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Graduation - Kanye West

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Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap - East Coast / Artist: Kanye West / Enhanced / Audio CD released 2007-09-10 at Mercury

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    8 Reviews
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      05.09.2013 00:11
      Very helpful



      A Great album

      This is the third album released by Kanye West and was released a few years ago back in 2007. He really is a big of an enigma as in person he doesn't come across as the most likeable fellow and often quite smug but to be fair to him he knows how to make good music. For me his best album will always be College Dropout as that set Kanye upon the world but this another very decent album by him and is probably the first step away when he started experimenting as The College Dropout and Graduation were similar in terms of style. Graduation also reached no 1 in the states and over here in the UK as well as several other countries. As per usual I will review my favourite tracks on the album.

      This was one of the single releases from the album and contains a sample of an old Daft Punk Record. This is really used well and doesn't just seem like a carbon copy as the rapping really adds to the track. It was won a Grammy award for best rap track and reached no 1 in the US so there really was universal acclaim here. As you can imagine with the Daft Punk sample there is a techno sounding background and the lyrics of course relate to strength. Yes some ego as always with Kanye but he delivers here.

      Can't Tell Me Nothing
      I absolutely love this track and it really is a remix of old and new. The vocals are beautiful and the lyrics are on another level. It is really a confrontation with himself about his success and finding the line between going things alone and taking advice. In terms of the beat he says he took inspiration from the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin but I don't really see it. It was also nominated in the previous year from the single above for a Grammy award but ironically lost out to a completely different Kanye track.

      This features the Coldplay lead Chris Martin and is another example of how Kanye really embraces all types of music and tries out new styles of music. This has a really old school feel to it and is a track which reflects his life from being a young kid with ambition to making it in his career. But the track has a dual meaning and is also a metaphor about how when he was young he liked a girl and then later in his life he relates upon this and it comes back full circle. That's what I love about Kanye he speaks on so many different levels at times.

      Overall there are many standouts tracks on this album and for me there are only a few weak lines. This isn't as good at graduation but it is in album which has longevity and that is a rare thing in music these days. I do wish Kanye goes back to these sorts of albums as I am not the biggest fan of his latest album Yeezus.


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      12.01.2009 00:09



      The least successful of the trilogy

      Can anyone be as good as Kanye thinks he is, well yes actually, Kanye West is arrogant and rightfully so.....sometimes!

      This is the third installment of his trilogy about himself, following 'The college dropout' and 'Late Registration'. It was devised as an album that could fill stadiums for rap concerts with anthemic electronica and big beats, on some levels it succeeded, most notably with the rehash of the Daft Punk classic 'Stronger', however on a lot of levels it lacks the soul and good tunes of his previous two albums and for me is the weakest album in the trilogy.

      The album stand out is Stronger, and there are some great ideas on here, on Barry Bonds he compares his hit making ability to that of a major league baseball hitter, on Big Brother he compares his relationship with Jay-Z to that of a brother, both good and bad.

      His ideas are excellent and make a refreshing change, but this is too experimental for my liking and a lot of the ideas really don't work properly, I enjoyed the previous two albums for their melodies and ability to make me enjoy them, on these many of the tracks take deep concentration but don't hold your attention long enough to enjoy the end result. The album is available for £2.87 on Amazon or elsewhere for download.


      1. "Good Morning"
      2. "Champion"
      3. "Stronger"
      4. "I Wonder"
      5. "Good Life" (featuring T-Pain)
      6. "Can't Tell Me Nothing"
      7. "Barry Bonds" (featuring Lil Wayne)
      8. "Drunk and Hot Girls" (featuring Mos Def)
      9. "Flashing Lights" (featuring Dwele)
      10. "Everything I Am"
      11. "The Glory"
      12. "Homecoming"
      13. "Big Brother"


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      27.08.2008 21:37
      Very helpful



      Kanye west proves himself again and does it in style :)

      I never use to like listening to Kanye West untill about a year or two ago. I thought he sounded very drab and boring, but however now I think he is amazing.

      His songs have an excellent beat and rhythm to them and this album makes absoulutely no exception. A mix of rap and hip hop together makes a great combination as this album lets you see (or hear lol)

      I have all his albums and love them all. My favourite songs from this one is Champion, Good Life, I Wonder, Cant Tell Me Nothing, Flashing Lights and Homecoming. I just put this album on to play right now due to myslef speaking about it.

      Kanye West is great, i love singing along to his songs as the best and rhythm is magical. If you are a fan of Hip hop/ Rap as i am then i think you should consider listening to some of his songs and mainly this album. You might not like it at first but it really will grown on you I think as thats what happened to me, before you know it you will be singing along the songs in your head without realising it. (its what happened to me :) )


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      30.01.2008 19:55
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      Features some of Kanye's latest tunes. If you like him, check it out!

      Released: 10th September 2007
      Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
      Total Length: 51:23
      Price: £7.99 - iTunes Shop
      Rating: 7/10

      This is currently Kanye's latest album. The album artwork is particularly cool in my opinion. Vivid colours and tells a story. His last two albums were College Dropout and Late Registration. I have to say this one is my favourite so far, as it features some of my favourite songs, such as Homecoming and Stronger. The album cover features a Teddy Bear in a space suit being hurtled into space, which reflects Kanye's pushing himself to the maximum in his latest album.

      In it's first week of being released, the album sold a magnificent 957,000 copies in the States. This then became the album for the most sales in first week of release for 2007.

      Anyone can rap, but no one does it better than Kanye West. Not only is his rap good, but the tunes behind his voice are great. The homecoming tune is particularly good in my opinion, which is a catchy keyboard tune with the background noise of a talking crowd. It really sets a theme for the song, which is emphasised by his words. 'Stronger' is like some kind of futuristic dance song that I could imagine everyone dancing to in the future. His other songs are average to me...not great but they have good lyrics. I must say though that in his 'Stronger' song, some of the sentences don't even make sense and the lyrics are a bit over the top in this way to make it sound good. This song also bored me after a while, as I was put off it soon by listening to it too much.

      My least favourite song has to be Good Life, as I just cannot stand the background high voice, repeating throughout the song. I am sure that Kanye West will continue to improve in the future and bring out some fantastic, popular tunes that we will all be listening to, so check out his music from his latest album! His music isn't all Rap, but his rap is pretty good (apart from the rap that doesn't even make sense in Stronger. His Hip-Hop songs are much better in my opinion, and this is what I love him for.

      Song List:

      1. Good Morning
      2. Champion
      4. I Wonder
      5. Good Life - Kanye West & T-Pain
      6. Can't Tell Me Nothing
      7. Barry Bonds - Kanye West & Lil' Wayne
      8. Drunk And Hot Girls - Kanye West & Mos Def
      9. Flashing Lights - Kanye West & Dwele
      10. Everything I Am - Kanye West & DJ Premiere
      11. Glory
      12. Homecoming
      13. Big Brother
      14. Good Night

      Thanks for reading,

      - Recon -


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      • More +
        17.10.2007 18:47
        Very helpful



        Hip Hop Has A Way Its To Be Heard This Is Not It

        1. Good Morning - Comeback time for kanye and the
        first track that hits ur ears is not appropriate.
        The ludacrisly dull clav hits carry the full way across the song and its the most prodominint loop on the track.
        Its gets really corny though when the cheese driping woo ooh ohhz kick in at the chorus.
        Lyrics are all acheviable
        he has his really poor moments but the one off big word somebody else writes for him takes all ears of alot of the poor lyrics on the track.
        The second verse is the most cheesy with lines like "on this day we become legendary" trying to make it sound epic movie materia
        3rd verse is the worst by far with probablly the worst word spree iv ever heard
        "They tell you read this,Eat this,Dont look around just peep this,Preachers?,Teach us jesus?,Look up now they have stole ur streetnes?? . 4.5/10

        2. Champion - Average lyricaly and the corny gym workout music clashes badly with the carbire background jingle
        The annoying "there eyes" loop gets to high pitched and loops its way write through song stabbing ur ears. The chorus makes no sense and and the lion king black reggae hook just before the song ends
        makes u want to curl up in a ball and die hahhahah im not joking.
        "This is the story of a champion,From the city drop n they popped the guns????" kanye west who as made known worldwide he has never held a gun never mind shoot one.. 3.5/10

        3. Stronger - Terrible lyrically!Terrible!the electric disco pop is not rap or hip hop despite what people tell you.
        It is a snob looking to make money out of being diffrent and being outragous and wacky its is pathetic.
        The so called genious spoots the lyrics
        "I'v got to be right cause i cant get much wronger??
        ,I'v been waiting all nite thats how long iv been on ya". Wow that long you must love her but it gets worse.
        "Ill do anything for blind dyke (OMG),and she'll do anything for the lime light ????,And we'll do anything when the times right (HUHH i give up)
        . 4.0/10

        4. I Wonder - Definetly better track on the album soothing piano and smooth beatiful voice bring in the song like a classic.
        That is until the crucial sythsizers and electronic snare kicks in and makes it feel awful dosent go at all.
        Kanyes voice opens up adopting an cocky annoying singing tone which really frustrates u as espically when he spitting god awful lyrics.5.3/10

        5. Good Life feat. T-Pain - It Makes my skin Crawl. 0.0/10

        6. Cant Tell Me Nothing - Anthemic definetly actually quite a good song "ohhh" great hook.
        But the chorus lets the song down "La La La La"just dosent suite the bells chimes.
        To be honest this would be a contender for song of 07 if the camera clicking in the background of the instrumental didnt turn the song southern.
        Stupid young jeezy voice sample sounds really silly considering he dosent actually have a verse.
        And "Ye And Hahaha" mean what if not actually saying it.Lyrics are actally not bad for a change though. 6.0/10

        7. Barry Bonds feat. Lil Wayne - Weak instrumental definetly.
        Flow is hard and consitent unlike alot of singing tone songs.
        Lil Waynes voice upgrades the song but the chorus is poor the instrumental is boring so it end ups a poor annoying song 4.7/10

        8. Drunk and Hot Girls Feat. Mos Def - Another snobbish approach but this ones sounds much worse stronger.
        Bad idea for a song unbelievably bad chorus.
        The instrumental is again packed with far too many sythizers.
        The sinster whistle although makes the song sound strangely intresting but dosent excuse the song for being awful.
        Get Mos Def on the track Yet Another Snobbish IDEA!!!.
        Despite going all out at 'Drunk and hot girls' its dosent seem to stop them from sleeping with them dose it they are condridicting them selves 3.3/10

        9. Flashing Lights Feat. Dwele - Exactly like 'I Wonder' comes in classic and them RUINED by the stupid overdone sythinzers and the southern clap arrangments from cant tell me nothing.
        But it dosent stop the subliminal catchy vocal hook "Flashing Lights"
        Perfect tone perfect use of a small loop
        it is subliminal and will stick in your head all day. 6.1/10

        10. Everything I am - Classic.
        Just a classic.
        Dj Premier on the scracthing and the harp/piano combo plays beatifuly into the match made in heaven kanye voice.
        Chorus is classic and when that piano takes mission tone it.. its just classic 9.7/10

        11. The Glory - Ok hes going for the Kids anthem but hes came out out with a heard before,corny, poor song.
        Although he does drop his best lyrics of the full album
        "So ye at the grammies i went ultra travolta,Ye that tuxedo might have beena little gweedo,But with my ego,I Can stand stand there with a speedo and still be looked at like a fckin hero" drums are dry and boring. Chorus fades quickly and its just a poor dull song
        . 4.2/10

        12. Homecoming - Chris Martin ok again a good hook but the bubble pop piano dosent cut single material.
        The lyrical content is actually quite good,intresting something diffrent from rapping about clothes and money.
        An ok track but again no hip hop here

        13. Big Brother - Corny Corny Corny.
        I mean really bad song terrible song actually
        "My big brother was bigs brother(SOO)"
        Thats the chorus.
        Also Stirring away are boring as hell lame echoing drums.
        The electric guitar hits are funny.
        The lyrical content is weird as if he was some nuts stalker.
        Jay z'z not even on the track and hes not dead so what the hell is it all about. 3.2/10


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          12.10.2007 20:50
          Very helpful



          His best work ever.

          First of all can i just say that this is his best work ever. though it just beats The college Dropout. Now i will break this lyrical genius's album into 14 pieces .

          1. Good Morning - Considering this is a intro is it a great song. It sets the scene for the album and talks about the results of a school slacker.
          Lyrically amazing. 9.0/10

          2. Champion - This should be an anthem! has a good
          chorus and has a though remarks about the film Will Smith was in called The Pursuit of Happiness.
          Anthem. 8.5/10

          3. Stronger - Now let me tell you, with out Daft Punk in this, the song would be ruined! a very unique track and if i could choose any song on the album to grab the audiences attention and give a little taster of the album it would defiantly be this!
          Addictive. 7.9/10

          4. I wonder - Hmmm i'm not sure about this track. In my opinion its the weakest track on the album, so lets leave it at that.
          OK. 6.6/10

          5. Good Life feat. T-Pain - You couldn't get hold of Akon eh? dont get me wrong, i love this song and T-Pains distinctive sound really works well with this song. Theres a million good things i can say about this track but i think ill wrap it up here.
          Throw your hands up in the Sky. 9.4/10

          6. Cant Tell Me Nothing - My god. The lyrics in this track are amazing! it really reflects his life and shows off his lyrical talent.
          A Tune. 9.4/10

          7. Barry Bonds feat. Lil Wayne - This is also a weak song in my opinion, its just not my style of track. Also Lil Wayne isn't needed in this track, it was fine without him.
          I'm mean eh? 6.1/10

          8. Drunk and Hot Girls Feat. Mos Def - a very good, but dull song. Although catchy, practically all it is is one line and a backing track repeated.
          Great. 8.2/10

          9. Flashing Lights Feat. Dwele - When i fist heard this track I was very arrogant and hated it. Trust me on this, listen to it 2 to 3 times and it will grow on you and you will love it!
          Stays in your head all day. 8.9/10

          10. Everything I am - this track is a bit like All Falls Down, a Kanye style slow ballad. Not one of his best but nonetheless good.
          A deep, yet solid song. 6.9

          11. The Glory - this is one of my favorite tracks. For one it has a lot of originality, secondly the chorus is so enjoyable I could play it over and over again (which I have done!).
          Brilliant. 8.9

          12. Homecoming - This is nothing new to West fans, the same amazing stuff. This song, like others, has a beginning, middle and end, but this song perfects all areas. I cant praise this enough!
          Truly amazing. 9.1

          13. Big Brother - Now, as you all know Jay Z was his mentor, well, this song talks about his life and links between the two rappers. The most emotional song on the album. Even though his is considered as a bonus track it is still a class track.
          True class. 7.8/10

          Well as you should know 50 Cent had a crazy idea to have his album Curtis and Graduation released on the same day as a competition to see who sells the most records. But obviously Graduation beat Curtis easily.
          Well that raps my review. Thanks for taking the time to read! =)



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          14.09.2007 12:34
          Very helpful
          1 Comment



          This really is the good life.

          Just incase you haven't heard, Kanye West and 50 Cent are trying to do something apparently good for 'hip hop' by releasing their albums on the same day and see who gets the largest sales. My general impression is that Kanye will come out on top, but 50 has put more than just his pride on the line by saying that if his album, 'Curtis', fails then he shall never bring out a solo album again. I'm sure he had his fingers crossed, just as Eminem did when he announced his retirement, but I'm sure the whole feud is great for record sales when you consider we live in an age of downloads. Now why would I think Kanye would do better than 50 Cent? Let me introduce you to 'Graduation' the album.

          Kanye was lucky, he was born with his stage name already in place, that's some inspired parenting as they named him Kanye Omari West as he was born on June 8th 1977. The world began to fall for Kanye back in 2004 when he released his debut album, 'College Dropout', this was critically acclaimed as one of the best albums of the year. 2005 saw Kanye release 'Late Registration', which was again hugely successful. 2007 allows Kanye to continue the theme of school related album titles, as he releases 'Graduation'.

          'Can't Tell Me Nothing' was released as the first single in the States, however it made very little waves, and it was very refreshing to see 'Stronger' released. 'Stronger' performed well in charts worldwide, and topped the UK charts. 'Good Life' featuring T-Pain is widely expected to be the third released single, and is a feel good track just like pretty much all the rest of the material on the album. I'm not sure there is a negative song in the whole entire mix, and whilst 'Good Life' is not the same league as 'Stronger', I would expect it to be a success.

          One of the things that can be said about this album is how well it has been produced, and with an intro track entitled 'Good Morning', the song actually feels like it could be an alarm playing to wake you up for your... you got it, graduation. An outro that was made for the album entitled 'Good Night' is floating around the internet as it was not included in the final version of the album, and it would have been a good culmination to the album. Another track that wasn't included on the album but is a bonus if you download from iTunes is called 'Bittersweet' and it is a great track showing how much quality there actually was to choose from when it actually came to the final cut for the album.

          'Homecoming' features Coldplay's Chris Martin, and whilst I have never been a fan of him before his work with Kanye makes it one of the best tracks on the album. There are also appearances from artists you would more expect to see on a Kanye West album, such as Lil Wayne featuring on 'Barry Bonds', although that is one of my least favourite tracks on the album. 'Big Brother' is a brilliant tribute track to Kanye's mentor, Jay-Z, and I'm sure these two shared a great 'moment' when Jay heard the track for the first time. Of course Kanye is signed to Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella recording studio but I think this song is more about mutual respect than sucking up to the boss. Honestly, I don't think Kanye can do any wrong, because whilst not every track is perfect there is material on here that more than makes up for it. After seeing Kanye on the Friday Night Project a few weeks back as well, it only increased my interest in the character because he seems like a great guy, even if he does get grumpy at awards for not winning anything. He's probably going to be a jerk in real life now I've said all that. A must-own album no matter who you are, and that's why this will be Kanye's highest point of his career.


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            10.09.2007 16:28
            Very helpful



            Kanye's third studio album

            Graduation" is the most anticipated release by Kanye West. It is the third studio album by the Roc-A-Fella artist and has so much pressure to succeed as it competes aganist the sales of 50 Cent's "Curtis" which released on the same day as this. The later artist also claims that if Kanye out-sells him, he will stop making albums.

            Kanye differs from many Hip Hop artists if today as his style is very different to everyone else, this isn't just in his music, but also his dress-sense. West can be seen sporting the glasses shown on the album cover on occassions as well as clothes which are worn to fit the body. He isn't too bothered bout having ice on his wrists either, as he would rather add a plastic retro watch to his arm to remind him of his youth.

            The name for the album follows Kanye's life as the previous albums, "College Dropout" and "Late Registration", did. So this appears to be the final one associated with school/university life by the sound of it. It doesn't really have a relevance to the album as previous ones with the skits before, in fact this excludes them. I believe this gives the artist more space to show off his best work.

            1. "Good Morning" (intro)

            **Four Stars**

            This isn't just the intro to "Graduation" as it is almost four minutes long. The beat seems to bring the effect named in the title of waking you up, its an original way to say welcome to the album. Its as if he Kanye has just been woken up for the first time since the previous album, "Late Registration" and now he brings you the next, starting here.

            I say that the backing sound gives you the feel of awaking because its quite plesant, therefore it doesn't bluntly get you up, he's gently getting us back into his world. Its a good way to do this because I feel that it would be too early to hit the listener with a hard-hitting track.

            The track puts us into Kanye's position as he is told to get up and is told of his test results, in which he earned Ds. He is woken up to the day of his graduation, which provides the name of the LP. he says how his life has only just begun and it doesn't really matter that he has failed, because many can succeed without such formal tasks as this.

            2. "Champion"

            **Four Stars**

            "Champion" is a short track as it is less than three minutes long. It samples sounds familiar although I have never heard of "Kid Charlemagne" by Steely Dan, which I am told is where it comes from. A few lines from this are played throughout as a hook, they fit in well with the title and its obvious when you here it.

            It's a nice bumping track in this he tells us how he feels like a champion in the world of Hip Hop, I'd say that this is true. I believe that he makes somewhat of a half-hearted diss to another Hip Hop legend as he says "...Lauren Hill...I wish her heart was still in rhymin'." It comes after there have been several opinions raised about losing her lyric-writing game.

            In my opinon the track ends too abruptly, it feels as though its only half-done and much more could be added to the track. He possilbe thought that the everlasting hook would get too repetitve to be a hit with the fans, especially if they listended to it more than once. I must say that this wasn't the case, if this was a bit longer it could have certainly been I high contender for the best track on the album, even this early in the track-listings.

            3. "Stronger"

            **Five Stars**

            This was the second single to be released from the album and managed to top of this country's charts, a first of Kan(ye), it managed to stay in the top ten in most other English-speaking nations.

            This song samples the house/electronica specialists Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", the hook contains the chorus and is heard throughout. The beat is a lot harder than th original, going on the theme of the title. The percussion which allowed this to happen was provided by Timbaland to complete this track.

            Ye has noticibly changed his style here in this track as the song was heavily-motivated by the sample, it seems that the rest was shaped around it. It was all centred around the electronica scene of music, something he isn't too familiar with. Luckily he didn't go too far into that style, because otherwise I would never have liked it. His style of rap is mantained here which has him

            4. "I Wonder"

            **Three Stars**

            This one starts to singing before breaking down to a typical Hip Hop track which is based on a sample from another style of music. The genre change is irrelvant as the end result is a typical success from the great producer that is K West.

            The track doesn't really start until two minutes into it. In this time Ye follows the best and provides his lyrics in single syllables, before it breaks down prior to the second minute ticking by. I didn't like this wordplay, as it sounds like it could be a cover-up of his lyrics lacking in meaning. This leaves a couple of minute left, in this time he raps to a fast tempo.

            Many aspects of his lyrical content seems not to be of his usual standard. Much of it is below what I think he is capable of, it sounds as if he is just saying whatever comes into his mind as a freestyle, but not even a good one. I cannot complain about the beat though. I reminds me of Clipse's "Grindin'" from the beat as it is quite simplitic and has a bassy hit to it.

            5. "Good Life" (Feat. T-Pain)

            **Five Stars**

            This is to be the third single released from "Graduation" and it features the vocals of the R&B artist, T-Pain. This is the second collaboration from the two, and I hope to see more of this, because this time it seemed to work very well.

            The track contains a samle of Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T." (Pretty Young Thing). I feel that this makes the track very funky therefore it brings a pleasant mood about. This mood is enhanced to a further extent by the great lyrics from Ye. In it he speaks on a topic he doesn't ususally comment on his wealthly life. By the time he has reached his third album, which is likely to be as successful as the preceeding ones, so he feels its time to take a look back from where he has come and comment on life now. he feels its a good life as the money comes with little effort now. He speaks of how he switched up his style to make the money pile up, something likely to continue.

            The artist uses his signature voice box in the track as ususal. I feel that this adds to the uplifting sense, which surrounds the track. It is my opinion because the sound is warming to the listener. This brought about a good impression on me, and probably most other people.

            6. "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (feat. Young Jeezy)

            **Five Stars**

            This was the first release from the album and didn't sell too well in this country, due to the lack of promotion, with few video plays on music channels it was likely to turn out this way.

            Vocal snippets from Jeezy appear here which come from "I Get Money", Connie Mitchell of the Australian electronica group Sneaky Sound System appears as well for an added impact.

            Just for the reason that it didn't do to well in the country should not be a put off, because I feel that it is one of the better tracks on the LP. It is a great track as the Connie Mitchell vocals are very haunting and create the impression of a highly voice speaking to Ye who he ignore. It was very effective.

            7. "Barry Bonds" (feat. Lil' Wayne)

            **Three Stars**

            As you probably don't know, the title refers to a baseball player who managed to achieve the most career home runs, 756, this record was set this year. The track was inspired by the journey this athlete took throughout his life to hitting the home run which surpassed hank Aaron's previous record.

            Kanye uses Barry Bonds as a metaphor as his name stands for so much, he's saying that he is the athlete because, he is breaking records just as him but in music rather than sports. It goes inot detail about himself as an underdog before reaching the level he is at now, competing against 50.

            The track is quite a funky one by the beat isn't very regular, I can't say that it was one I enjoyed for this reason however, I found it very interesting how he managed to extend this metaphor throughout the track.

            8. "Drunk & Hot Girls" (feat. Mos Def)

            **Three Stars**

            I was excited once I saw that Mos Def was making an appearence in the album as he is one of the last remaining Hip Hop artists with alternative lyrics that most will not get. This leaves a minority which can understand him ghetto mentality which doesn't make the listener want to pick up a gun. he is similar to Kanye in this respect, but there styles contrast heavily if you consider other aspects.

            As he is an Islam-follower, I doubt that Black Dante (Mos Def) edulges in any of this activity at all. He speaks in this one how he goes around looking for people of this description to pick up. Its very clever as he sings what he would say to these women, he says phrases which are very common when you consider their state. Things are said which are humorous as you can relate well to not understanding the slurred speach and getting annoyed by the women vomitting whilst he drives.

            The beat is dropped for a while as Def goes for an a cappella, I found it quite disappointing in terms of my anicipation for his inclusion in the album because the input was very minimal. The track has a very slow tempo an it reminds you of a drunken state, which borders on falling asleep.

            9. "Flashing Lights" (feat. Dwele)

            **Four Stars**

            Dwele is an R&B singer, he was born and raised in Detroit. I didn't have thoughts before listening to this track as I hadn't heard of Dwele previous to this track. I can say that this one was pretty good.

            This sounds quite similar to the Brandy's track, "Talk About Our Love", in which Kanye produced and rapped. The sound is much more like an R&B track than Hip Hop.

            What Dwele brings is quite nice, he sings a short chorus which is full of soul, however I feel that his part in the song could have been done by a more well-known name though. This would have added to the overall star power of the LP without listening to the album, something required when competing againsts a rap giant, in terms of 50 Cent's prescence in the genre. It's something John Legend would have been useful for, I feel that he would have been just as good as Dwele in providing the brief melodies.

            10. "Everything I Am"

            **Three Stars**

            This one is a slow one that is very somvre, in it Ye claims that "Everything I'm not, made me everything I am". It's my understanding that this means that he has taken influence from everything around him in order to do what others have done to succeed, resulting in what we see now in Kanye.

            I must say that I prefer the up-tempo tracks a lot better, but this one has a lot of meaning to it, therefore its better to make the beat less important than the words he spits. I feel that he made this too depressing, and I feel that this isn't what he was trying to bring out, so its my opinion that it would have been better if the way he performed it was slightly more energetic.

            Kanye sends out a very important message about what he isn't, this is a rapper, obsessed with promoting guns. This image reversal makes him everything he is because this makes him bigger and better than the others out there. He speaks about thing which others wouldn't such as Chicago's murder numbers last year being over 6000. the reason that others would say this is because generally rappers promote getting your own back on others and kiling them just because they dissed them.

            11. "The Glory"

            **Four Stars**

            This one starts with a sample of "Save the Country" by Laura Nyro, it then breaks down with a typical Kanye beat, hard-hitting and full of bass. kanye then goes into a pretty general rap from him, just about himself, the Louis Vuitton Don. He claims that the main objective to get here was for the glory.

            The hook lasts throughout, and contains a single line from the song mentioned previously. It can be compared to Jamie Foxx's input into "Gold Digger" in that it can get quite annoying after a few listens, because of the line being replayed throughout.Although there voices arn't recognisable from the song itslef, in the chorus Jehireh Williams, Jalil Williams Mos Def and John Legend sing. What they bring is minial, but it definately improves the chorus, otherwise it would be quite empty.

            Kanye says that he would like to be compared to Big, not leaving it there assuming he means Notorious he means any of them, Big L or Pun. This leaves me wandering, because all of these died in the prime of their career, possibly he would like to follow this istead of fading out of the game.

            12. "Homecoming" (feat. Chris Martin)

            **Two Stars**

            Chris Martin in this is the lead singer from Coldplay, as you will probably know. The track syarts with a beat that sounds very 80s, of the American pop variety, this put me off somewhat.

            The song is about Ye meeting with a girl when he was three years old. This girl is who he sings about, he stars by telling of their first meeting and how there continued from there. He speaks of how he will return, I believe that this means go back to the old life without being a celebrity at the same time because the stardome alters the relationship.

            I n't say that I enjoyed this track too much because the story was quite hard to grasp, the lyrics were not connecting with me and the music from Ye and Warryn campbell's production seperated me from the track further. I doubt that many could get into this song from Kanye, its my opinion that this is the only major weakpoint of the LP.

            13. "Big Brother"

            **Five Stars**

            This refers to Jay-Z, the president of Roc-A-Fella, the person who allowed Ye to be as successful as he is by signing him to the label. He goes through the whole track talking about Jigga, because all that he has done for him. He goes through all the various stages of his relationship with him from Jay's "The Blueprint" when Ye started working with him for productions. He goes on to explain when he was once snubbed by him at Madison Square Garden, but he can understand this as the "little brother" to him.

            Ye speaks on how he always felt as if Young Hov was his idol, and as West wasn't a name many had heard of, he could take advantage of him by stealing ideas and such. There is a huge prescence of bitterness in this track and the way he performs it makes it seem as though he is over it now, but he obviously isn't otherwise he wouldn't have made a track about this. The basic aim Ye was trying to explain was that Jay-Z is always going to headline and Kanye is going to have to back him up as his little brother if he wants to continue him success.

            Despite all of what surrounds the track, you can tell that he is greatful for all that he has done to get him to the level he's at now, giving him mother a home and he is raking in money easily.

            The production work sounds as if he has taken influence from the "Hood Rock" movemnet in Atlanta, including artist such as Montana Da Rock, DJ Unk and Shop Boyz. This is because it has a rock input despite it being rap in its primary form. This one is slow and bassy, I enjoyed it a lot. This one will never reach the level of fame of a hit like "Gold Digger" for example, because of the content explored, its also hasn't got a beat that a popular audience could relate with, I feel that this was I good idea because I'm sure Jay wouldn't like too much exposure for it.

            I would have liked to see more collaborations in this album as many of them in the past have been extremly successful, most of his most recognised tracks did have other artists feature in then, for example, "Gold Digger" and "Slow Jamz". I'd say that with just a small alteration such as this, there would be a lot more going for this album.

            To me, "Big Brother" is the biggest track on the album and is definately one that I'd say is of the standard of the others singles "Stronger", "Can't Tell Me Nothing" and "Good Life" in terms of how much it sticks out as a great track on the album.

            Overall, "Graduation" isn't an album that anyone could just pick up and play, it has a greater depth than that, this is something you must consider because, most of it is pure Hip Hop in the original form of the genre, so many wil not be able to relate to it. I can say that a propotion of people may get into it out of curiousity, and may find a spark between yourself and it.

            I will not compare this to "Curtis" because I havn't heard all of it, however, without listening to it I can probably say that there's a lot more potetial from Ye's album. The more mature audience will favour Kanye's album as much of the music is in the lyrics. Its a shame that it has to be this way because Kanye produces, or co-produces, in all but one track on the album. I probably won't listen to the rest of 50's album, because I haven't got much interest in what he has to say, and i doubt it will compare to "Graduation".

            I must say that I've seen a lot more advertisement for "Curtis" than "Graduation", however I feel that this is desperation from Fiddy to get as much exposure as possilbe, because his career is on the line. I can say in response to this that Ye has been on TV, in the UK especially, around this time and so these appearances may have aided him in this battle for record sales.


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          • Product Details

            Disc #1 Tracklisting
            1 Good Morning
            2 Champion
            3 Stronger
            4 I Wonder
            5 Good Life - Kanye West, T-Pain
            6 Can't Tell Me Nothing
            7 Barry Bonds - Kanye West, Lil Wayne
            8 Drunk and Hot Girls - Kanye West, Mos Def
            9 Flashing Lights - Kanye West, Dwele
            10 Everything I Am - Kanye West, DJ Premier
            11 The Glory
            12 Homecoming
            13 Big Brother
            14 Good Night - Kanye West, Mos Def, Al Be Back
            15 Kanye West : Graduation website

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