Happy 18th Birthday To The College Dropout
Kanyes first studio album can legally vote today.
It’s been eighteen years since Kanye West released his first studio album, The College Dropout and has changed the landscape of hip hop ever since.
Last year for The College Dropouts birthday, I ranked my five favorite songs from the album which I added in down below. This year, I just want to touch on the success of the album.
Kanye recorded the album from 1999 to 2003 in various studios across New York and California before releasing it to the public in February of 2004. Prior to the full project dropping, Ye released Through the Wire on September 30th, 2003 and Slow Jamz on December 2nd, 2003 as singles. Following the release of the album, Kanye rereleased All Falls Down as a single in February, Jesus Walks in May, and The New Workout Plan in August.
Following the release on February 10th, the project received tremendous praise. Metacritic rated the album an 87/100. Other outlets gave similar praise. AllMusic rated it five out of five stars, Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-, The Village Voice graded it an A, and Mojo ranked it four out of five stars.
The only media outlet that dipped in its reception was the shit heads at Rolling Stone who gave The College Dropout a three and a half out of five stars.
When it came to awards, The College Dropout was nominated for a plethora of them. In 2004, Kanyes first studio album was nominated for AMA Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Album and Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Album of the Year. It unfortunately did not win either award. At the AMAs, it was beat out by Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and at the Billboard Music Awards, Ushers album Confessions took home the win.
While Kanye didn’t win those awards in 2004, he did win the 2004 Best Album Award at the MOBO Awards, Album of the Year at The Source Awards, and Album of the Year at The Teen Choice Awards.
When 2005 rolled around the nominations kept flooding in. The College Dropout was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album at the 2005 Grammys. It took home Best Rap Album, but lost Album of the Year to Genius Loves Company. I wrote this the other day, but I do think that Kanye didn’t win Album of the Year because Outkast won in 2004 with Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and the voters didn’t want back to back rap albums to win.
The College Dropout won both Album of the Year and Best Hip Hop Album at the Groovevolot Music and Fashion Awards along with being nominated for Outstanding Album at the NAACP Awards.
To this day, I’ll fight tooth and nail with anyone that walks this planet about if The College Dropout is a top five hip hop album of all time. It one hundred percent is, because it’s lyrically a masterpiece and when you add in the influence it has on the hip hop community, not many other projects have that effect.