|2. We Don't Care|
|3. Graduation Day|
|4. All Falls Down|
|5. I'll Fly Away|
|6. Spaceship feat. GLC & Consequence|
|7. Jesus Walks|
|8. Never Let Me Down feat. Jay-Z|
|9. Get Em High feat. Talib Kweli|
|10. Workout Plan|
|11. The New Workout Plan|
|12. Slow Jamz feat. Twista & Jamie Foxx|
|13. School Spirit feat. Ludacris|
|14. Breathe In Breathe Out|
|15. School Spirit Skit 2|
|16. Two Words|
|17. Through The Wire|
|18. Family Business|
|19. Last Call|
|20. Family Business - Kanye West|
"College Dropout" is nothing to sleep on as far as production is concerned. Starting with "We Don't Care" which boats the all-too-familiar "kids singing rap hooks" chorus, Kanye attempts to flood his listeners with some laid-back music. His ode to the 9-to-5 crowd, "Spaceship" and the powerful religion-based "Jesus Walks" are both effective anthems in their own rights. "Family Business" is another personal record where West takes a trip down memory lane with a nice mixture of heartfelt lyrics and soulful production.
As good as some of the records on "Dropout" are, the LP drags in so many areas that it's almost a shame. Lyrically, Kanye is decent with his but after a few listens, a lot of his flows become less witty and start to just plain seem tired. His somewhat parody-like use of the popular St. Louis slang on "All Falls Down" just doesn't work. While "Never Let Me Down" is solidly-produced, a frequently-recycled Jay-Z verse from "Hovi Baby". Kanye's verse doesn't help matters as he spits a real poor verse that not only rhymes "left eye" with "Left Eye" but follows that up with a weak metaphor about Aaliyah and "Romeo Must Die" that sounds like something from a bad backpack rapper. A comedic interlude called the "Lil' Jimmy Skit" is real funny but ends up getting beat to death as they try to stretch it out into three skits. Kanye's decision to include lyrical heavyweights like Talib Kweli and Mos Def is a good choice on his part though they do seem to outshine him on the songs they're featured on.
"College Dropout" starts off somewhat solidly but is far too incosistent to be a classic. There are a handful of amazing tracks and interludes that seem to compliment them well but there is so much filler on here that it almost leaves you shaking your head at what could have been. "Through The Wire" was such a monster first single that it makes the rest of the album seem average in comparison. Despite the occasional breaths of fresh air ("Jesus Walks", "Family Business"), "Dropout" won't walk away on 2004's "Honor Roll" though it does deserve credit for its hard work and ability to keep up with the rest of the class.
WE DON'T CARE- First song that has the sing-along chorus to it. This cut talks about doing what it takes to get by and the obstacles that come from living that lifetime but at the same time overcoming that. Song is encouraging and jus is hot. It is laidback, and something to listen to for sho. Miri Ben-Ari who appears on Twista's project and Patti LaBelle's latest TIMELESS
JOURNEY adds the violin to this track. A
ALL FALLS DOWN- Current Spring single off the project. Syleena Johnson appears on this track which is like a Hip-Hop ballad or slow jam. The song is talking about things that fall down in life. It gets you thinking about stuff if you listen to the lyrics and Syleena sounds better than she ever has adding her vocals to the chorus and riffing all over the place. A
I'LL FLY AWAY- Little interlude with the Gospel song about flying away.
SPACESHIP- Old-school cut that features GLC and Consequences. It contains elements from Marvin Gaye's DISTANT LOVE song and is just a song you gotta listen to to take your interpretation from. It is something to definitely think about kinda talking about working hard but getting no where but wanting to take the space ship somewhere else. The song is hot and creative. A
JESUS WALKS- This is what I am talking about. The song kinda has the Army or War vibe to it as well as the religious with the background vocals and the low hum that continues throughout. It is hot hearing Kanye come at us with a Gospel track. It is refreshing and tells the truth about radio supporting the cut or not just because Jesus is mentioned. A+
NEVER LET ME DOWN- Jay Z appears on this as well as J-IVY has that "Get up, I get down". The slow cut that talks about the important things in life such as family and other loved ones instead of having that high regard for the temporary, superficial things. This song is hot for real. A
GET EM'HIGH- Featuring Talib Kweli and Common, this cut is about getting a girl to the house to do the do with Talib pushing him on but the song is talking about a few other things at the beginning. B+
THE NEW WORKOUT PLAN- I am sure everybody has heard this creative song which talks about nothing but working out. The song is like nothing else heard before. I call it the Ghetto Workout Plan. A
SLOW JAMZ- Everybody and they granmda has heard this so I won't waste time really reviewing the track which features Jamie Foxx and Twista. I cant hear this anymore. A-
BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT- Featuring Ludacris and Miri Ben-Ari on violins, this cut which talks about getting cash is like something else I have heard before. Ludacris or crazy Luda adds something to the cut as always. The song is alright but is like
the first real filler track. B+
SCHOOL SPIRIT- The title explains it all and Aretha Franklin's SPIRIT IN THE DARK is sampled here and a Mickey Mouse version of her voice appears here. The song is hot and innovative just because Kanye couples that old school piece with this and then talks about school at the same time. That is probably what is one of the hottes qualities about Kanye that he couples and mixes things together that you would not think. A
TWO WORDS- Probably the weakest cut on the CD featuring Mos Def, Freeway and the Harlem Boys Choir, this seems too hardcore for Kanye. I aint used to hearig this kinda music from him. I usually skip over this cut. C+
THROUGH THE WIRE- Modeled off Chaka Khan's THORUGH THE FIRE, this creative and hot track is something that everybody has heard. The song is touching and dramatic. I like the inclusion of Chaka's here. A+
FAMILY BUSINESS- "All that glitters is not gold" is included here with a man saying it. The song is about one of the strongest fabric of us all and that is the family. The music, the lyrics, the arragement, everything comes together to make for an emotional effect that is needed on the track. Another one of the best tracks. A+
LAST CALL- Song is kinda long at over 12 minutes. It is a little bit of everything going on here but the beat is smooth and hot. A-
Overall, Kanye's CD is tight and hot at the same time. One of
the main things I like about his CD is that he gets you to thinking about some serious stuff. It just ain't about getting the money or getting in somebody's (...), Kanye talks about everything from the hard life to school to God. It is off da hook about this fact because we get to hear about a little bit of everything. If Kanye keeps it up, he will be around for a long time because this material is already veteran rapper material.