The College Dropout
Kanye West - The College Dropout
Critic Score
Based on 10 reviews
2004 Ratings: #33 / 286
User Score
Based on 526 ratings
2004 Ratings: #5
February 10, 2004 / Release Date
LP / Format
Roc-A-Fella / Label
Hip Hop / Genres
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. 

Jul 29, 2017*
BruhMan
94
FAVORITE TRACKS: We Don't Care, All Falls Down, Spaceship, Jesus Walks, Never Let Me Down, Get Em High, Slow Jamz, School Spirit, Two Words, Through the Wire, Family Business & Last Call.

LEAST FAVORITE: The New Workout Plan.
Feb 4, 2018
BradTasteMusic
92
This just sounds so iconic
Feb 12, 2016
SiberianBreaks
79
An impressive debut from a game-changing producer struggling to find success as a rapper. I could do without a few of the skits, but the clever wordplay and heartfelt moments of Kanye's early days still go unmatched to this day.

Favourite tracks: Never Let Me Down, The New Workout Plan, Family Business
Feb 12, 2018
davecoop18
81
Only complaint is that he should've cut back on the number of skits.

Favorite Tracks: We Don't Care, Spaceship, Jesus Walks, School Spirit, Through the Wire, Family Business, Last Call

Least Favorite Tracks: Get Em' High, The New Workout Plan
Jan 27, 2018*
tynhe
89
FAV TRACK: JESUS WALKS

2ND FAV TRACK: TWO WORDS

LEAST FAV TRACK: BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT
Purchasing The College Dropout from Amazon helps support Album of the Year.
END OF YEAR LISTS
#1/SPIN
#7/NME
#18/Pitchfork
Track List
  1. Intro 
  2. We Don't Care 
  3. Graduation Day 
  4. All Falls Down 
  5. I'll Fly Away 
  6. Spaceship 
  7. Jesus Walks 
  8. Never Let Me Down 
  9. Get Em High 
  10. Workout Plan 
  11. The New Workout Plan 
  12. Slow Jamz 
  13. Breathe in Breathe Out 
  14. School Spirit Skit 1 
  15. School Spirit Skit 2 
  16. Lil Jimmy Skit 
  17. Two Words 
  18. Through the Wire 
  19. Family Business 
  20. Last Call