Graduation – Kanye West

Kanye Graduation

01. Good Morning
02. Champion
03. Stronger
04. I Wonder
05. Good Life Feat. T-Pain
06. Can’t Tell Me Nothing
07. Barry Bonds Feat. Lil Wayne
08. Drunk and Hot Girls Feat. Mos Def
09. Flashing Lights Feat. Dwele
10. Everything I Am
11. Glory
12. Homecoming Feat. Chris Martin From Coldplay
13. Big Brother

Anyone I keep in my close circle knows that I feel Kanye is the best producer in Rap. Even when you match him up against the rappers of today he’s still in the Top 10. Going into this review I went in refusing to jump on the band wagon called “Kanye’s made a masterpiece”. The reason I chose this method is because I wanted to feel the songs not the momentum of the media. Since the leak almost 2 weeks ago Ive run the album from beginning to end searching for what I love, hate, etc.

The Drums on the intro to Good Morning feel almost as if you’re in a roller coaster climbing slowly with anticipation of the first drop. Champion is a good song minus the cheesy island sounding girl singing background. Stronger is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time. The Daft Punk sample accompanied by the drum, bass & keyboards makes this one of the best songs off the album. I Wonder briefly touches on so many different subjects at once. Any listener can find something in it they can relate to. Can’t Tell Me Nothing is a song for the Kanye nay sayers. A song where he touches on his materialism, imperfection, and religious beliefs. Even though imperfect his grind and hustle make it impossible for you to stop him.

Barry Bonds is a fitting title for this bass driven track. lyrically Kanye holds up his end of the track. Lil’ Wayne however drops a lack luster sixteen with no need to rewind. I wouldv’e preferred to hear Mos Def tag team that one. He lends his voice to Drunk & Hot Girls as background vocalist though. A playful ode to the nonsense we as young men do for the bad b*tches. Flashing Lights is currently my favorite song. Dwele accompanies the electric keyboards and bass. Premo lends his scratches to Everything I Am. One of the more personal tracks on Graduation. Kanye talks about his afflictions and how his good and bad attributes made him the man he is today. The Glory is Kanyes heartfelt tale of what he did and does everyday to make it in this industry while giving praise to the most high. Homecoming is Kanye’s tribute to Chicago. He speaks of his city as if it was a lady in his life. Chris Martin from Coldplay lends vocals and co-production to this one. I actually prefer the original Homecoming featuring John Legend (Link for original Home Coming Here). Once I find it I’ll set it up for download. The closing track Big Brother is another personal track from Ye’. A tribute to Jay-Z, his friend and brother from another. This open letter is filled with adoration, frustration, and brotherly love. A route many rappers (sh*t men period) aren’t willing to take.

As much as I love this album there are things I looked for that weren’t there. What I always admired about Kanye West was his looking himself in the mirror attitude. Able to strip himself down and give you his strength and weaknesses. He’s never afraid to let you know he has flaws like you and I. This is very rare in a rapper these days. This part of Kanye is less prominent from Graduation compared to his previous LP’s. I guess “growth” takes you different places in life and makes you change. Musically this album is by far the best album I heard this year. I will be walking over to Virgin to get my copy!

7 Responses to “Graduation – Kanye West”

  1. Beggar Says:
    September 11th, 2007 at 6:59 am

    This album is hot i actually found my self listening to this more then curtis. Kanye dropped both club tracks as singles… They only other track that might play in the club as a early warm up is Flashing lights. I think the album id hot something to drive and listen too… Might not be the chill on the corner bumping it out your car album but its good.

  2. R. Kelly's Lawyer Says:
    September 11th, 2007 at 7:26 am

    Kanye )—-> ~^’^~,,

  3. Fresh Says:
    September 11th, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Album of the year! But the only comp was from the one that came out the same day and that wasn’t even real comp. And these is coming from the real CURTIS!

  4. S. Mathis Says:
    September 11th, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    My own quick review:
    1- GOOD MORNING (intro): very ‘Dear Summer-esque’ minus Jay-Z.
    2- CHAMPION: Arguably the best song on the album. An upbeat, dance joint that few (including Kanye) can pull off without sounding forced or wack.
    3- STRONGER: A beat that is completely to the left of anything that has been released in hip hop in a long while. The word for this one is ‘Fresh.’
    4- I WONDER: Ye goes with a stuttering flow that works.
    5- GOOD LIFE: What would have been the ‘obvious’ choice for a first single. T-Pain’s crooning will be heard on radio stations at nauseum by years end.
    6- CAN’T TELL ME NOTHING: Kanye’s dissertation. He is hereby granted top 5 emcee status.
    7- BARRY BONDS: A hot 16 from Lil Wayne away from putting this album into the stratosphere of all-time albums. Hot beat nonetheless, and Ye’s swagger grows over this one. Mos Def does NOT belong on this beat reviewer!
    8- DRUNK & HOT GIRLS: A song you hate then love after the third listen. The highlight: Kanye simulating the drunk girl speech pattern. Mos adds the perfect seasoning to this one.
    9- FLASHING LIGHTS: A head nodder.
    10- EVERYTHING I AM: A song that could have benefited from say Consequence (just to animate it a bit). I like it nonetheless.
    11- GLORY: Turn the volume up. This is the hottest song on the album. I welcome arguments to the contrary.
    12- HOMECOMING: I’m shocked that Common wasn’t featured on this one. I like it, but if Ye was from Brooklyn I’d love it.
    13- BIG BROTHER: This and GLORY are my faves. This is the song that Ye will be ending his concerts with. A perfect tribute to Jay which should have been written by Bleek. I expect a Marcy remix MEMPHIS!

  5. NativeAmericanIndianX Says:
    September 12th, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    somebody needs to give that boy S.Mathis a job cause if that’s a quick review i might not have enough life left to hear the indepth analysis of the album lol. My quick thoughts on this album good but not great. If this album is an all time great than maybe i need to get my finely tuned ear checked because i was not blown away just content with the content.

  6. S. Mathis Says:
    September 14th, 2007 at 6:08 am

    My bad @ NATIVE – I’m usually writing my ‘quick’ reviews while at work with about 10 hrs to go so they serve as a welcome relief from what I’m getting paid to do (when I’m on lunch break of course, in case the boss is monitoring) ha!

  7. S. Mathis Says:
    September 14th, 2007 at 6:10 am

    Note: I didnt say this album is an alltime great album. It would be closer if Lil Wayne showed up on ‘BB’.

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