Thursday, February 10, 2011

7 Years ago, I Fell In Love With A College Dropout

I can almost remember it like it was yesterday. I was only 12 years old when I had bought my first rap album, and that album was The College Dropout. Before Kanye, I was an avid listener and HUGE fan of 50 Cent when he first came onto the rap scene; I even had a little crush on him too :) . I remember hearingThrough the Wire for the first time (well, I think it was the first time) on the schools bus, and one of my male friends asked me who that was rapping the song and I said, “some guy named Kanye West.” I don’t know how, but I suddenly became very interested in this guy and couldn’t wait for his album to come out.

I don’t know if AOL Music still does this or not, but back then, the website would allow people to listen to new albums in full only for a week before the actual album would come out. I was so excited to finally listen to what else I can expect from this guy named Kanye West.

“If this is your first time hearing this 
you are about to experience something so cold man…” 
– line from “We Don’t Care”

The College Dropout album cover
And I did! This was something very different from what I’ve been listening to on the radio. Kanye mixed his raps with humor, and the greatest thing about the music was his use of those soulful samples!

To tell you the truth, there isn’t a “favorite track” from this album because, in my eyes, they are all perfect, including those hilarious interludes done by the comedian Deray Davis. The songs that are most played by me are, We Don’t Care, All Falls Down, Spaceship, Never Let Me Down, Slow Jamz, Two Words, and Last Call; especially All Falls Down. All Falls Down is one of my favorite songs of all time because of his message of people that are in to the material things.

"It seems we living the american dream
But the people highest up got the lowest self-esteem
The prettiest people do the ugliest things
For the road to riches and diamond rings
We shine because they hate us, floss cause they degrade us
We trying to buy back our 40 acres
And for that paper, look how low we a stoop
Even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coop (coupe).” - All Falls Down

People say they hate Kanye now, he’s changed, and they want him to go back to the College Dropout days. But the problem is he can’t. On his VH1 Storytellers show, Kanye himself said, “So many people get caught up in trying to remake their first album, and it’s impossible for me to make another College Dropout…you HAVE to advance as an artist.” And I feel that’s what he’s done. Sure I miss the Jesus piece, sweater and backpack wearing Kanye, but times have changed and so has his music.
Kanye circa 2004. Image credit:
So, what else can I say about this marvelous masterpiece? Ever since listening to Kanye, I listen to music differently now. The artists that he’s sampled, I now listen to. I’ve learned to love his personality, his humor and most importantly, his drive and inspiration. 
I am very thankful for Kanye for all of the music he has brought us and not only am I a fan, I have become a SUPPORTER despite all of the mistakes he made in the past.

LET’S HAVE A TOAST, and celebrate the release of The College Dropout and continue to support him and G.O.O.D. Music! God bless you Mr. West, I wish you continued success!

*Kanye tells how he "made it" in this song, Last Call.*

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