A Review of Kanye West’s “Late Registration”
Even with the aid of a dictionary, it would simply be impossible to describe Kanye West with a single word or phrase. We’ve often debated amongst ourselves whether we truly love or hate him, depending entirely if you embrace his skills and talents as a producer/emcee or if you have been overly frustrated with his child-like tantrums he has occasionally thrown at award shows. Since he’s crossed over from producer to record selling artist, Kanye has made himself into a commodity in reference to his own music and fashion sense, as seen with him being labeled as the “Louis Vuitton Don”. He has always been honest with his upbringing as a middle-class child growing up in Chicago and that part of his life has never needed to be altered just to gain street credibility.
Late Registration is another addition to the mighty staple of dominance that Kanye has had over the hip-hop industry and has become my favorite album out of College Dropout and Graduation. It not only has a surplus of guest appearances highlighted by Jay-Z and Nas but the beats he creates are so brilliant and noteworthy. Every track Kanye lays his hands on is similar to that of Michelangelo and his work on the Sistine Chapel. Although, he would rather be known for rapping than producing, I believe that Kanye belongs in the same category as DJ Premier, Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, J Dilla, and 9th Wonder as one of the best producers of our generation. The material on every album he has released has never been stricken with boundaries and Kanye has never been afraid of speaking his mind especially about the Bush Administration and Hurricane Katrina.
My favorite tracks include: “Touch the Sky”, “Hey Mama”, and “Crack Music”. He has certainly learned how to differentiate himself from the conventional emcee and I have always appreciated the content he’s put forth into each and every one of his albums. He is a perfectionist and that mentality is seen through the passion and fire that he uses to conduct himself every time he enters the recording studio, a sure sign that he will continue making albums that will be mentioned in the same breath as Illmatic and Reasonable Doubt. Music is a craft that only a chosen group of people can really develop and make their own, an art form that Kanye has solidified and single-handedly reformed.
When I first listened to “Jesus Walks”, I was amazed to see religion being used as the forefront in any musical capacity. I never quite knew who Kanye was or what he did to gain so much attention until I listened to Jay-Z’s The Blueprint and The Black Album. I then realized that he was the mastermind behind “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” and “Encore”. However, watching interviews of Kanye in the past few years have given me a different impression about him, especially the way he handled himself during the 2006 European MTV Awards. However, the negativity that he’s faced never seems to faze him, something I must give him much respect and admiration for.
He has definitely become a connoisseur of not only hip-hop/rap but with R & B (808s & Heartbreak) as well and will continue to dazzle critics and listeners with his charm but most importantly, his voice.
“Touch the Sky”