The College DropoutKanye West
That was gruelling. First thing first: this album is at least half an hour too long. Second thing second (and maybe most important): this is just an "okay" rap album. Third thing third: this album hasn't aged well. (Kanye himself has aged LESS well.) Lastly (kind of): it's ludicrous that Ludacris was probably paid good money for a bad feature. I remember hearing so much hype for this album for the year or so between its release and me picking a copy of the CD to see what the fuss was about. And even that dozen and a half years ago I did not understand why people were raving about it so much. It's not that great. It's not horrible either, but I think it's quite unspectacular. There are a couple of good hooks, a solid handful of sweet beats and all the requisite and expected features of the era, but Kanye's emceeing isn't revolutionary or particularly exciting and his lyrics ain't really that deep. I came into this prepared to eat crow and maybe find out I'd been wrong about my assessment of this back in '05 and really did my best to set aside my feelings about present-day Kanye while listening, but I still just can't fuck with it.