Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Quick Review - Kanye West Graduation



Wow, looking back its hard to believe Late Registration dropped in September 2005 as it still sounds fresh. Even harder on the frontal lobe is the fact that The College Dropout was released in April a year prior. It seems Graduation is the Back to the Future Part III of the series. On the LPs opening, Good Morning, Yeezy smartly speaks of being the fly Malcolm X ("by any jeans necessary") and from the off he rhymes of jumping in his Delorean and progressing unlike others who are afraid to experiment, be outspoken and go against the norm.

My favourite track, Champion, soon follows. It’s that uplifting high tempo (yet very short) number to give the LP an early boost. Again in boast mode West informs, "I don't see why I need a stylist when I shop so much I can speak Italian," this short lived instant track to check is soon followed by the perfect lead single. Stronger is kinda massive. He might be known as the Louis Vuitton Don but this is the best example of him as The Sampling Don using Daft Punk's Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger to create an instant classic. Definitely worth the 79p I paid for it on iTunes.

Here is a clip of Stronger at the Vodafone TBA gig...


Next up was a track I first heard at the previously mentioned TBA gig, I Wonder. It’s very layered and very deep. The orchestra are all up on this track and you'll be singing the hook for days. This is another example of Ye's humorous lyrical content and the ability to rhyme almost any two words, "How many ladies in the house? How many ladies in the house without a spouse? Cos there's something in your blouse that has got me feeling so AROoooUSED!!!" Quality. The next track, Good Life is 100% yeast extract… love it or hate it. Although, I'm actually in the middle. I love the lyrics ("Welcome to the good life where we like the girls who AIN'T on TV, cos they got more ass than the models," and the drinking champagne while getting brains on a plane line) but I hate T-Pain. Oh, I hate T-Pain boy. So Good Life often gets skipped cos I can't take that overused electronic vocoder shit. Why is he the go to guy at the minute? With Chris Brown being the latest to be hooked up with Tallahassee's finest worst.

After forward is pressed though you’ll reach the quality Can't Tell Me Nothing "Laaaa La La Laa Laaaa, wait till I get my money right," this track is sprinkled with quality lines. Him talking about buying more jewellery and Louie V and not even his mother can stop him and that George Bush incident, “I’m on TV talking like it’s just you and me” not stopping there we’re soon met with one of the deepest lines/ rhymes on Graduation; "You know I already Graduated, you can live through anything if Magic made it." Deep. “Magic” I assume being Earvin Effay Johnson, Jr. aka Magic Johnson who tested positive for HIV in the early 90s.

[As this is being written on the bus I’m slowly running out of time]

Barry Bonds... Not feeling. Even with Lil Wayne – who Kanye and half the world love – is spitting all over it.

Drunken Hot Girls... Kinda feeling it, although no one else is. I don’t know what it is, it’s just catchy. Love the lines, “Stop talking about your boyfriend cos he isn’t me,” and “I don’t want your friends, I just want you.” How true.

Flashing Lights, s’alright. Your mum might like it.

Everything I Am… big. Very conscious content. Not sure about the whiny sample/ singing woven throughout but the piano and scratching are live. “I never rocked a mink coat in the winter time like Killa Cam or rocked some mink boots in the summer like Will.I.Am…” This track feels like a polite fingers-up to the anti-Kanye Patrol and those who have hated on the rapper/ producer, it comes across well. This is another lyrical gem, “People talk so much shit about me in barber shops they forget to get their hair cut.” Nice, just before we hear, “They’re trying to give me the N***er Please award but I’d rather take the I Got a Lotta Cheese award.”

The Glory… waste. Someone please tell me what this track is like as I swear I haven’t heard it the whole way though yet.

Homecoming, is a grower. Didn’t like it at first as Chris Martin sounded like a homeless person… which is quite ironic as he grumpily slurs, “I’m coming home again…” However with each play it gets better and Coldplay’s Fair Trade supporting frontman sounds less afflicted and more soulful. Another well produced track.

Big Brother, complete Jay-Z suckage. Wow, you can taste the suckage on this one. Catchy hook but I guess I’m not really into it that much. I listen to it still. Nice beat/ hook/ vocals but Kanye sounds slightly muffled on it though… I assume he is actually rapping out of Jigga’s behind. I respect the fact that he pays homage to the man who upped his profile, listened to his beats and brought him into the game but… come on…

Good Night, it’s a very good hidden track/ outro and the lyrical content rings true. Listen to it a few times and you’ll find something to relate to.

A very good album with amazing artwork (the best I have seen in a while) but will it beat 50 Cent in the States? And will it stand the test of time? Who knows. Graduation is a strong 4 out of 5 though!!!

[Gotta go, tis my stop!!!]

3 comments:

Joccin 4 a living said...

'UK grime's 5th home'

Since we returned to this fresh air blessed country you seem to be revolving around all things stars and stripes maaaaaan!

The hip-hop seed has been planted...only a matter of time before grime is evicted and hip-hop reconstructs tha JOINT!!!

Danny Walker said...

Yo tall player, grime rules!!!

Johnny Bravo said...

have you heard about this guy, danny? his name is danny too, lol:

http://www.dannyswain.com

http://www.myspace.com/mcdanny

supposed to be the next kanye, but i don't think they sound anything alike. i think he raps and makes his own beats too.