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Great Kanye West article - Album Hits Stores Next Week

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Great Kanye West article - Album Hits Stores Next Week

Old 01-29-04, 04:10 PM
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Great Kanye West article - Album Hits Stores Next Week


By Steve Jones, USA TODAY
Personal:
26-year-old Chicago native Kanye West is one of hip-hop's premier producers, now emerging as an artist. He nearly died in a terrible car crash in Los Angeles in October 2002, just a few months after signing as an artist with Roc-A-Fella Records. It was during that time — with his broken jaw literally wired shut — that he recorded current hit Through the Wire, a deeply personal, sometimes witty account of the experience. "Who would have thought that that would be a hit single?" he says.


Buzz:
More than a dozen media outlets have named his College Dropout, which is due Feb. 3, as one of the most anticipated albums of 2004. In addition to Through the Wire, he's also featured on Twista's Slow Jamz, giving him the two hottest singles on the Nielsen SoundScan national radio chart earlier this month. The album features appearances by several of West's past collaborators, including Jay-Z, Mos Def, Freeway, Ludacris and Twista.

History:
West began making beats when he was 14. His big break came when he was introduced to Jay-Z, who used a West beat on Beanie Sigel's The Truth in 2000. He has become one of Jay-Z's favorite producers, working on Izzo (H.O.V.A.), '03 Bonnie and Clyde and Encore— and has provided soulful beats for Alicia Keys (You Don't Know My Name), Scarface (Guess Who's Back), Talib Kweli (Get By), Ludacris (Stand Up) and many others.

Getting the runaround:
West says he has been rapping since he was in third grade, but he could never convince anybody to give him a shot. Everyone, it seems, was always more impressed with his production abilities. "Some people tell me that I rap so much better than when they had a chance to sign me. I'll play them a song and they'll say, 'See,' but it will be something I recorded a long time ago. But that's cool. The tables have been turned."

Rapping to a different beat:
Other artists have spun out tales about gangsters, drugs, sex, clubbing and the like. But West says he represents the common man. "It's more like the person who works at the Gap but still likes nice clothes, or the guy with a regular job and a car payment who was finally able to afford some rims by the summer."

Overflowing confidence:
"One advantage I have is that all my beats are phenomenal. I gave up a couple (including the one for Lucifer on Jay-Z's The Black Album), but for the most part, I think it's a classic album."
Old 01-29-04, 04:48 PM
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There's no doubt in my mind "College Dropout" will be a classic. Can't wait.
Old 01-29-04, 08:03 PM
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Originally posted by the aftermath
There's no doubt in my mind "College Dropout" will be a classic. Can't wait.
The album is fantastic. EVERYONE should support this man.
Old 01-31-04, 11:14 AM
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I have had the advance for awhile, and it is deffinatly fantastic. I think he will shuffle out some songs most likely, but anyways, I am going to purchase that thing!
Old 02-01-04, 02:05 PM
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I "obtained" the retail a couple days ago.

The only flaw with the album is the damn skits (although "School Spirit Skit 1 & 2", and "Lil' Jimmy Skit" had me laughing, because it's so true.)

Otherwise I highly recommend it. The production is brilliant and the lyrics are fun and clever.
Old 02-01-04, 11:11 PM
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Yeah. It's a damn shame they left "My Way" and "Home" off the retail though. Sample clearances I would imagine. I also don't really like how they tweaked the beats for "Never Let Me Down" and "Family Business". Still a damn good album though, will probably stand as one of the year's best.
Old 02-13-04, 02:35 AM
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Bumpity bump.

If you're looking for some great hiphop, pick up this album. It's great!
Old 02-13-04, 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by the aftermath
Bumpity bump.

If you're looking for some great hiphop, pick up this album. It's great!
I'm heading to Best Buy today right after class to pick this up while it's still $10. Also picking up the Dizzee Rascal CD.
Old 02-13-04, 09:55 AM
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Producers who try to make a rap album usually fail miserably, but this is one exception.

The production is outstanding, the lyrical content diverse & unique, the album guests (Mos Def, Freeway, Jay-Z) are good, and has 4 or 5 potentially huge singles.

Highly recommended.

***1/2 out of ****
Old 02-13-04, 12:33 PM
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What is everybodys favorite cuts?

I am pretty partial to #2 and Space Ship.
Old 02-13-04, 02:20 PM
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Space Ship - This really should be the prototype for hiphop cuts infused with R&B. Love the chorus.
New Workout Plan - The energy in this song is awesome.
Jesus Walks - Proving to the world Kanye's a pretty good MC.
Old 02-13-04, 02:36 PM
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I'm really not crazy about his style of production, but I'll give the album a few more listens.
Old 02-13-04, 02:43 PM
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"Jesus Walks," "Spaceship," "Slow Jamz,"* "Through the Wire,"* "Never Let Me Down."

*Despite airwave saturation, I love these tracks.
Old 02-13-04, 06:25 PM
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"Two Words" is genius. Mos Def is my hero.
Old 02-15-04, 07:45 AM
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My favorite tracks of the moment are: Never Let Me Down (which might be my favorite track of 2003+a new Jigga verse), Jesus Walks, and Spaceship (I would say Two Words but this song's been floating around for a couple years now)...I really like almost all the tracks, but those damn skits at the end (there is a stretch of 4 songs where 3 are skits) kind of ruin the pacing of the album. As a matter of fact, I wish that De La Soul never came out with those early skits because now they are prerequisite on almost all hip hop albums and 99 percent are not funny. Back to the album, it surpassed my expectations. I would have loved it had he thrown an uncencored verson of Home on there.
Old 02-15-04, 11:04 AM
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I agree the skits do get annoying as hell. Skipping 2 skits to get to a song is beyond dumb.
Old 02-15-04, 01:56 PM
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After a few spins, I really like this album. I'm in total agreement about the skits - damn you, Prince Paul!

Hiphopsite.com had a pre-order promotion where if you ordered the album you also got a mix CD with songs that didn't make the final cut (they have since run out of that CD). Any idea what those songs are?
Old 02-15-04, 02:02 PM
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Gotta love Jesus Walks/Never Let Me Down back-to-back. Two great cuts.
Old 02-16-04, 06:38 AM
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The songs are "Home", "My Way", "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly", "Keep the Reciept", and maybe a Def Poetry Jam version of "All Falls Down" called "Self-Concious" (I have two different versions of the advance - plus most of the songs on the retail version are different mixes than the corosponding tracks included on the advances) and probably others. Those were on the advance, but if you search around a bit, Kanye has been putting out underground mixtapes for the past couple years (two or three of the songs on the final album have been floating around) with the best being the humbly titled "I'm Good" (this features what is in my opinion Kanye's best beat ever - "Philly Ni---s") and you can find most everything he's done on these discs. They can be had very cheaply at mixtape spots and even hiphopsite.
Old 02-16-04, 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by kurupt
The songs are "Home", "My Way", "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly", "Keep the Reciept", and maybe a Def Poetry Jam version of "All Falls Down" called "Self-Concious" (I have two different versions of the advance - plus most of the songs on the retail version are different mixes than the corosponding tracks included on the advances) and probably others. Those were on the advance, but if you search around a bit, Kanye has been putting out underground mixtapes for the past couple years (two or three of the songs on the final album have been floating around) with the best being the humbly titled "I'm Good" (this features what is in my opinion Kanye's best beat ever - "Philly Ni---s") and you can find most everything he's done on these discs. They can be had very cheaply at mixtape spots and even hiphopsite.
Thanks! I found a guy on ebay who'll sell me West's "I'm Good," "College Dropout Mixtape," and "Get Well Soon" CDs all for $13.50 including shipping. If anyone's interested, I'll give you the dude's e-mail (provided he agrees to me giving it out).
Old 02-16-04, 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by RMSpuhler
"Two Words" is genius. Mos Def is my hero.
Mine too !!
Old 02-25-04, 06:33 PM
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This album is brilliant... I am digging the hell out of it.

MATT
Old 02-25-04, 08:13 PM
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Damn, I can't get into the album at all... I was really looking forward to it, especially since Pitchfork liked it, but I just don't enjoy it at all.
Old 02-26-04, 12:57 AM
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It's weird, I really loved this album the first time I listened to it, but when I put it in again it feels like I've heard it a thousand times. It's good, well-constructed music but its very straightforward. Not many lines where I'd go "what does that mean?" and then figure it out weeks or months down the road. Since he's a producer first, though, I'll say that musically its pretty creative and has a good mix of sampling/originality that doesnt sound tired.

Bottom line, I think he's a far, far better producer than he is a rapper. And he's a decent rapper!

In any case, it has a lot of good messages and they're going right to the people who need to hear 'em.

I love Jesus Walks, Slow Jams (dont listen to the radio so I'd only heard it twice before getting the album - everyone else is telling me its played out), Spaceship, and Two Words even though I've been listening to it for a year.
Old 02-27-04, 08:16 PM
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get em high is the sickest song
talib owns the world

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