Kanye West – Late Registration (2005)
It might have been the fact that I had moved from a 2 bedroom apt to a duplex near downtown East Lansing. It could have possibly been that this album was a part of “British Thursdays” and most Friday and Saturday nights. Its most likely that Kanye West created his first masterwork (808’s & Heartbreak would be the second).
From the outset, you could tell that this was a more complete work that Kanye’s debut, The College Dropout. Some of the looped soul-samples remained, but Late Registration was more complete idea of who Mr. West was. First off, he hired a traditional producer Jon Brion who had previously worked with Fiona Apple, The Crystal Method and Elliot Smith. Next, his lyrical game, emcee quality and confidence grew, specifically on “Roses” and “Gone”. Lastly, the guest appearances improved mightily. West grabbed the hot MC’s of the moment (Paul Wall, The Game), enlisted an emerging talent (Lupe Fiasco) and called up some legends (Nas, Jay-Z, Common).
It probably helped that any opportunity we could, Andrew and I re-enacted “Gold Digger” (Highlighted by the Halloween/Karaoke party). I can’t say how many times we “performed” it, but I certainly hope it won’t be a last.