Kanye West



by Ian USER (106 Reviews)
July 4th, 2008 | 31 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Rap and Hip Hop's most arrogant star shines through shaded curtains"

Kanye West has proclaimed over and over again that he is the greatest in the music game and his publicity stunts are far too well known by the American public. With this kind of attention the now famous rapper enjoys on a daily basis then there must be an acceptable reason for Kanye's big ego. With his most recent and controversial work, "Graduation", Mr. West proves he has the capabilities to live up to his own hype, but misses the chance to be the valedictorian of his hip-hop class.

As far as "Graduation" goes as a piece of work, it manages to show off some of Kanye West's best efforts, but does not pass to the standard West would like people to consider. However, Kanye's ego be damned, because when the ego is taken out of the rapper, West manages to show an earnest side that helps him soar. Most singles off of "Graduation" are some his better one's, but nothing near the quality of "Jesus walks", except for maybe "Flashing Lights". While the other singles off the album aren't classics, or fit to serve the album, they are well-used for radio play because their purpose is served through providing a lighter, funner sense to the record, particularly "Good Life" and "Stronger". "Can't Tell Me Nothing" is different as it displays Kanye's arrogant side with a statment near the begining that seems to alude to the point that the more people pay attention to him, the more reason he will give, no matter how ridiculous. However, he also says that the people who talk about him think of themselves just as highly as him, but still ends up rapping about being the better man. "Can't Tell Me Nothing" is also nowhere close to Kanye's best work, but he still manages to lay down some excellent rhymes.

Opening excerpt from "Can't Tell Me Nothing":

"I had a dream I can buy my way to heaven
When I awoke, I spent that on a necklace
I told God I'd be back in a second,
Man It's so hard not to act reckless
To whom much is given much is tested
Get arrested, guess until, they get the message
I feel the pressure, under more scrutiny,
and what I do? act more stupidly"

As a rapper Kanye can defintitely keep up the pace by himself most of the time. He doesn't need to depend on guest spots from other MCs, but when he gets them they usually are the best parts to the tracks. T-Pain's singing on "Good Life" helps to make it a mainstream hit, but also gives the song a relaxing mood that goes with the fast paced piano synth beats. "Barry Bonds" features "the greatest rapper alive Lil Wayne" and he absolutely kills it delevering a whole verse ending hilariously with, "and you can get barried, suck my bat bit.ch". Sadly, Kanye does not even come close to matching up with Weezy F Baby. His lazy, pointed rapping gets annoying as he apparently attempts to align himself to a style that fits Wayne much, much better. Chris Martin's piano and chorus vocal contribution to "Homecoming" is a mixed bag. Kanye uses the jumpy piano beat to inspire some up to par rapping, but Chris' vocals throw the song off balance. While Martin can certainly sing, he and Kanye do not mix to make an amazing collaboration. The biggest joke on Graduation however is "Drunk and Hot Girls". To think that this seriously made it on to the album is proof that this is Kanye's weakest album to date. Kanye and Mos Def recreate a song so silly to compare it to Eminem's "Shake That Ass" isn't enough. With lazy vocals and Kanye's ridiculous lyrics, "Drunk and Hot Girls" is easily West's worst song.

Excerpt from "Drunk and Hot Girls":

"I don't wanna drop your friends off, I just want you
You wanna sit down but we hit the drive through
Please don't fall asleep baby we almost back
Please don't throw up in the car we almost crashed
Oh now you sober, how'd I know you'd say that
You drunk an hot girl
We go through too much bull*** just to mess with these drunk and hot girls"

Kanye reaches the top at the endgame with "Big Brother", the ode to idol Jay-Z. He manages to spit smooth melodic verses about Jigga and what an inspiration he is. This is when Mr. west finally drops the ego and soars honestly with lines such as, "It was the pride in me that was driving me, at the grammies I said I inspired me, but (it was) my big brother who I always tried to be". Kanye was also probably inspired by the epic piano riff accompanied by a distorted guitar riff that is some of the better instrumentation off of "Graduation". "Flashing Lights" also features the very best music with lingering synths that transform into an excited beat during Kanye's better rhymes. The ambiency created with "Flashing Lights" is enough to forgive maybe one, or two of the mishaps on "Graduation", but not enough.

From start to finish Mr. West manages to create an entertaining album, but not like he is capable of. The biggest problem is that Graduation is way too long at fifty minutes. Kanye could easily have released the album three songs shorter and come out with a much better product that people could say was easy to listen to. Musically, "Graduation" is light and melodic with Kanye putting up some decent to excellent rhymes for the most part, but gets burnt a few times. Even the end of "Graduation" particulary seems to drone on even with the help of "Big Brother". The ambient music that Kanye incorporates is acceptable for the most part, but still is not original. Kanye may have graduated, but he doesn't seem to be at the top of his class even though it's what he would like think.

"Flashing Lights"
"Big Brother"
"Can't Tell Me Nothing"
"I Wonder"
"Good Life"

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user ratings (1956)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Ben Thornburgh CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
    Kanye's fame sucks/rules record rises above the rest through its brilliant production...

    Nathan Flynn (5)
    I never thought he would take it this far...

    Jack G. (4)
    Chapter 3: Changing the Game...

    DhA (4)
    Classic, interrupted - a dissapointing mid-trio of tracks hang ominously over an otherwise...

  • YoungOne88 (4.5)
    Save for a few questionable decisions Kanye has put out an amazing album and although he i...

    continuo (5)
    Kanye West loses no momentum in pop friendly effort....

Comments:Add a Comment 
July 4th 2008


not intending to ever hear this. good review
haven't seen you around for a while

July 4th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

holy ballsack its kripes

July 4th 2008


smoke weed

July 4th 2008


Eh, Kanye has a few good moments. Nice review.

dub sean
July 4th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0


Attention Whore
July 4th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

I thought it was a good album, but hey...

July 4th 2008


Good Review!

July 4th 2008


What the fuck is a STORY SCOUT?

July 4th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

i heard you get big avatars if you're one

July 4th 2008


Flashing Lights is amazing, but it's sad that it's really the only really, really good song.

besides Big BrotherThis Message Edited On 07.04.08

July 4th 2008


i thought Gold digger was a fun song. but other than that i can't really take Kanye

July 4th 2008


same. and wow, storm, i haven't seen you around in a long ass time.

Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

oh my godness!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 4th 2008


is this you chan

Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i wish!!

July 4th 2008


whoa kripes is back

only not but oh well

O.J. Simpson
July 4th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review to a disappointing album.

July 5th 2008


Just when I thought sputnik couldn't get much worse

July 5th 2008


Untill you came along to post.This Message Edited On 07.05.08

July 5th 2008


Says the kid with 3 comments!

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