Kanye West is one of the most polarizing figures of this current generation. Whether you’re fond of the controversial star or not, it’s hard to at least acknowledge his musical talent. The self-proclaimed “Yeezus” and vulnerable star has put out six solo albums which all tell a specific story throughout Mr. West’s rise to glory.
The College Dropout, his debut project (through which most of us got introduced to him), recently turned 10 years old. It was evident early that West’s bodies of work questioned a lot of social issues. Songs like “All Falls Down” and “Jesus Walks” became anthems and connected with present culture.
Soon to gain just as much as respect for his lyric ability as his production, Kanye’s evolution and experimentation sonically would be heard in large on his ’07 album: Graduation. For a lot of people (including myself), it’s one of Kanye’s best and most memorable albums.
While sample-heavy, there was certainly a consistent canvas structure that tied the project together. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” was easily one of the most played songs on the radio that year. While one of the most important songs, (that probably wouldn’t be on everyone’s immediate list of favorite songs off Graduation), was “Big Brother”, hearing ‘Ye talk about his relationship with Jay-Z and how he looked up to him, was very transparent and honestly delivered.
Let’s fast-forward to Yeezus, and the Kanye we all were pretty familiar with became a lot more aggressive, a lot more raw and sonically wild. It was clear that Yeezus had an agenda for all of this. At first glance, it seemed very few people knew what to make of this. However, it wasn’t until most people went out and saw the Yeezus show live that they had a bit more admiration for the project.
Photos by Dondre Green, Words by Jose Ontiveros