Kanye West - The College Dropout

Published Thursday 18th November 2004
Kanye West - The College Dropout
Kanye West - The College Dropout

STYLE: Hip-Hop
RATING 5 5 5 5 5
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12074-1013
LABEL: Roc-A-Fella 9861739

Reviewed by Tony Cummings


As CR scribe Mike Rimmer observed recently when reviewing the latest R Kelly album, R&B has long been populated by a number of spiritual schizophrenics, recording stars who want to sing to the world that Jesus is Lord but also want to sing about lurid and loveless sexual liaisons. Now to that sad list we must add this most gifted of rappers. No doubt there are some misguided Christian souls (like the breathtakingly stupid Stellar Awards voters who'd originally put "Jesus Walks" up for a gospel award) who can ignore the f-words on the track and simply enjoy the sheer power and evangelistic message of the song. But such moral myopia flies in the face of the Scripture's warnings to avoid obscene language while simultaneously encouraging deluded stars that they can live whatever lifestyle they choose and still retain the divine connection. For the critics of course Kanye West is the saviour of hip-hop, the man who has brought back tunes and soulful content to the barren wastelands of hip-hop culture. And certainly his raps have a bit more content than the swaggering bitches 'n' bling output of many of today's mainstream rappers. But in truth 'The College Dropout' is far less politically attuned than the mainstream's stream-of-consciousness politicos like Mos Def and Talib Kweli and nothing like as genuinely spiritually militant as Christian rap groundbreakers like Grits and The Cross Movement. On this album Kanye scores a point or two about blacks in education over-achieving while being undervalued while his critique of other rappers' repulsive consumerism is welcome. But don't let the swooning guff of the mainstream music critics fool you. This album also features a song where a gym session becomes a lurid metaphor for sex while there are all too predictable allusions to the allure of Jakob The Jeweller's chunky bling candy. Jesus indeed does walk among us. And he must weep over the delusions of mega star rappers who can in one breath tell Q sycophants that he's getting a reproduction of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel put on the ceiling of his Los Angeles dining room and the next describes himself as "a man who likes pussy."

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Be the first to comment on this article

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.