The College Dropout

Kanye West - The College Dropout
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2004 Ratings: #33 / 299
User Score
2004 Ratings: #3
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. 

ElectricMess
90
It's amazing how fully-realized and developed this debut is. Kanye "brings the soul back to hip-hop," and does it in style, complete with genius and often seamless sampling, smooth beats, and off-the-wall concepts, which all work together to create one of the most fantastic and consistent hip-hop albums, let alone debuts, of the decade. It's no wonder Kanye went on to be the biggest name in rap music in the following decade.

Favorite Tracks: The New Workout Plan, All Falls Down, ... read more
chairycherry
NR
Kanye West's discography is one of my favorites really, with his main, solo albums all being exceptional in my opinion, and so many of his albums just being personal favorites; but it was really hard for me to rank Kanye's albums, mostly between four albums fighting to be my favorite, but I think I made it. When it usually comes to ranking an artists discography, it really isn't too hard for me, I just think of which ones I like more than others, not which is objectively better, but for Kanye ... read more
BradTasteMusic
82
This just sounds so iconic
KIDWITHGUNs
95
POWERHOUSE

Funnily enough, one of his best solo projects, but the album that I've visited the least. It's a project that has fire after fire after fire. Very few duds. And it's aged like fine wine 15 years later.

Best: We Don't Care, All Falls Down, Spaceship, Jesus Walks, Never Let Me Down, Get Em High, The New Workout Plan, Slow Jamz, Breathe In Breathe Out, Two Words, Through The Wire, Family Business, Last Call

Weakest: School Spirit
Hawk_
94
🔥🔥🔥
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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 (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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