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Illuminati Roundtable: College Dropout Turns 10

by Pooh Bailey

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“Though the fans want the feeling of A Tribe Called Quest.
But all they got left is this guy called West.”

                                                —- “Last Call” By Kanye West

On February 10, 2004 I was preparing for my high school graduation that was coming up in June. I was getting ready for the next step: college. Walking through the halls of Rufus King High School, my friend comes up to me and says: “Hey, Kanye’s album dropped. Did you get it?”  I was like ‘no’ simply because I forgot. He told me I should really listen to it because its dope. I trusted his opinion because this was the same guy who introduced me to Reasonable Doubt. (I wasn’t allowed to listen to explicit music until 2000, please forgive me lol.) So I took his copy and when I got home, I played it non-stop. Kanye’s debut album was made for kids like me, the forgotten middle class kids. Let’s be honest here. Most rappers rapped about being dirt poor high school dropouts, and now are filthy stinking rich. Nobody rapped about adapting to college life. Or how Sallie Mae is a pimp. Or how you graduate at the top of the class and still end up working at The Cheesecake Factory.  Not until Kanye West dropped College Dropout.

College Dropout is one of the best debut Hip-Hop albums of all time. Why? It made you walk with Jesus while on your way to your “New Workout Plan.” It made you feel self-conscious when it “All Falls Down” and it’s “Last Call.” And even though it was “Through The Wire,” you still had “School Spirit.” Then it’s “Breathe In Breathe Out” to “Get Em High” because it “Never Let Me Down.” And when it does “I’ll Fly Away” in my “Spaceship.” But “We Don’t Care” because it’s “Family Business.” And “Slow Jamz” are “Two Words” that helped launch a masterpiece. So to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of College Dropout, here is my ranking from best to worst of Kanye West’s albums (not including Watch The Throne and Cruel Summer):

 1. College Dropout, 2004
2.  My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, 2010
3.  Late Registration, 2005
4. 808’s and Heartbreak, 2008
5.  Graduation, 2007
6. Best Of Milli Vanilli
7. Roseanne Sings Sinatra
8. Yeezus, 2013

Feel free to share your own personal ranking of Kanye West’s albums with us via the comments section below.

P.S. Here’s some vintage Ye. -Pooh Bailey

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