It’s what ya all been waiting for ain’t it?

omp-vs-kanye.jpg

“Can I talk my shit again? Even if I don’t hit again?
DAWG IS YOU FUCKIN’ KIDDIN’?!

Before we start… Ok, I lied. I said I’d only survive on the singles like my fellow faithful ‘Ye follower Rey. But I was so sick and tired of hearing everyone talking about the album, So I downloaded it, a couple of days after the leak. But with the full intentions of buying the Limited Edition version, with the poster and everything(What can I say, I’m a fan). Now that I’ve heard this album in many different facets: in the whip with trunk rattlin’, on the bus with headphones, half of it in the club(s), sober, not sober, NOT NOT SOBER, I think I have a better grasp on (and appreciation for) the album.

1. Good Morning (Intro)

One of my favourite parts of Late Registration was when “Heard ‘Em Say” kicked in WITH THAT BASS and DeRay actin’ a damn fool (Ray Ray from Barbershop), and that voice STILL echoing as the base kicked in. I’m glad he incorporated that here. ‘Ye establishes a nice prologue feeling. A sort of calm before the storm. Not bad. 4/5

2. Champion

Steely Dan. Those synths fitting perfectly with the sample. The quick 8 with a short chorus aggrandizing EARLY. The Lauryn Hill shoutout (And we all know Lauryn’s version of All Falls Down is WAY better). The Pursuit of Happyness reference. All signature ‘Yeezy. He previewed this live on Hot97 (Angie’s show right?) acapella awhile back and KILLED IT. And I’m glad that the song is that much better. 5/5

3. Stronger

Apparently Timbaland (TimbaDanja? haha.) programmed the drums on this or another version of this? I had “both” versions and I didn’t really see the difference. Don’t get me wrong, Swizz Beatz tried. But I think it’s a little bit more believable when ‘Ye samples Daft Punk, then gets them in the video. Isn’t this just a great LIFE anthem? 5/5

4. I Wonder

I’m feeling the delivery that opened the second verse. This is a good, not great song. But I still feel where he’s trying to go with it. He’s realizing his dreams, and he’s asking everyone else if they really know theirs. This is the songwriting that I like, a general yet directly personal acknowledgment and encouragement of your fan base. 4/5

5. Good Life (feat. T-Pain)

The newest single. MJ gets the much needed sample percentage. I think he did a proper job a la “Golddigger”. You do know that ‘Ye’s working with him on his comeback right? T-Pain being everywhere is a testament to his work ethic and talent. Dude puts in work. I dig most (not all) of his songs and collabs. Regardless of the Teddy Riley/Roger Troutman swagger-jacking. That one girl in the video IS THE GOOD LIFE. Damn. Oh and sampling 50? Priceless. 5/5

6. Can’t Tell Me Nothing

In the days of disposable singles (read: RINGTONE ARTISTS) it’s refreshing to have a song like this. Good to see DJ Toomp earn another summer time banger with some help from ‘Ye. It has a lasting power because of it’s message. The video came on just yesturday and I still blasted the shit out of it on my surround sound. He should have won the Video of the Year award at the VMA’s. Hype Williams is a legend, but that’s for another post. Even Zach Galifianakis blesses it. Definitely one of the best singles of 2007. Common folk music. Music for the people. The Jeezy ad-libs near the end ARE CRAZY GOOD. His verse on the remix is even better… 5/5

7. Barry Bonds (Feat. Lil’ Wayne)

Nottz-produced with ‘Ye probably in the background shooting down the wack shit. Larger than life horns. Swagger at maximum. Gritty and bumpin’ drums. Yep, the only rapping collaboration on Graduation is with the personification of Hate It or Love It. His raps was… OK, by his standards. 4/5

8. Drunk And Hot Girls (Feat. Mos Def)

Jon Brion co-produces, and I know he’s a genius, but I’m still kinda pissed at him for adding all that GARBAGE to “Hey Mama” when the Freshman Adjustment version of the song was PERFECT. To the point that I kept my Late Registration in it’s packaging and burnt a new copy of it with the old version of “Hey Mama” on it. Upon first listen, this track got skipped within 30 seconds. Within the week or so, I’ve finally gotten through it start to finish. And I think I’m missing the boat on this one. 6/8 time isn’t the most appealing in rap format. I understand this was supposed to be boundary pushing in terms of content, but if I ain’t feelin’ the production then the message almost gets lost. Mos does his “The New Danger” thing here and again not feelin’ that either; we need more rapping from MCs (*ahem* Three Stacks), especially since he’s been on his political tip lately, going off on Bill Mauer’s show. HOW ABOUT USING THAT ANGST TOWARDS A DECENT ALBUM OR MIXTAPE, Talib seems to be winning in terms of that department. Oh well. It’s the only song that I feel should have been cut from the album. But somehow I know it’s going to grow on me later on, but as of this moment… nope. Horrible. And it’s RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE. SMH. 2/5

9. Flashing Lights (feat. Dwele)

Whoa, those violins. Epic. This is the type of futuristic shit that I’m talking about. Dwele… same dude from “The People” right? He KILLS IT ON THIS. This track begs to be played live. The second verse IS MY SHIT. This track got the most love in the first few days. Especially in the whip. I’d rather hear things of this nature than the everyday 808 bullshit and the like. 5/5

10. Everything I Am

That old piano in Grandma’s living room, you know that one that’s in the room that you’d NEVER step foot in and it’s all dusty and semi-out of tune. Primo cuts and scratches some Chuck D, but definitely doesn’t stand out like he usually does. Another personal favourite, especially the chorus. 5/5

11. The Glory

I think if “Flashing Lights” is his ode to Late Registration. I feel as though this is his ode to College Dropout. The shoutout of southside. The sped up sample. Just two lines in, classic. This seems to be the most favourite track by the general consensus, also another favourite of mine as well. 5/5

12. Homecoming (feat. Chris Martin)

Chris is GETTIN’ THAT collab money. But seriously, sorry folks the John Legend version is better. It’s not a racial thing; one has soul and the other does not. I even did the whole listen to both back to back, and still I’m not impressed by this one compared to the other. It feels processed for mass consumption. I do appreciate ‘Ye re-recording his vocals, because they do sound much cleaner and showcase his ever-progressing delivery. But I understand for the sake of his background singers that this one will be the final version. 4/5

13. Big Brother

I get into arguments a lot with co-workers, friends of friends, and acquaintances alike who aren’t aware of my Kanye stanizm. People often criticize ‘Ye for his ego, sharp tongue, and his contradicting personality. Then they try to translate that argument into downgrading his music. But I can always point out with every album, there’s at least one track that is un-hate-able, regardless of if you have that misguided opinion. On Dropout it was “Jesus Walks” and “Last Call”, on Registration it was “Heard ‘Em Say” and “Hey Mama”. This track is the track (maybe paired with “Everything I Am”) that I’d deem un-hate-able. People use the term “going in” or “blacked out” on a track. Kanye does this, but not in the form or fashion you’re used to. He’s talking about his relationship with Jay-Z. And it was surprisingly NOT all good. As I found out from listening to this song. I learned something DEEPLY personal about Kanye Omari West on THIS album, not some website or gossip TV show or magazine. This is why I think Kanye is a genius. 5/5

14. Good Night (feat. Mos Def & Al Be) (BONUS AUS/UK/JPN ONLY)

Whoa, reggae tinged. It works. Another good but not great song. Mr. “not Think So” sings the hook and yet again I want him to spit some vicious patois or SOMETHING. ANYTHING but Al Be, because he’s GARBAGE. 3.5/5

15. Bittersweet Poetry (feat. John Mayer) (BONUS AUS/UK/JPN ONLY)

This leaked EARLY eh? This isn’t on the North American release. I had this right around my birthday too (in June. Gemini’s STAND UP). I know enough girls that I dedicated this to during my festivities. REAL TALK: There are some who have this as their ringtone on my phone to this day, and most don’t even know it. 4/5

RECAP: It exceeded my expectations. College Dropout was his kick in the door. Late Registration was him throwing down musically. And feel as though this was his lyrical album. Gone are the days when his lyrical abilities ostracized due to his phenomenal production. Notice he didn’t even give Common a guest spot? Notice he held his own with Weezy? His albums have always come during a critical time in my life, which is why he’s one of my favourite artists out. I’ve been on the Radiohead tip lately and I wanted that CRS track to be a bonus, beggars can’t be choosers I guess. And as I post this, early reports are saying he’s winning going to win the #1 billboard spot. And I’m bias to the bone gristle. I bought myself a limited edition and two of my friends the regular. STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN. Oh did I mention that this also is probably the best hip-hop (if not) album out this year?

OMP vs Ye

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2 Responses to “It’s what ya all been waiting for ain’t it?”

  1. Rey Says:

    Great review. I totally agree on “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”.. I’ve been listening to that song for almost 4 months AND it’s my text message ringtone AND I d/l’d it and I STILL love it. BKScribe (from Nah) had a post saying there wasn’t a real anthem this summer–and that might be true, but “Stronger” and “CTMN” (along with Make Me Better–credit where it’s due) were reeeall close.

    Cosign the whole “recap” bit–except for CRS.. I couldn’t make it thru that one.

    I enjoy the weirdness of “drunk and hot girls”, but it definitely needs some skits framing said weirdness.

    Props on a cowabunga review from one Stan to another.

    (thanks for the shout out!)
    –Rey

  2. Rey Says:

    Oh yeah.. that picture is f’n priceless!

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