Kanye West’s ‘Graduation’ Turns 10 – Was This Peak Yeezy?
I am a Kanye West apologist.
When the media speaks of Kanye West, they speak of his “outlandish” behavior, his wife, his mental breakdown, and his holy-yet-expensive fashion line. But rarely does the media mention the thing that Kanye West should be most known for: his music.
Many times you will hear people make the notion that ‘Graduation’ was the last good thing that Ye ever put out, marking 2007 the year that people mark as Kanye’s highest career point.
The Chicago rapper snagged 21 GRAMMYs in his career, but when it comes to ‘Graduation,’ he landed 3, Best Rap Album, Best Solo Performance (for “Stronger,” despite sampling Daft Punk‘s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”) and Best Rap Song for “Good Life” with T-Pain.
The album was an achievement due to the songs on it, which also ended up snagging a placement for “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” in the comedy The Hangover, as well as starting some pretty great collaborations that crossed genres (Daft Punk being electronic, Chris Martin of Coldplay being indie/alt rock).
Listening to the album, it still holds up strong, even if Ye still isn’t friends with Jay-Z, or is rapping at harder or faster pace. When you look at The College Dropout and Late Registration, you see Ye’s kingdom built with the freshest beats and dopest samples.
Some say that was the last we saw of the genius of Kanye West, while entertainers like Elton John hail Kanye’s post-depression album 808’s and Heartbreak as some of the crowning achievements of his career. Even Complex goes as far to 808’s, which came rigt after ‘Graduation’ rank it low on the list, yet say it’s probably one of his most pioneering albms to date.
With 7 official albums to date (8 counting Watch The Throne, none of which are G.O.O.D. Music productions), most will rank Graduation top of the list, and the end of a mainstream Kanye.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that ‘Graduation’ rans supreme? Or are you more of a ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fanatasy’ fan?
All I can say is “Ye, keep makin’ that, kep makin’ that platnium and gold for me.”
Amy is a Kanye West appologist, specializing in late 90’s to early 2000’s throwback hip-hop.