Lists, Pop Culture

An Arbitrary, Occasionally Objective, And Frequently Maddening Ranking Of Every Kanye West Album

kanye-west-graduation (1)

In the 10 years since The College Dropout dropped, Kanye West has gone from a guy whose name I used to pronounce Kay-Knee to arguably my favorite rapper (it’s either him or Ghostface) and inarguably the most important person in music today. He is, at this point in his career, cultural icon, cultural arbiter, cultural thermometer, and Kardashian concubine; a singular zeitgeist whose talent is matched by his talent’s ability to partition.

But which Kanye album is the best?

We know which is the most polarizing (Yeezus), the most universally loved (College Dropout), the most critically acclaimed (MBDTF), and the most likely to be re-released by Drake in 12 years (808s). But, if you had to rank each album (and yes, Watch the Throne and Cruel Summer count) which would be first? Or third? Or even last?

Fortunately, I’m here to ask the tough questions you never thought to ask and provide the gritty answers you never really cared to ask for.

(In reverse order)

8. 808s & Heartbreak 

Having an album rate last on a list insinuates you either hated it or thought it just wasn’t any good. Neither is true with 808s, an album whose biggest crime was it being released a year after Graduation. It was such a contrast from what we expected to — and wanted to — hear from him that it became impossible to objectively assess. So we all collectively decided it sucked. Which is a shame because it paved the way for the “Wait, is he singing or rapping? And, wait. Is that even a song?”-style that’s dominated the last five years of pop culture.

7. Watch the Throne 

Easily the most paradoxical album in Kanye’s career.

To wit, Watch the Throne would have been better if it was a Kanye solo album…but the album’s best track (“Who Gon Stop Me”) is dominated by Jay-Z…but the best line on the song ( “Heard she f*cked the doorman/Well that’s cool I f*cked the waitress“) is Kanye’s.

Also, it’s Kanye’s most expensive sounding album…but it sounded rushed…but each of the bonus tracks were hot…but they sounded like they should have been on a separate album.

6. Graduation 

The most overrated album of Kanye’s career, Graduation is the anti-808s because it’s remembered favorably for effectively ending 50 Cent’s career. Which made it impossible to objectively assess. It’s still a very good album with a couple great songs — “Stronger” and “Flashing Lights” are two of the top 20 songs Kanye’s ever created — but it’s not great, and anyone who believes that needs to get their heads out of Angel Melaku’s ass. 

5. Cruel Summer

I know, I know, I know. It’s more of a crew album than a Kanye album, the four best songs were already heard by everyone months before the album was released, and there’s too much Big Sean — the charter school gym class of rap music. And while I could argue that it doesn’t matter when individual singles were released when assessing a collective album, I’ll concede each of those points.

And, while I’m being all conciliatory, I’ll also admit that it only places this high because of my completely irrational and borderline insane white-hot passionate love for “Higher” and “Sin City.”

4. Late Registration 

While (somewhat) neglected historically, Late Registration may be Kanye’s most important album. Not the best, but the most important. It was the follow-up to The College Dropout, an album that while critically and commercially lauded, still felt gimmicky. It wasn’t Kanye’s rapping that made the album. It was the production, the features, and the concepts behind some of the songs. His actual rapping, though, was more “I guess he’s not that bad” than anything else, and there was still a bit of skepticism over whether he could repeat that success.

And while Late Registration had its flaws, it ultimately proved Kanye needed to be taken seriously as a full-fledged rap artist. It also had a video with Nia Long and Tracie Ellis Ross in it, a shout out to Bougie Black Girls everywhere.

3. The College Dropout 

Although Complex already said everything that needed to be said about this album, I’ll add one more thing:

The five song stretch from “All Falls Down” to “Spaceship” to “Jesus Walks” to “Never Let Me Down” to “Get Em High” is the best five song stretch on any rap album, ever.

2. Yeezus 

One of the reasons why Lebron James remains the most fascinating player in NBA history is that he’s completely impervious to prediction. While he manages to maintain his usual 25-28 points, 6-8 assists, and 6-8 rebounds per game average, when watching him play you have absolutely no idea if you’re going to get “oddly disinterested” Lebron who’ll give you a half-assed 17, 6, and 4 or “vengeance” Lebron who’ll have 30, 8, and 9 by halftime. 

My appreciation for Kanye follows the same thought. If Jay Z or Drake or Rick Ross or Beyonce released a new track at midnight tonight, you’d have an idea of what it was going to sound like before you’d even hear it. You’d have even more of an idea after seeing the title of the song and who was featured on it.

I’ve listened to Kanye for 10 years now — hundreds of Kanye-produced and/or Kanye starred tracks. And I still have no idea what new Kanye tracks (and albums) are going to sound like. None.

No album better exemplifies this imperviousness than Yeezus (our clearest journey into Kanye’s id), and no track better exemplifies this than “Hold My Liquor” — a song that features Chief Keef on the hook, Justin Vernon, a minute-long electric guitar solo, references to “Deepak Chopra” and “skinny bitches with no shoulders”, and also somehow happens to be the most beautifully melancholy song I’ve ever heard. It sounds like something Radiohead would have created if Radiohead was from PG County.

1My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

I really wanted to put Yeezus first. Like, really, really, really wanted to. And then I listened to “All Of The Lights” again. When done, I listened to “Gorgeous” again.

And then I remembered that Kanye’s single best song, “Hell of a Life”, was also on this album.

And then I came back to my senses.

—Damon Young (aka The Champ)

***At 12:30 today, join John Legend and other special guests (me included) for #DreamRiseDo — a conversation about why we need more Black men teaching***

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • Drizzy Wizzy

    1. My Beautiful Dark and Twisted

    2. Late Registration – He used live instruments – listen to it
    3. Graduation
    4. College Dropout
    5. 808’s and Heartbreak – Most Underrated
    6. Yeezus – still a good album

    Hon. Mention:
    Cruel Summer – All great songs, but not a great album
    Watch The Throne – A Classic because of what it was

    • The Champ

      “Cruel Summer – All great songs, but not a great album”

      interesting point

  • TheOtherJerome

    Still having a tough time with Yeezus. Kanye is that dude, but Yeezuz just aint hitting for me bro. Plus, every time i have that album playing when i have a breezy in the car, they frown up their face and shake their head. I could bump 3-6 Mafia and put woman in a better mood then Yeezus.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

      “Yeezus” was a concept that was a good idea in theory, but poorly executed in the recording process.

      • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

        Ding ding ding! I saw he was trying to do, and I think if he didn’t rush it out, the plan wouldn’t have looked as obvious.

    • The Champ

      “eating asian p*ssy with sweet and sour sauce” doesn’t turn them on?

  • Mr. SD

    Fact: “The five song stretch from ”All Falls Down” to “Spaceship” to “Jesus
    Walks” to “Never Let Me Down” to “Get Em High” is the best five song
    stretch on any rap album, ever.” This hasn’t been done in a very very very long time.

    As for ya list..eh..Yeezus gotta be dead last..I’ve tried 3 times to listen to it and just end up stopping the madness 3 songs in….If anything I skip to the very end, Bound. What made it worst was going to his concert and hearing those tracks live…I was over it. That being said, my list would look something like this:
    1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted (perfect balance of dope production and featured artist)
    2. College Dropout (classic)
    3. Late Registration (He finally got Cam on a song..lol)
    4. Watch the Throne (production was doope)
    5. Graduation (I expected more)
    6. 808 HB (it was a dark album and it succeeded in depressing the ish outta me)
    7. Cruel Summer (basically a big sean album)
    8. Yeezus (like watching a car accident in slo mo)

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

      “Fact: “The five song stretch from ”All Falls Down” to “Spaceship” to “Jesus
      Walks” to “Never Let Me Down” to “Get Em High” is the best five song
      stretch on any rap album, ever.” This hasn’t been done in a very very very long time.”

      May I present to you the first five songs on “Tronic” by Black Milk…

      • Mr. SD

        I gotta check that out

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

          You’ll be glad you did- trust me on this.

    • The Champ

      “As for ya list..eh..Yeezus gotta be dead last..I’ve tried 3 times to listen to it and just end up stopping the madness 3 songs in….If anything I skip to the very end, Bound. What made it worst was going to his concert and hearing those tracks live…I was over it. That being said, my list would look something like this”

      that’s the thing: the songs in the middle of the album that you haven’t listened to (hold my liquor, i’m in it, and blood on the leaves) are actually its three best songs.

      • panamajackson

        Save for “Blood on the leaves”, this statement is false.

        • PhlyyPhree

          No. Hold My Liquor is hot basura, but I’m In It is exceptional.

          • panamajackson

            I stand by my statement.

  • Msdebbs

    1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted ( All of the lights = musical org*sm)
    2. College Dropout
    3. Watch the Throne

    I really didn’t care for the rest.

    • The Champ

      interesting

  • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

    Man you love you some Kanye. The greatest 5 song stretch on an album to me is still Dead Presidents II -> Can I Live on Reasonable Doubt.

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

      The 5 song stretch debate is a bit more interesting than Ye albums….each album I think to pull from (aquemini, blueprint 1, supreme clientele) has that one track that kills it

      • Freebird

        im not an outkast head like that but the aquemini might be the most important rap album of the last 20 years.

        • SuperStrings

          Actually, that would be a good ranking to do. I still put Atliens at number 1.

          • The Champ

            30-40 year old rap fans can be divided into two groups: people who f*cked with wu, but didn’t really f*ck with outkast. and people who f*cked with outkast, but didn’t really f*ck with wu. like, I appreciate outkast and I recognize their place in rap history, but i never really got into them like that.

            • SuperStrings

              I fucked with Wu all the way. I didn’t really appreciate ‘kast until truly listening to Atliens a few years after it came out. I’m definitely a ‘kast fan now.

            • miss t-lee

              Well apparently I’m in another category– folks who f*cked with Wu, and f*cked with Outkast equally.

              • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

                That would mean that you’re a Southerner- right this way, please.

                • miss t-lee

                  Already!

              • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young

                Joins that category. I don’t know enough of the black and white hip hop heads who fell into Champ’s two groups. Life in the gray are keep my head nodding.

                • miss t-lee

                  Me neither. We all listened to both groups.

            • MsSula

              Great point.
              My household represents those two groups. The husband can kill for Wu, and you can’t touch my Outkast. While I can “appreciate” Wu, I don’t get it. He is convinced that my adoration for Outkast is in reality my love for all things Andre.

      • Upgrayedd

        I agree on 2 out of those 3. I would submit Get Rich or Die Trying: What up gansta, Patiently waiting, Many Men, In Da Club, High all the time. Say what you will about 50, those were 5 bangers. 2pacs Machiavelli: Krazy, White man’s world, me and my girlfriend, Hold ya head and against all odds. One of the most underrated deepest hoodest poetic conflicted complex stretches in rap history. A couple of stretches on big’s life after death.

        • The Champ

          I don’t even remember what patiently waiting sounds like. but, what up gangsta may have been the best opening album track in rap history. it’s a perfect song

          • Epsilonicus

            ” what up gangsta may have been the best opening album track in rap history”

            50 used to have a great ear. What happened?

            • Upgrayedd

              Money.

              • Epsilonicus

                I think he wore his formula out. I think hip-hop was changing and 50 could not move with it. 50 will stay wealthy because he is a smart business man.

          • Upgrayedd

            Patiently waiting was the song with em rapping and the respirator in the background. Emineem’s verse is what made that song.

          • veryaveragebrotha

            Get Down

          • SuperStrings

            I might have to give best opening track to The Predator album: “The Wrong N$%ga To Fuck With”

        • h.h.h.

          50’s “Bloodhound” is an underrated banger…that song is my ban kai song

        • panamajackson

          That’s an interesting argument…and I’d wager its as good if not better.

      • panamajackson

        So does College Dropout.

    • The Champ

      drunk and hot girls qualifies as filler.

      • http://trulytafakari.com/ dtafakari

        everyone’s favorite worst Kanye song.

      • panamajackson

        Agreed. It’s definitely filler.

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

    8. Watch the Throne
    7. 808s
    6. Cruel Summer
    5. Late Registration
    4. Graduation
    3. Yeezus
    2. College Dropout
    1. MBDTF

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

      And he did it all with just 13 songs- 13 songs! I just wished that he put out “Graduation” on vinyl.

      However, due to his excessive attention to detail, the vinyl probably would have cost more than “Watch The Throne” (Which is a hundred dollars, by the way…Yikes!!!)

    • The Champ

      “Allow me to cape for Graduation as it didn’t just end 50s career but defined Ye’s no skits, no soul samples, minimal features it was his transition from backpack rapper to artist.”

      interesting point

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

    I’ll play today…

    As a person that was a little late to the Kanye party, I was kind of skeptical about him. I didn’t really listen to him until “Late Registration”- the primary reason being the same reason why I will not listen to J. Cole: Decent rapper, terrible beatmaker. I remember back in his Deric “D. Dot” Angelettie days, a lot of Kanye tracks sounded like Bad Boy leftovers (Don’t believe me? Listen to his output from 1998-2000).

    When he released “The College Dropout”, I was not amused by it initially- again, because of the production. That, and I felt much better albums were out at that time in 2004 (Slum Village’s “Detroit Deli: A Taste Of Detroit”, Dilated Peoples’ “Neighborhood Watch” and The Foreign Exchange’s “Connected”, for example). Not helping matters was the person who tried to make me listen to the album was my little brother- a person who I felt had questionable taste in music. So I wasn’t interested in anything related to Kanye.

    Fast forward a year later, I moved to Auburn the first time around and a college kid had me listen to “Late Registration”. The only reason why I did was seeing that Kanye produced the album with Jon Brion. He linked up with Jon because of the work he did on Fiona Apple’s second album “When The Pawn…” (Go to Spotify and thank me later…). So I listened to it and was floored by what I heard- still didn’t like Kanye as a beatmaker, though. I went out and bought “The College Dropout” after that and I’ve been listening ever since.

    Although I feel that “Late Registration” was his best album, that was my least favorite hip hop album in 2005. My personal favorite from that year? Little Brother’s “The Minstrel Show”. Having said that, here are my picks on Kanye’s albums from best to worst:

    Late Registration
    My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    The College Dropout
    Graduation
    808’s & Heartbreaks
    Watch The Throne
    Yeezus

    • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

      It’s interesting that you didn’t like College Dropout but liked The Minstrel Show. Conceptually they were very similar albums, and the Minstrel Show would have not sold as well without College Dropout. That said, I want to hear your defense of 808s and Heartbreaks. That album was barely worth a weed plate.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

        It was okay, but I recognize it for what it was- a breakup album. The one thing I didn’t like about that album is that it spawned the birth of emo rap *rolls eyes*.

        • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

          Word. 72.53% of Drake’s career was presaged by 808s and Heartbreak. LOL

          • Joel

            68 percent of all statistics are false. Lol.

            • SuperStrings

              Statistics is voodoo math

      • panamajackson

        I completely agree re: The Minstrel Show vs College Dropout.

    • SuperStrings

      I like Kanye beats. I’m a No I.D. fan though.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

        Same here, but a LOT of Kanye’s tracks from 2008-2010 were really No I.D. tracks…and then he started sounding like Kanye (See: Common’s “The Dreamer/The Believer”).

        • SuperStrings

          I guess that would explain it.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

            I mean, Common could have slapped Kanye’s name on the production credits and no one would be able to tell the difference. Which is sad, considering up until that point you knew what a No I.D. track sounded like.

            (Well, almost…I’m still in shock that he produced “Put It On Ya” for Plies…yeah…Plies…)

            • SuperStrings

              Yeah, I like No I.D. back from the “Resurrection” era.

              • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

                Everything about that album was flawless- even if Common wasn’t rapping about anything, LOL!

                • SuperStrings

                  Definitely a classic.

            • Epsilonicus

              Never knew he did that Plies song. smh.

        • panamajackson

          Wait…are we saying that No ID produced Common’s Be? Or are you saying he was doing his best NoID impression?

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

            Nah, not “Be”- that was all Kanye. But Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint 3″? That was No I.D.’s work right there- even quite a bit of “808’s & Heartbreaks”. That time between 2008 to now, Kanye’s been leaning heavily on outside producers and beatmakers. I think the last song solely produced by Kanye was “Otis” from “Watch The Throne”.

            • panamajackson

              So you’re saying that NoID just went uncredited on those tracks. While I definitely acknowledge NoID’s tutelage to Kanye and clearly he’s one of hisinfluences nad probably there for a quite a bit…Im struggling with that.

              With that being said, that part I agree with and alluded t in my own comment. Kanye realized that getting your vision out is more important than doing it all yourself. So yeah…

              • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

                He was credited- in fact, you’ll see his name in the liner notes alongside Kanye’s name. You can tell that No I.D. was clearly the architect behind a lot of the songs within that two year timeframe- even Drake’s stuff. I’ll give Kanye the edge on “Show Me A Good Time”, but “Find Your Love” was clearly a No I.D. track- Kanye just got a co-production credit, which he seems to do a lot these days.

    • The Champ

      “Although I feel that “Late Registration” was his best album, that was my least favorite hip hop album in 2005″

      out of all the hip-hop albums that came out in 2005, it was your least favorite?

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

        Yep, in fact the albums I liked more were:

        Blackalicious’ “The Craft”
        Black Rob’s “The Black Rob Report” (highly slept on)
        Rapper Big Pooh’s “Sleepers”
        Kardinal Offishall’s “Fire And Glory”
        The Game’s “The Documentary”

        • panamajackson

          I don’t love Late Registration as much as others do, but short of The Game’s “The Documentary” a certifiable classic album, I’m surprised the rest of those albums rated higher. I remember copping Sleepers and feeling like, I really miss Phonte.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

            Ouch…and damn, LOL! So Pooh got no love from you, huh?

            • panamajackson

              I didn’t even realize how ungreat Pooh was until he basically had that song on the Minstrel Show about how he was second fiddle to Phonte. Then I noticed for real. “Sincerely Yours” I think was the name of it.

              • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

                The story I remember hearing was Pooh was a replacement for Median- the original member of Little Brother. Phonte and 9th let him go from the group because all he wanted to do was party and chase skirts instead of trying to make it in the music business.

        • afronica

          Inneresting. “The Craft” is my least favorite Blackalicious album.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

            It’s a great album, but it doesn’t compare to “Blazing Arrow”.

            • afronica

              We’re >here< on that.

          • panamajackson

            Agreed. “Nia” will ALWAYS be one of my top 10 favorite hiphop albums ever.

        • SuperStrings

          Kardinal Offishall is slept on overall.

    • NomadaNare

      “You are watching U!B!N! You black n!@!#s network, Raleigh, Durham.” Respect. The Minstrel Show STILL gets rotation.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

        That’s one of a few albums that I will never get tired of!

  • NomadaNare

    College trilogy > everything else. He was still hungry and had not yet proven himself to himself. All the rest of that ish is trying to “transcend” hip hop in the most rambunctious and pretentious way possible. Wasn’t a fan of MBDTF nor that lame video associated with it. He reeks of someone surprised that they haven’t yet transcended blackness in Yeezus and while I hear him and understand exactly his point of view, I think it represents real self hate to put so much weight into the opinions of people and institutions you know are racist. As you can tell I can’t get into “artist” Kanye and since 808’s I’ve always questioned why black people and hip hop were never good enough for him.

    • http://trulytafakari.com/ dtafakari

      All of this.

      • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

        I get what Kanye is trying to do with getting hip-hop music associated with the mainstream. That said, I think he went left the same way those 50s bebop cats went left with jazz being considered art music. I think that Black Music should be accepted on its own terms, with the mainstream coming to us instead of us coming to the mainstream.

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

          “I think that Black Music should be accepted on its own terms, with the mainstream coming to us instead of us coming to the mainstream.”

          The only problem was that a lot of Black artists were desperately seeking mainstream approval even if their music wasn’t accessible enough (See: Gerald Levert).

    • The Champ

      it’s interesting how two people can see the exact same thing and come away with two completely different takes on it. it makes life fun and sh*t

      • NomadaNare

        Sure does. I will always be disappointed in Kanye, because he could’ve single-handedly redefined the genre. Imagine if acts like Slum Village and Roots were to define the hip hop mainstream? Kanye had the talent, ambition, and awareness to appeal to everybody. Remember G.O.O.D. Music when it first came out? What if Legend, Common, and West had became a force together instead of the well known independent artists they are today? So many missed opportunities.

    • h.h.h.

      agreed. i still don’t get Yeezus. i’m listening to it now, but i guess i gotta be older to get it.

      outside of the College Trilogy, 808s is my favorite album.

      • Kalashnikov.Bae

        Try listening to Saul Williams ‘The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust’…it was released in 2007. Trent Reznor and Rick Rubin worked on its production. They also worked on production for Yeezus. I only ‘got’ Yeezus after listening to Niggy Tardust….what I ‘got’ is that theres nothing to ‘get’. Its an album that didn’t get there in terms of its concepts/ideas because it isn’t original. The end.

        • h.h.h.

          thanks, i’ll look into it…i see there were bonus tracks, gotta figure out if i DL from their site, or just cop offa Amazon (i’d like to ..ahh..financially support…instead of…engaging …in alternate…routes.. *cough* lolol

        • afronica

          Are you not a fan of Reznor or Rubin in general or just specifically on this one Saul Williams album?

        • SuperStrings

          I haven’t kept up with Saul Williams since he did Slam.

        • NomadaNare

          Right Though!!!!!????? Ninjas been doing afro punk for years (there’s an entire festival in NY every year) and Kanye walks his high fallutin’ arse and tries to co opt it for some bs anti-capitalist stance. TFOHWTB!

        • NomadaNare

          I’m moderation, but even the visual tone of Black Skinhead is very similar to Saul Williams Coded Language. Let’s not even get into the music…

    • Freebird

      No need for a Georgetown class on Yeezy. You broke that n!@!a down!

  • Freebird

    I cant rank albums but as for songs:

    1) Through The Wire
    2) Runaway
    3) Devil in a Blue Dress
    4) All Falls Down
    6) Jesus Walks

    • Kema

      Through the Wire annoyed me

      • Upgrayedd

        And I thought you was the one. Through the wire was probably his most sincere song ever along with one his hardest beats. It’s crazy to listen to it now because there is none of the defensive ego or pretense that has defined his career and honestly made him great. That was a well produced indie rap song and I felt exactly what he was trying to convey.

        • Kema

          I like a big ego. *grin* So all that nice sincerity means nothing to me.

        • panamajackson

          I love “through the wire”, “dope beat dope rhymes what more do y’all want?” – Phonte

      • The Champ

        me three. i was ready to hate the album after listening to that song

      • afronica

        I hated the prominence of the sample.

  • SuperStrings

    I bought the first three Kanye joints and have really only skimmed the others. That probably disqualifies me from being able to do a real ranking, so I’ll just say that College Dropout was my favorite Kanye joint to date. I felt like his skills were more on point than in later albums, and I could relate more to the content.

    • The Champ

      I think the 20-something me related more to the early kanye, especially the education themes. now though, i feel more connected to the feelings/themes brought up on Yeezus and MBDTF

      • Epsilonicus

        For me, I could relate to early Kanye when I was in HS because of the whole “not a gangster” thing. He was kind of preppy like I was in HS.

        Now at 27, I can relate to his career frustrations on Yeezus.

      • SuperStrings

        I’ll admit to not having given the latest stuff a real thorough listening.