The College Dropout

The College Dropout

by Kanye WestKanye West

CD

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Overview

Kanye West's cohesive debut, The College Dropout, proves that some of the best hip-hop is rooted in the reality of everyday struggle and not gangsta gunplay fantasy. West, the Chi-town producer-cum-rapper who's crafted hits for Alicia Keys, Ludacris, Jay-Z, and fellow Windy City vet Twista, centers his disc on a familiar rags-to-riches motif, but like Will Smith before him, he adds his own black middle-class sensibility to it. West thumbs his nose at the old teachers who doubted him ("We Don't Care"), recalls smoking weed while on break at the Gap ("Spaceship/Slaveship"), and pokes fun at all the college-educated flunkies who didn't follow their dreams ("School Spirit"). His flow may not be as polished as Jay-Z's, but West has just as much zeal, honesty, and wit. On "Through the Wire," the radio smash featuring one of his trademark sped-up soul samples -- this time of Chaka Khan's "Through the Fire" -- the charismatic rapper chronicles his ascent up the hip-hop A-list after a near-fatal car crash. Yet what makes that single and the entire disc so dazzling isn't just West's clever storytelling but his soulful, full-bodied production. Amid the strident bass shuffle of the inspirational "Jesus Walks" he adds a gospel tinge by employing the Harlem Boys Choir, and throughout the disc, he underscores the dramatic sweep and emotional edge to his raps by incorporating the work of violinist Miri Ben-Ari, who fiddles hip-hop beats. The College Dropout is a must-hear lesson in turning personal triumph into banging hip-hop with universal appeal. West may not have that degree, but The College Dropout makes him the leader of hip-hop's new school.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/10/2004
Label: Roc-A-Fella
UPC: 0602498617397
catalogNumber: 000203002
Rank: 4550

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kanye West   Primary Artist
Tracie Spencer   Background Vocals
Boys Choir of Harlem   Vocals
Tony Williams   Vocals
Consequence   Vocals
Bosko   Talk Box
Keith Slattery   Keyboards
Terrence "T-Berry" Hardy   Children's Voices
Beverly A. McCargo   Vocals
Miri Ben-Ari   Violin
Eric Johnson   Guitar
Josh Zandman   Piano
Ken Lewis   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals,Sampling
Aisha Tyler   Vocals
Diamond Alabi Isama   Children's Voices
Thomassina Atkins   Vocals
Candis Brown   Vocals
Tarey Torae   Vocals
Tiera Singleton   Vocals
Kevin Shannon   Vocals
James "JT" Knight   Children's Voices
Brandi Kuykenvall   Vocals
Lavel Mena   Vocals
John Legend   Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
GLC   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Aretha Franklin   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Marcus Fuller   Engineer
B. Miller   Composer
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Cam Wilson   Composer
Albert E. Brumley   Composer
Andrew Dawson   Engineer
Lauryn Hill   Composer
Keith Slattery   Engineer
Damon Dash   Executive Producer
Shawn Carter   Executive Producer
Miri Ben-Ari   Arranger,Producer
Carlisle Young   Engineer
Kanye West   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Anthony Kilhoffer   Engineer
Kareem "Biggs" Burke   Executive Producer
L.D. Harris   Composer
C.C. Mitchell   Composer
Evidence   Producer
Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua   Executive Producer
Darcell Lawrence   Financial Director
Tatsuya Sato   Engineer
Tom Keane   Composer
Dave Dar   Engineer
R. Wilson   Composer
Rich Balmer   Engineer
Tim Morris   Art Direction
Ken Lewis   Instrumentation
Eugene Toale   Engineer
Jacob Andrew   Engineer
Michael Eleopoulos   Engineer
Lauri Rowe   Art Direction
Mike Godshall   Art Direction
Francis Graham   Engineer
Brent Kolatalo   Engineer
Bobby Naugle   Logo Design
Eric Duvauchelle   Art Direction
Mos Def   Composer
Jason Rauhoff   Engineer

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