Kanye West - The College Dropout-LP-South

Kanye West - The College Dropout

The College Dropout is the debut studio album by American rapper Kanye West. It was released on February 10, 2004, by Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. It was recorded over a period of four years, beginning in 1999. Prior to the album's release, West had received praise for his production work for artists such as Jay-Z and Talib Kweli, but faced difficulty being accepted as a recording artist in his own right by figures in the music industry. Nonetheless intent on pursuing a solo career, it was several years before West finally received a record deal from Roc-A-Fella Records.

The album's production was handled by West and developed his "chipmunk soul" production style, which made use of sped-up, pitch shifted vocal samples from soul and R&B records, in addition to West's own drum programming, string accompaniment, and gospel choirs. It features vocal contributions from Jay-Z, Mos Def, Jamie Foxx, Syleena Johnson, and Ludacris among many other artists. Diverging from the then-dominant gangster persona in hip hop, West's lyrics concern themes of family, self-consciousness, materialism, religion, racism, and higher education. The album was promoted by singles including "Through the Wire" and "Jesus Walks", both of which received critical acclaim. "All Falls Down" and "Slow Jamz" both charted within the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, with the latter charting at number one.