamz

I’ve decided that it’s time I give Kanye West the respect I know he deserves.  I’m a fan of all of his more mainstream hits, but I’ve only really listened to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as an album.  As such, I think it will be an awesome idea to review all of his albums, see which still hold up, and ultimately provide a rough ranking of his best to worst.  Stay tuned over the next week or so to see how that shakes out.

I’ve long-since held that if you ever wonder why we tolerate Kanye as a personality than you should listen to more Kanye.  And his first album totally holds up to this theory.  This is some solid fucking rap music.

The production on this album is straight timeless, not feeling like it came from any particular era of hip-hop.  His love of soul and R&B is apparent–almost every song on this album is played over looping vocals and horns reminiscent of those genres.  This also gives the album the illusion that it is our music instead of his; it feels intimate and personal like I’ve grown up with these tracks.

And a surprising number of them I have.  “Jesus Walks” is an old favorite of mine, but I was pleasantly reminded that he also sang “All Falls Down”, “Get Em High”, “Slow Jamz”, and “Through the Wire”.  My wife was further surprised to recognize “Breathe In Breathe Out” and a song I can’t remember right now from her dancing days.  I forget how hard he hit the ground running.

And it was off both his chains.  How could it not be with features from Jay-Z, Twista, Ludacris, Common, and Mos Def?  That’s a stacked list of features on any album, but as a debut it all but guaranteed this albums status as a classic (is this considered a classic?  Is all of his music?  I’m out of touch).

Considering I only know MBDTF with any sort of intimacy, The College Dropout is a safe second-best album for now.  Where it will end up will be determined at the end of this experiment.  Stay tuned.

  1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  2. The College Dropout