‘The College Dropout’ turns 10 years old


The album artwork for “The College Dropout.”

Ravina Gujral, ScotCenter Segment Editor

February 10, 2004, better known as the date that Kanye West released his first album, was the day that a legendary rapper officially entered the music industry as an artist.

In the late 1990s, West worked behind the scenes as a record producer for Roc-A-Fella Records founded by Jay-Z, also known as Shawn Carter. However, West was unsatisfied with his position since he had his own ideas he wanted to record and share as an artist.

As a result, he started working on his legendary album, “College Dropout” in 1999 at 22 years old. With 21 tracks, West had a large album with a new and upcoming style. His different way of going about music has transferred into his later albums, appealing to many people.

Junior Jenna Mourad said, “I think ‘The College Dropout’ was definitely one of the best albums that Kanye has created. It really helped to shape his career since there were so many great songs he started off with. I also think a lot of people compare this album to his more recent ones to see if his newer albums live up to ‘The College Dropout.’”

Labels were hesitant to sign West since they weren’t sure if such music would actually make it in the market. But the album was a hit with the younger crowd and West entered a new chapter of his life.

With popular songs such as “All Falls Down,” “Never Let Me Down,” and “Through the Wire,” West had a different view of what he wanted the final album to be like.

“I really liked the song ‘Jesus Walks’ because it was such a huge song off of the album that really helped Kanye to get to where he is now. The song really offered a new kind of take on rap and hip hop music,” said junior Neeshae Wain.

West’s collaborations with artists such as Syleena Johnson, Consequence, Jay Z, Talib Kweli, Jamie Foxx, Ludacris, and others, “The College Dropout” had a variety of styles throughout. At the time, people were looking for new things to listen to and West’s fresh ideas made a large impact on how people saw him as an artist.

Junior Yunus Evsen said, “I like some of Kanye’s music, but I think that sometimes he can be overrated. He has some nice ideas, but I don’t think he should be seen as such a huge figure that so many people look at as a superior rapper.

While some enjoyed West’s first album and others didn’t, there is no denying that since 1999 West has made his mark in the music industry.

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