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View Full Version : Kanye West's Graduation - Thoughts anyone?



miseducation
08-31-2007, 12:22 PM
Just got through my first listen. Here's my review.

Finding myself surprised, very satisfied and a little disappointed. The highlights on this album are many: Good Morning, Champion, I Wonder, Stronger, Homecoming, Big Brother - All very strong and very original tracks.

His production is getting much more clever and he's getting much more creative with samples. Before it was just speed-up a soul sample and drop some strings, now he's getting complicated. Best of all, he's gotten into the habit of dropping really comforting, expensive sounding synths when you least expect it. The album feels colorful, never tiring sounding and can really sound like the work of a pop-mastermind at the top of his game. (Michael Jackson in the 80s or Madonna in the early 90s-type stuff)

The lyrical stuff is tighter than he's ever been, his flow is more scattered and inspired and he's learned how to make potent lines even more so.

HOWEVER, this is not without some glaring bad. Kanye has definitely popped out some of the most undeniable stinkers of his whole career here. Starting with the ATROCIOUS Lil' Wayne-Collab "Barry Bonds" is a pretty un-Kanye like string of boring shitty songs. The Mos Def track "Drunk and Hot Girls" reeks of intelligent men who are almost embarrassed at how stupid the lyrical content they are writing is. Pre-chewing lyrics with an artificially stupid mouth so the hip-hop masses can easily digest it is exactly what Kanye isn't.

So, botching collabs with Mos Def, Lil Wayne and DJ Premier, pretty much in a row is definitely disappointing, but not defining of the album. While I feel like Kanye could've definitely benefited from as strong a Jon Brion hand as last time (he only helped on 2 or 3 songs here), I think it's indicative of who he is now. He's no longer fearing the sophomore slump and I guess it means he's not as hard on himself.

Still, Kanye's talent is unmatched right now as a hip-hop artist (not a rapper, an artist) and unless Outkast can get their shit back together - no one's gonna challenge him.

bballarl
08-31-2007, 12:26 PM
Is it out? Could you direct me to a link? PM me perhaps? Thanks.

bballarl
08-31-2007, 12:30 PM
Gracias.

Mr. Dylanja
08-31-2007, 12:32 PM
Which track did Primo produce?
I cant believe him and Mos made a track called "Drunk and Hot Girls". Quite a long way from "Two Words" huh?
I like Kanye's verse on Barry Bonds, imo its actually one of the better verses I've heard him spit in a long time, altho I haven't heard the rest of the album.
How is big brother? That whole song is about Jigga right?
Cant wait to hear it, definitely buying not only cuz I want to but hopefully and more importantly it forces Fiddy n2 retirement!!!

suprefan
08-31-2007, 12:32 PM
My post has it, no need for the torrent link.

Neutral Milk Hotel
08-31-2007, 12:32 PM
It's almost expected a Kanye West album to have excellent production and beats, partly due to his adventurous collaborations with musicians as disparate as Jon Brion, Chris Martin, and even the pop band Peter Bjorn and John. But what really resonates with this album is Kanye's writing, his incredible wordplay and self-reflection. That's why I never like to hear people dismiss Kanye's work and talent by indicting his public personality; to listen to Graduation, or any of his albums, is to understand that the real Kanye West is a lot more human than some people might like to think. This album largely concerns itself with his skyrocketing fame, and while tracks like "Barry Bonds" and "Drunk and Hot Girls" falter, the rest of the album is a sonically expansive, compelling exploration of the tension between Kanye's public persona and his inner-existence.

With Jay-Z releasing what might well be his final album last year, Graduation feels like an important album, a rarity in a year that seems to be defined by band's releasing albums that, while solid and in some cases more than solid, lacked the definitiveness a truly great album has. Here, West pushes himself, and the results are unforgettable. But it's not just the go-for-broke energy and inspired production that make this a great album; its Kanye's appreciation not only of his own talent (he's got enough of that) but of his forebears in hip-hop, the pioneers and gangstas who defined the genre and whose influence can be found not only in this album, but in all hip-hop. The last song (and, for my money, the best song), "Big Brother", is an affecting paean to the complicated relationship between West and Jay-Z himself, his collaborator, rival, peer, and ultimately, hero. It's a graceful, and resonant way to end an incredible album. In one of his most poetic couplets, Kanye says: "If you admire someone you should go ahead tell 'em/people never get the flowers while they can still smell 'em". Nobody promised Kanye West a rose garden, but this time he's earned one.

miseducation
08-31-2007, 12:34 PM
DJ Premier did "Everything I Am"

and while I agree that the Barry Bonds verse is strong, I think the production and overall song are terrible.

Neutral Milk Hotel
08-31-2007, 12:54 PM
The beat on Barry Bonds is nearly unlistenable.

Mr. Dylanja
08-31-2007, 01:03 PM
To each their own, I like the beat. To the boards dismay I'm sure I also like some of Weezy's stuff bbut he is not on top of his game on this track.

fober
08-31-2007, 01:08 PM
He needs to stop rapping.

I'd rather hear him produce other people's tracks, like he started.

malcolmjamalawesome
08-31-2007, 01:13 PM
I agree with fober ... OBVIOUSLY!

anti-square
08-31-2007, 01:18 PM
This cd is terrible. Kanye has nothing interesting to say at all. All he "raps" about ( I say this light-heartedly) is how cool he looks with his unoriginal fashion style. The only decent track is "Big Brother", and thats because its comical to hear him hang on Jay-z's ball hair. Other than that, he tries his hardest to convince the unfortunate listener how special and great he is at taking a shit, I mean making music. I for one, have not, and continue to not buy it. Only the bland and ignorant would believe his repetitious hype.
His production is corny at best. Really guy, sample a Daft Punk track six years after it was hot?! All his beats follow the same formula now and its painful to hear him chant along to them.

miseducation
08-31-2007, 01:19 PM
I love Weezy. I think he's got more raw verbal talent than anyone now. His only downside is that it is what it is, raw.

If he thought it out more and edited himself it wouldn't have that playful intensity that makes it great and original. He's still somebody who could benefit from being a lot less prolific.

Weezy is definitely someone evolving strongly and faster than all of his peers. He's got an interesting few years ahead of him.

Mr. Dylanja
08-31-2007, 01:27 PM
Weezy has been a beast lately! I for one think he has a ghost writer. This is Mr. "wabbaly wabbaly drop it like its hot". His style is just too different from what it was to have me not believe he has had some assistance in the flow department, just sayin. I still love his delivery and sound!

dorkfish
08-31-2007, 01:36 PM
his lyrics were never great, but they've fallen dramatically

RotationSlimWang
08-31-2007, 01:59 PM
Holy shit, me and my roommate just listened to this whole CD in the span of about 20 blocks.

That shit sucks. He's gone beyond the pale. Bye Kanye, should've gone to college, motherfucker.

Alchemy
08-31-2007, 02:18 PM
I could only listen to half of it. Talib Kweli blew this out of the water.

Maybe 50 Cent should win afterall.

hawkingvsreeve
08-31-2007, 02:19 PM
The beat on Barry Bonds is nearly unlistenable.

It's just a little more syncopated than most hip hop percussion. I like it. Although thats about the only thing about the song I like.

Neutral Milk Hotel
08-31-2007, 02:28 PM
The beat itself is fine I suppose, but I felt like it got in the way of the song, if that makes any sense.

suprefan
08-31-2007, 02:29 PM
He needs to stop rapping.

I'd rather hear him produce other people's tracks, like he started.



He will be the next Dr. Dre is he does start producing more which would be a good thing.




I like the album, yes there are some blah tracks but its kind of expected. And would you rather have 50 Cent really win? That album just leaked too, so go listen to it then come back and give an opinion on who should ''retire''. and 50 said he wouldnt if he lost now.

Alchemy
08-31-2007, 02:31 PM
I think they should both retire. I'd rather listen to albums without expected blah tracks.

RotationSlimWang
08-31-2007, 02:56 PM
At least 50 can physically rap. Kanye is starting to just sound like he's either out of breath or just has a cock in his mouth. Pick up the fucking pace.

Mr. Dylanja
08-31-2007, 03:06 PM
Bye Kanye, should've gone to college, motherfucker.
At least 50 can physically rap. Kanye is starting to just sound like he's either out of breath or just has a cock in his mouth. Pick up the fucking pace.

LOL, you're killin me Smalls!

RotationSlimWang
08-31-2007, 03:31 PM
... "Smalls?" When did that happen?

Omar1
08-31-2007, 03:40 PM
jPxSeYc9WjI

7jSJj77uoIc

W2C9JHsxHmA

anti-square
08-31-2007, 04:01 PM
...

bballarl
08-31-2007, 04:22 PM
I don't think you can argue with the beats and production on this record. Yes, he's not the greatest rapper. But people hate his ego more than they hate his music.

brando4n82
08-31-2007, 04:30 PM
The samples are good. The production is good. The lyrics lack much substance.

RotationSlimWang
08-31-2007, 05:36 PM
I can argue with the production--every song sounds like one of the songs I skipped over on the previous two albums.

PassiveTheory
08-31-2007, 07:51 PM
Another day, another Kanye West record, and yet... life seems to go on.

garrett222
08-31-2007, 07:54 PM
I'm listening now..fun..i would have never bought it anyway..I want more files...how bout the new shins album? the new white stripes? m.i.a? the maccabes? the national?

Neutral Milk Hotel
08-31-2007, 08:04 PM
www.albumbase.com

garrett222
08-31-2007, 08:08 PM
what's the story on that site? Is it safe? Is there a big risk of virus. I always trusted someone from coachella posting...

Neutral Milk Hotel
08-31-2007, 08:09 PM
albumbase is fine, it just links to megauploads and stuff.

BlueDevil50
08-31-2007, 11:01 PM
havent listened to it yet but i think a lot of people cant get past that kanye is an asshole but hes a legit rapper/producer...if you look whats out there now, hes definitely top 10...maaaaaaaaybe top 5. him over 50 anyday


oh and he can put on one hell of a show

superfiction
09-01-2007, 04:12 AM
ya know. it feels more like a mix tape than a flowing album to me. i think his overall production has gotten less complex, which is fine, i believe in an evolution of style. but while i think the first two albums are classics, i think this is just a solid hip hop record of the moment.

suprefan
09-01-2007, 09:20 AM
what's the story on that site? Is it safe? Is there a big risk of virus. I always trusted someone from coachella posting...

Its fine, they moderate submissions and you can leave comments on bad links and whatnot. Mostly rapidshare or megaupload. The content has gone down in terms of stuff to find lately though. I used to find lots of stuff from major artists on there and now its cut in half. I think that we shouldnt make the lounge downloder central. I mean I have posted my fair share of albums on here before their release but still I am not posting a whole library of tunes. Also Dani has never ''enforced'' a no posting leaks rule because we know the board could get shut down if we really went crazy with all of that.

That actually happend on another board I am on.(of a band I will not mention) The record label forced the board to get shut down cause they found out an insane amount of file sharing was going on and they didnt want an RIAA lawsuit on their hands. Needless to say a good amount of people from that board started another and its been way better since then.

Omar1
09-01-2007, 12:26 PM
The song "I wonder" is my favorite. The rest of the album is decent, maybe it will grow on me. Hopefully Lupe Fiasco's new album is better than this.

GTI_GRL
09-05-2007, 01:50 AM
anyone download via itunes on albumbase?

suprefan
09-19-2007, 01:13 PM
Kanye won


957,000 to 691,000

J~$$$
09-19-2007, 01:23 PM
still sucks.

ThomThom
09-19-2007, 01:51 PM
Kanye won


957,000 to 691,000

sweet mother, 957,000 units in a week?

suprefan
09-19-2007, 01:53 PM
Yep, it wouldve been insane if he sold a million, but he probably got to a mil this morning.

anti-square
09-19-2007, 04:12 PM
Chamillionaire's new cd is better than any other recent mainstream hip hop album that has been put out recently. Check for yourself.

Mr. Dylanja
09-19-2007, 05:02 PM
Chamillionaire's new cd is better than any other recent mainstream hip hop album that has been put out recently. Check for yourself.

Wrong - Finding Forever > Chamilly's southern swang (its not even hip hop its rap, just sayin)

summerkid
09-19-2007, 05:41 PM
wow. Other than Drunk and Hot Girls what a strong album from start to finish. The production is absolutely incredible, lyrically Kanye is very mediocre a couple tracks he does hold his own though. I love that he doesn't use sped up soul samples as much on this album that was one of the things that bothered me in his previous two. People may not want to hear it, but Kanye is one of the greatest artists of his generation.

Neutral Milk Hotel
09-19-2007, 07:33 PM
anyone download via itunes on albumbase?

If albumbase is leading you to itunes, you're doing it wrong. You have to register/log in, then you get free downloads. Otherwise you just get a link to itunes. Which makes the site worthless.

bballarl
09-19-2007, 07:55 PM
Good job to Universal for manufacturing this feud.

PrettyRagdoll
09-19-2007, 08:17 PM
I completely agree with you about the Barry Bonds track. I seriously listened to that song in disbelief. I mean the cd is brilliant! Then that song comes on and you're just left wondering why. However, Drunk and Hot girls has finally grown on me

PrettyRagdoll
09-19-2007, 08:24 PM
I'm listening now..fun..i would have never bought it anyway..I want more files...how bout the new shins album? the new white stripes? m.i.a? the maccabes? the national?

I love M.I.A's new cd. I wasn't sure if it was going to be as good as Arular but it all comes together really nice. However, I'll admit that I'm glad a full cd collaberation with Timbaland fell through. I mean don't get me wrong, I think Come Around is a good song... But it's not enough 'M.I.A' in it.

Neutral Milk Hotel
09-19-2007, 08:30 PM
Yeah, I think there's something wrong when M.I.A.'s CD ends with the words "Timbaland ain't dead."

mistdevil
09-19-2007, 08:57 PM
AAHAHHAHHHOOOOOO

anti-square
09-20-2007, 09:30 AM
Wrong - Finding Forever > Chamilly's southern swang (its not even hip hop its rap, just sayin)

common? Ha! I shit on you!


Have you listened to Chamillionaire's album? Lyrically on point. Definitely hip hop. You don't have to wear neutral colors and be from chi to be considered hip hop, jus sayin'.

Mr. Dylanja
09-20-2007, 11:43 AM
To each their own anti, what about Eardrum (u a fan)?

Who does Chams production?

BTW, IMO the new Wu Tang is gonna be the best hands down!

summerkid
09-20-2007, 12:17 PM
Who does Chams production?
!

I dunno but it fucking blows.