Monday, February 10, 2014

the college dropout

Kanye West made the move through the wire from producer to rapper with the breathless bohemian ballerific baptism of this classic hip hop concept album.  He began producing in the mid-90's before making the move to  Roc-A-Fella Records where he helped to jump start Jay-Z's career.  He also put together hit songs for Ludacris, Alicia Keys, and Janet Jackson.  Along the way he made the decision to give up his studies at Chicago State and pursue his passion in music.  West secured a contract as a rapper from Roc-A-Fella after trying to get one from Capitol.  A major turning point occurred when West was involved in a car accident after leaving the studio, shattering his jaw.  

West revealed:    "I feel like the album was my medicine. It would take my mind away from the pain - away from the dental appointments, from my teeth killing me, from my mouth being wire shut, from the fact that I looked like I just fought Mike Tyson...The record wouldn't have been as big without the accident.  I nearly died.  That's the best thing that can happen to a rapper."

'The College Dropout' was recorded at The Record Plant in Los Angeles, California utilizing beats and samples that West had been working on for years.  The album credits Jacob Andrew as engineer; Darrin Asemota as A&R; Thomassina Atkins on vocals; Burt Bacharach as composer; Rich Balmer as engineer; Miri Ben-Ari as arranger, producer, piolin; Shalik Berry on A&R; The Boys Choir of Harlem as featured artist, guest artist, primary artist, vocalist; Candis Brown on vocals; Albert E. Brumley as composer; Kareem "Biggs" Burke as executive producer; Jay-Z as executive producer, writer, primary artist; Common as featured artist, guest artist, primary artist; Consequence as featured artist, primary artist; Dave Dar as engineer; Damon Dash as executive producer; Andrew Dawson as engineer; Eric Duvauchelle on art direction, design; Michael Eleopoulos as engineer; Evidence as producer; Jamie Foxx as featured artist, guest artist, primary artist; Ramses Francois on A&R; Aretha Franklin as composer; Freeway as featured artist, primary artist; Marcus Fuller as engineer; GLC as featured artist, performer, primary artist; Mike Godshall on art direction, design; Francis Graham as engineer; Terrence Hardy on vocals; L.D. Harris as composer; Lauryn Hill as composer; Diamond Alabi Isama on vocals; J. Ivy on featured artist; Eric Johnson on guitar; Syleena Johnson as featured artist, guest artist; Kyambo Joshua on A&R, executive producer; Tom Keane as composer; Anthony Kilhoffer as engineer; James Knight on vocals; Brent Kolatalo as engineer; Brandi Kuykenvall on vocals; Talib Kweli as featured artist, guest artist, primary artist; Darcell Lawrence as financial director; John Legend on vocals, backing vocals, piano; Ken Lewis on bass, guitar, instrumentation, keyboards, percussion, sampling; Ludacris as featured artist, guest artist, primary artist; Manny Marroquin on mixing; Beverly A. McCargo on vocals; Lavel Mena on vocals; B. Miller as composer; C.C. Mitchell as composer; Tim Morris on art direction, design; Mos Def as featured artist, guest artist, primary artist; Bobby Naugle on logo design; Jason Rauhoff as engineer; Patrick Reynolds on A&R; Lauri Rowe on art; Tatsuya Sato as engineer; Eddy Schreyer on mastering; Kevin Shannon on vocals; Tiera Singleton on vocals; Keith Slattery as engineer, keyboards; Dante Smith as composer; Tracie Spencer on backing vocals; Eugene Toale on vocals; Tarrey Torae on vocals; Twista as featured artist, primary artist; Aisha Tyler on vocals; Tony Vanias as recording coordinator; Cynthia Weil as composer; Kanye West as main composer, executive producer, primary artist; Tony Williams on vocals; Cam Wilson as composer; R. Wilson as composer; Carlisle Young as engineer; and Josh Zandman on piano.   

'The College Dropout' was an immediate hit, establishing West as a major new talent.  It reached ninety-eight in France, ninety-six in Switzerland, seventy-seven in Germany, fifty-three in the Netherlands, thirty-nine in Sweden, thirteen in Ireland, twelve in the UK, two on the US Billboard 200 album chart, and number one on  the US rap albums chart and the US R&B album chart.  It won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and has sold over four million copies worldwide. 

'Jesus Walks'

Yo, we at war

We at war with terrorism, racism
And most of all, we at war wit ourselves
(Jesus walks)
God show me the way because the Devil's trying to break me down
(Jesus walks with me)

You know what the Midwest is?

Young &Restless
Where restless niggaz might snatch yo' necklace
And next these niggaz might jack yo' Lexus
Somebody tell these niggaz who Kanye West is

I walk through the valley of the shadow of death is

Top floor, the view alone will leave you breathless
Try to catch it
It's kinda hard
Getting choked by the detectives yeah yeah now check the method

They be asking us questions, harass and arrest us

Saying, "We eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast"
Huh? Ya'll eat pieces of shit? What's the basis?
We ain't going nowhere but got suits and cases

A trunk full of coke, rental car from Avis

My momma used to say, Only Jesus can save us
Well momma, I know I act a fool
But I'll be gone till November, I got packs to move, I hope

(Jesus walk)

God show me the way because the Devil's tryna to break me down
(Jesus walk with me)
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don't fail me now
(Jesus walk)

And I don't think there's nothing I can do now ta right my wrongs

(Jesus walk with me)
I wanna talk to God but I'm afraid cause we ain't spoke in so long

God show me the way because the Devil's tryna to break me down

The only thing that I pray is that my feet don't fail me now

And I don't think there is nothing I can do now ta right my wrongs

I want to talk to God but I'm afraid cause we ain't spoke in so long
So long, so long
(Jesus walk with me)

To the hustlas, killas, murderas, drug dealas, even tha strippers

(Jesus walks with them)
To the victims of welfare for we living in hell here, hell yeah
(Jesus walks with them)

Now hear ye, hear ye, want to see Thee more clearly

I know He hear me when my feet get weary
'Cuz we're the almost nearly extinct
We rappers as role models, we rap we don't think

I ain't here to argue about his facial features

Or here to convert atheists into believers
I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathy Lee needed Regis, that's the way I need Jesus

So here go my single dawg radio needs this

They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tape
But if I talk about God my record won't get played, huh?

Well if this take away from my spins

Which will probably take away from my ends
Then hope it take away from my sins
And bring the day that I dream about
Next time I'm in the club everybody screamin' out

(Jesus walk)

God show me the way because the Devil's tryna break me down
(Jesus walk with me)
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don't fail me now

'The College Dropout' 
full album:

0:19-We Don't Care, 
4:18-Graduation Day, 
5:39-All Falls Down(feat.Syleena Johnson), 
9:18-I'll Fly Away, 
10:31-Spaceship(feat.GLC & Consequence), 
15:55-Jesus Walk, 
19:24-Never Let Me Down(feat.Jay-Z & J. Ivy), 
23:55-Get Em High(feat.Talib Kweli & Common), 
28:43-The Workout Plan, 
29:29-The New Workout Plan, 
34:50-Slow Jamz(feat.Twista & Jamie Foxx), 
38:56-Breathe In Breath Out(feat.Ludacris), 
43:02-School Spirit (Skit 2), 
43:45-School Spirit, 
46:47- School Spirit (Skit 1), 
48:05-Lil Jimmy(Skit), 
48:59-Two Words(feat.Mos Def, Freeway & the Boys Choir of Harlem), 
53:25-Through The Wire, 
57:59-Family Business, 
1:02:38-Last Call

No comments:

Post a Comment