Producer, lyricist, poet and comedian sum up Kanye West’s style. Roc-A-Fella’s latest artist and the person who laid beats for Alicia Keys, Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel is making himself into a household name.
The Chicago rapper’s freshmen debut, The College Dropout, blends a unique mix of hip-hop, jazz, old school R&B and choir music.
Unlike most producer/artists who are known more for their beats than lyrics, West overcomes this problem with clever wit and comedy rarely seen in the industry. On the catchy track, “The New Workout Plan,” West demonstrates his comedic side with lyrics such as “Oh girl your silhouette make me wanna light a cigarette/ Ooh girl your breath is harsh/ Cover your mouth like you got SARS.”
Kanye shows why he is one of the most sought after producers with the song “Never Let Me Down,” featuring label-mate, Jay-Z. The track’s hard beat and church chorus delivers a mix of gritty streets and soulful church. On “School Spirit,” West disguises the track as a college song while really discussing his successes after dropping out.
“Breathe In Breathe Out” features Ludacris and offers that southern “Go-Go” beat and style usually heard on a Ludacris album. Luda brings his clever sexual humor and wordplay, which epitomizes a large portion of West’s lyrics. On the spoken word piece, “All Falls Down,” Kanye demonstrates his versatility by using a more poetic technique and adding Syleena Johnson’s singing and guitar playing to give the track a live studio sound.
The College Dropout features an arsenal of artists ranging from The Harlem Boys Choir to Talib Kweli. Both radio hits “Slow Jamz” and “Through the Wire” appear on Dropout as well. Roc-A-Fella’s post Jay-Z era is off on the right foot with this album.
However, Kanye needs to discuss a wider range of subjects than his dropping out of college or getting into a car accident. Overall, the lyrics and beats are the factors that make The College Dropout unique compared to most producers/ rappers.