The College Dropout

Kanye West - The College Dropout
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2004 Ratings: #66 / 394
User Score
2004 Ratings: #3
Liked by 110 people
February 10, 2004 / Release Date
LP / Format
Roc-A-Fella / Label
Hip Hop / Genres
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kanyewest.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
AllMusic
Prior to this album, we were more than aware that West's stature as a producer was undeniable; now we know that he's also a remarkably versatile lyricist and a valuable MC.
91
Entertainment Weekly
In a scene still dominated by authenticity battles and gangsta posturing, he’s a middle-class, politically conscious, post-thug, bourgeois rapper – and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
90
Tiny Mix Tapes

Despite all of his recent troubles, Kanye West has succeeded in not only making one of the best hip-hop records in a long while (yes, even better than The Black Album), but one of the best records in a long while--period. Despite what your friends may think.

90
HipHopDX

I know Kanye won't dazzle you with intricate wordplay and mind-warping cadence, but he more than makes up for it in ways that are more vital in today's landscape.

82
Pitchfork
With the fat playlist trimmed, the album lays down a sky-high standard for hip-hop challengers in '04, featuring enough singles in reserve to fill out the calendar year.
80
Uncut

The idea of a producer leaving the studio desk to enter the recording booth suggests ambition outstripping ability and falling heavily on its arse, but Kanye West has managed the transition quite brilliantly.

79
Coke Machine Glow

Sensing that I'm wavering, Dr. Kanye hits me with the sugar so strong he destroys my cerebral parasite, and I jump on an atom bomb. I ride it, and I'll ride the beat, and for the rest of my life I'll be a bobbing-head cracker with a sweet tooth for hip-hop and a cavity where my soul hides.

70
Spin

Most producers who approach the mic do so at their peril, but on Dropout, West turns out to be a full-service hip-hop artiste.

70
Rolling Stone

His ace in the hole is his signature cozy sound — dusty soul samples, gospel hymns, drums that pop as if hit for the very first time.

70
Slant Magazine

Like every hip-hop album (even the great ones), Kanye West's The College Dropout is marred by too many guest artists, too many interludes, and just too many songs period. 

Inglume
92
Dope. The finest of Dropout Era Kanye. The songs, every single one of them, even the goddamn skits have never been any more iconic. Firmly stand by the fact that no other Kanye album matches its immaculate carefree energy. Now follow my lead kids:
Alpha, step
Omega, step
Kappa, step
Sigma, step

FAV TRACKS: We Don't Care, Spaceship, Jesus Walks, Never Let Me Down, Get Em High, The New Workout Plan, Slow Jamz, School Spirit, Two Words, Through The Wire, Family Business

LEAST FAV TRACK: Last Call
RakkSmells
88
I swear Kanye's a mastermind whenever it comes to finding samples. Sure, some songs do drag on for quite a bit, but this is one of the most enjoyable debut albums I've ever listened to. This whole album's just so iconic.

fav tracks: We Don't Care, All Falls Down, Jesus Walks, Get Em High, The New Workout Plan, Breathe In Breathe Out, School Spirit, Two Words, Through The Wire, Family Business, Last Call
least fav: idk lol
BradTasteMusic
82
This just sounds so iconic
JustSomeGuy
76
Oh boy, I love having an unpopular opinion! This is nowhere near as great as everyone makes it out to be.

The College Dropout is a good album, there's no denying that, but everyone here is acting like this is one of the best hip-hop albums ever made. I disagree with that completely.

There is so many amazing stand-out tracks on here, and they are really the only things that elevate the score so much. I genuinely love We Don't Care and Last Call, and I think that they are the perfect opener ... read more
TomBejoy
100
This record is really cute, witty, and beautiful. I always felt it's cousin Late Registration overshadowed it but it was yesterday that I decided to give it a thorough listen for the first time since 2018.

I'm not gonna lie to you it's insanely beautiful. With almost 99 percent of the production from Kanye himself, the quality is very apparent. However, the minimalist/soulful instrumentals can make it way less interesting that future Kanye albums.

But for a self-produced debut LP, College ... read more
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Year End Lists

#1/SPIN
#7/NME
#18/Pitchfork

Track List

  1. Intro
  2. We Don't Care
  3. Graduation Day
  4. All Falls Down (feat. Syleena Johnson)
  5. I'll Fly Away
  6. Spaceship (feat. GLC & Consequence)
  7. Jesus Walks
  8. Never Let Me Down (feat. JAY-Z & J. Ivy)
  9. Get Em High (feat. Talib Kweli & Common)
  10. Workout Plan
  11. The New Workout Plan
  12. Slow Jamz
  13. Breathe In Breathe Out (feat. Ludacris)
  14. School Spirit Skit 1
  15. School Spirit
  16. School Spirit Skit 2
  17. Lil Jimmy Skit
  18. Two Words (feat. Mos Def, Freeway & The Boys Choir of Harlem)
  19. Through the Wire
  20. Family Business
  21. Last Call
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