Kanye West

This year may have been a bumpy ride for Mr. West, but he now has a piece of positivity to keep in his back pocket. Kanye West’s debut album “The College Dropout” takes the cake for Entertainment Weekly’s #1 spot as “The Best Album of the Decade!” Blowing past Jay-Z‘s “Blueprint,” which landed in the #2 spot, the album also managed to reign over Justin Timberlake’s “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” Beyonce’s “I Am… Sasha Fierce” and Outkast’s “Stankonia.” Though it may have broken hearts, Lil’ Wayne’s “The Carter III” and 50 Cent’s “Get Rich Die Trying” did not make the list…

West took to his blog to give his acceptance speech. He started off by saying “no one saw it coming” as he reminisced about the album cover and all the hard work that went into the album. “This project wasn’t about me, it was about a time in peoples lives where people force opinions on you and you have to make choices for yourself,” West justified. He continued to explain the inspiration behind the project, stating that he did it for the people that “wanted to wear pink polos and rap about being hurt instead of being invincible.” West also added that Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” inspired him the most, being the album that he listened to while he worked on “The College Dropout.” West closed out by thanking EW for having big brother Jay-Z’s “Blueprint” on the list. He also gave his honorable mentions to Outkast’s “Speakerboxx/The Love Below” and 50 Cent’s “Get Rich Or Die Trying.”

In 2004, the prayers of hip-hop lovers who may have been caught between the likes of artists such as Jay-Z and Talib Kweli were answered. “The College Dropout” introduced West as a highly materialistic, yet conscious rapper. Differing from 50 Cent’s “gangsta” persona that was popular at that time, West entered hip-hop emotional and in a polo. He used his clever wordplay to focus on other ignored realities: family, religion, materialism, and of course, college. The album featured self-production that introduced old soulful loops and vocal samples to hard bass and drums. The album gained massive commercial success with top hits such as “Through The Wire,” “Slow Jamz,” “All Falls Down” and the militantly chanted “Jesus Walks.” West also had some of the hottest artist to help him tell his story: Talib Kweli, Common, Ludacris, Jamie Foxx, Mos Def, Jay-Z and more.

Even though the year is coming to an end, Mr. West still seems to be attracting more positive press and reviews. Rolling Stone magazine named West one of the “Best Artists of the Decade” and Billboard threw West in their list of “The Top Female and Male Artists of 2009.” Maybe these mentions will not go to his head and he’ll start off fresh in 2012. Let’s hope so.

Written By Shabazz

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