Playing God
Kanye West: The College Dropout

By: Andrew Unterberger

Posted 04/30/2004 - 12:00:30 PM by TysonT:
 Just so you don't think I'm picking on you, Andrew, I purposely went through the entire article before checking the author, but if I was Playing God on your review, published in the fourth month of 2004, mind you, the very first thing I would strike would be "far and away, the album of 2004. Believe it." This is the kind of bullshit that makes serious music fans and musicians want to poke out critics' eyes and helps account for the ridiculous backlash that inevitably occurs two months after a heralded album is out (and in extreme cases, like The Rapture, before it's even out).
Posted 04/30/2004 - 12:18:14 PM by ddrake:
 Pretty good, although I disagree with a couple things (as should be expected, haha) first..."the way Kathie Lee need Regis, that’s the way I need Jesus" is a great line! Second, I think cutting "Two Words" would be seriously gutting the album - its a great track, Mos Def and Freeway kill their verses, and its got that line - "Two words, fuckyou, payme!" Classic. Also, if you can find it check out the music video for "Two Words" - its quality stuff. "New Workout Plan" is one of my favorite tracks on the album...I don't know why everyone hates it so much. To me, its where his Chicago-ness comes through the most - the house beat, the clapping and vocal call-outs...wonderful.
Posted 04/30/2004 - 01:32:11 PM by NickSouthall:
 In Andrew's defence, TysonT, I think that statement was suggesting that his amended version would be the album of the year, rather than the actual album as it exists. Plus I think tongue may be slightly in cheek.
Posted 04/30/2004 - 04:20:06 PM by MrFred:
 As a life long fan of Hip Hop, and a fan of music in general, I find this album to be THE most overrated album of the year for the following reasons: 1) Kanye is known primarily as a producer right? From a production standpoint, Kanye breaks no new ground. His sample choices are straight from "Lite R&B;" radio and patched together with the SAME DRUM KIT ON EVERY SONG. His sampling choices are poor and as Chuck D said "just because a cat can hit 45 on his turntable, doesnt make him a great producer". Amen. 2) Outkast is EONS past this album in every respect. Outkast's record has pushed the envelope of hip hop, challenged conventional R&B;, and dabbled in funk, all while keeping a toe in the water of pop music. SB/TLB is a truly well executed album. There is nothing on the Kanye West album that is anywhere near Outkast's originality or quality. 3) His skills on the mic are nothing short of mediocre. Sure a few good punchlines are sprinkled throughout, and "Through The Wire" is positive for it's message alone, but overall his skills are nothing compared to even the most average MCs in hip hop now. 4) What are the stand out songs on this album? NONE of them have any longetivity........... Which songs are the "Buck Em Down"'s or the "Microphone Fiend"'s or anything NEAR a song of the year. None. This album, while entertaining, has the shelf life of a comedy album. You hear it once or twice, and you have heard it. 5) A Positive MC? No. Since when does a positive black male advocate dropping out of college. The skits on the record have a slight anti-education slant. HYPE! HYPE! HYPE! HYPE! HYPE! HYPE! HYPE! HYPE! HYPE! Overrated in every respect. Buy Madvillian instead
Posted 04/30/2004 - 09:38:38 PM by DomPassantino:
 Outkast are better than Kanye West because Andre 3000 is cute.
Posted 05/01/2004 - 09:04:27 AM by AUnterberger:
 I dunno, something about that Kathie Lee/Regis line screws up the tone of "Jesus Walks" for me. It's a cheap simile in a much deeper song, I think. And though I love "The New Workout Plan," I do have to admit that the misogyny (something that I think Kanye in general has a slight problem with) is a little much on that one. And I guess I might need to re-evaluate "Two Words". And Tyson, I see no problem with saying things like that--especially because this is a Playing God and not a general review, and thus is (in my opinion) the best possible version of an already great album--of course it would be the best album of the year. And College Dropout is miles above Speakerboxxx/The Love Below--not as diverse perhaps, but not nearly as maddeningly inconsistent and never unbearable.
Posted 05/02/2004 - 12:09:54 PM by samuelbloch:
 Misogyny = bad rapping?
Posted 05/02/2004 - 03:18:24 PM by clockoouut:
 Although I enjoyed Kanye West, it doesn't go in the stereo much anymore. Madvillian and Murs, however, have held up fairly nicely.
Posted 05/03/2004 - 01:13:01 PM by Jank82:
 For clarification about "Never Let Me Down"...the reason Jigga's lyrics might sound misleading is due to the fact that the track was actually recorded a pretty long time ago. About two years, actually. He hadn't even released Blueprint 2 yet, which I think he refers to subtley in one of his lines.
Posted 05/03/2004 - 03:20:03 PM by holystoning:
 I have to agree, Kanye's a slightly above average lyricist with a sloppy, often distracting delivery. Ghostface's Pretty Toney Album would be my choice for hip-hop album of the year, mainstream or no.