I recently admited that my favorite rap album ever was not the usual "illmatic" or "Ready to Die" but none other than Kanye West's "The College Dropout". It recently was placed in Complex.com's "25 albums in the last decade that deserve CLASSIC status". Here is what they had to say..
With the right narrative, anything is possible, and on Kanye West's debut, one of the most enduring stories catapulted a barely-known beatmaker from soundtracking Jay-Z LPs to becoming an international superstar and one of the rap's heroes. Kanye wasn't anyone's idea of a major rapper when he first emerged; he didn't have dexterous lyrical skills required of the underground, but a consummate self-confidence reminiscent of gangster rap's biggest personalities that made up for it.
He transformed his self-awareness (and a potent sense of humor) intro strengths, humanizing himself on tracks that looked to his humble beginnings ("Spaceship") and personal hardships ("Through the Wire") in order to paint a picture of an artist with a singular perspective. Not only did it jumpstart a career of one of the art form's most significant artists, but it cleared a lane for so many others as well. — DD