11 September 2007

Sound Waves: Kanye West's 'Graduation'

ARTIST: Kanye West
ALBUM: Graduation
LABEL: Roc-a-Fella

So by now, you know of the biggest rap beef in ages. 50 Cent has stated that he'll retire from music forever if Kanye West's Graduation outsells his Curtis in the first week. As a music fan, it's imperative you buy Kanye's album for 2 reasons:

1) It'll force 50 Cent, the figurehead of all that's wrong with hip-hop music, out of the industry, leaving a hole for someone more creative to fill.
2) It's the best hip-hop record of the year.

Truly, the most talented rapper this decade could not be on more of a roll. His debut was the stuff of legend, and his follow-up is easily a finalist for Best Hip-Hop Album of All Time (at least in my book). Now, Mr. West is back, with album to leave all of his peers in the dust. While it's not quite the instant classic that Late Registration was, and there's no track that will leave you utterly stunned like "Through the Wire," it's still far more creative than just about any musician in any genre on this side of the Atlantic is making. And for all his brash cockiness ("I'm Dwayne Wayne meets Dwayne Wade/I'm Gnarls Barkley meets Charles Barkley), Kanye's got real MUSIC to back it all up. And no one in the hip-hop community is as bold as Kanye. Honestly, who else would have indie film composer produce his last album, and follow it up with samples from Daft Punk ("Stronger") and have Chris Martin of Coldplay guest on your album closer ("Homecoming")? Kanye's also eliminated skits entirely, further proof he's a forward-thinking artist. Overall, this is far and away the best hip-hop album of 2007, and a definite contender for the best album this year. Period.

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