30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2005
Everybody knows by now that Kanye West's solo debut The College Dropout was 2004's most critically acclaimed mainstream album, which earned the rapper producer numerous award nominations, including 10 grammy nominations in which he ended up winning three, and now people are calling the album a hip hop classic-with good reason, cause it was a breathe of fresh air to hip hop in a time when hip hop was dominated by popish hits and useless southern hip hop club records. However, when everybody learned that Kanye was working on a second album which he called Late Registration, we all wondered if Kanye would be able to bring it on the second album, and boys and girls, all i need to say is hell yeah, he did. Not only is Kanye's new album the most original hip hop album in years, but it is so incredible that it could compete with Common's BE for the Rap Album of the Year which was expected. This album is so full of great music at a whole new level never seen in hip hop before, which indicates that Kanye West's Decison to work with Jon Brion on production was not a mistake at all. West tackles a lot of issues on this album like his addiciton to money, girls and weed on the unique "Addiction", Conflict diamonds on "Diamonds from sierra leone remix", his actions at last years American Music Awards in "Diamonds from sierra leone", Crack in black America in "Crack Music", the Death of this grandmother and the classic track "roses" and a tribute to his mother on "Hey Mama". The only cons on Late Registration is Kanye's ability as an mc-and this doesnt take away from the feel of the album as he is still an above average rapper compared to 90% of the laughable, non talented rappers now, but we should cut kanye some slack since he is constantly trying to improve his mc skills and it shows in his rhymes. one of the most catchy lines in thi album was on his feel good track "Celebration"- "See You Kno' Ma' Style Im Very Wild' And I Vow' That Ma' Child' Will Be Well Endowed, Like Hiz Daddy, And Tell Em' That Yo' Momma' Had A Fatty, He Looked Up To Me Said,"Daddy Thats The Reason That You Had Me?", Yup! We Wuz Practicin', Till' One Day Yo' A** Bust Threw' The Packagin', You Kno' Wut Tho'? You Ma' Favorite Accident"-to me thats an amazing line! Back to the subject matter on this album, i do not think any rapper now will even imagine touching the topics kanye tackled on this album..and this shows how talented he is as both a rapper and producer.As for the skits, they are not useless as other critics would say, instead they are used for pacing and to tell a better story of the process in which kanye dropped out of college! here are my individual ratings of the songs on the album.
1. Wake Up Mr. West:NR
2. Heard 'Em Say featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5- Melodic track, kinda emotion, but great overall: 4.5 stars
3. Touch The Sky featuring Lupe Fiasco-one of the best songs on the album, a real feel good track and a highlight in the album: 5 stars
4. Gold Digger featuring Jamie Foxx- second single, with a good message going out to all those gold digging women: 4 stars
5. Skit #1:NR
6. Drive Slow featuring Paul Wall & GLC-Nice Track, Kanye paul Wall and GLC delivers, better than i thought it would be: 4.5 stars
7. My Way Home featuring Common-wow, common brings it with his poetry, shouldnt this be on BE instead: 5 stars
8. Crack Music featuring Game- kinda dissappointed that the game did not have a verse, still has a good message and good rhymes from kanye..and i love that military style beat: 4.5 stars
9. Roses-a classic song: 5 stars all the way!!!
10. Bring Me Down featuring Brandy-wow, Brandy can still sing..this song is wonderful: 5 stars
11. Addiction-i personally love this song, and i think i am addicted to listening to it..it is the most original hip hop song this year: 4.5 stars
12. Skit #2: NR
13. Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)featuring Jay-Z-another classic song, kanye and Jay's verse are incredible- 5 stars!!
14. We Major featuring Nas & Really Doe- Now this is 7 minutes of real hip hop..kanye almost matches the mighty nas lyrically..great song: 5 stars
15. Skit #3
16. Hey Mama- kanyes tribute to his moma: 5 stars
17. Celebration- this is the best production on the album, feel good track, most funny lines!-4 stars
18. Skit #4
19. Gone featuring Consequence & Cam'Ron-Great beat, average lyrics: 3.5 stars
20. Diamonds From Sierra Leone- we've all heard this: 4 stars
21. Late- a song about being late in life, incredible sampling: 4 stars
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2005
GREAT GREAT GREAT... Man listen i aint goin to front to you like Im just a Kanye West fan. Personally, with the combination of his cocky attitude and flamboyant persona in conjunction with an "okay" debut album "College Drop Out," I found myself questioning what Kanye was really tryin to do... The first album to me jumped all aver the place and really didnt have a constant smooth direction.. I kinda felt like he was trying to get too many points of view across on the first album(almost like he wasnt expectin to make a second) TOO RUSHED!! Lyrically on the frist album I agreed with the reviews especialy dealing with his lyrics, although he talked about contreversial topics I kinda felt like lyrically he was lacking. But this cd I have to say he stepped his game up!
This album is head over heals above his debut album and also over alot of music that is out this year and over the past decade.. Instant Classic!!.. Man Im a hood dude and everything but Im soooooo tired of everybody being sooo gangsta and selling drugs like thas all we can do or thas all we can talk about as black people..
I believe Kanye West is the realest rapper out, real not necissarily meaning you gotta talk about being poor or robbin or killin or stealin or slangin.. Too me that struggle has become artifiacial, and commercial(who woulda ever thought killin and slangin would be commercial), but real on saying exactly what evrybody else really wanted to say, but couldn't say it, and not necissarily couldn't say it but even if given the oppurtunity wouldnt say it(perfect example was his comments on Katrina, he said what everybody else was dancin around sayin, but thas a completely different subject).. The 2005 2pac Shakur representing a paradigm shift leading rap into the future, where you can be accepeted for just being you and real and true to yourself, and not necissarily doin it becasue you seen or heard it. The perfect combination that we've all been waiting for(admit it or not).. That explosive lyrical mix of Jay-z and with a soulful Outkast vibe and/or a take em to church John Legend and political soldier in Common.. Just a fantastic mix of all them in one. Lovin it!
P.S. I can't front I am very much so looking forward to hear an entire compilation of John Legend, Common, and Kanye. Kanye you need to make that happen if you aint already doin it.
P.S.S. Anybody and Everybody who tried to fond somthing wrong with this c.d. listen to it again.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2005
After hearing excerpts from this album on NPR, I was itching to pick it up. Being a man of class, I opted for the clean version instead of the explicit version, but that's a whole other story entirely. Kanye West is no stranger to music fans, or even current events buffs for that matter. He's wowed the music fans, and is scoffed by the current events buffs for his dubious political accusations and his annoying diva tantrums he's been employing since the success of his first album "The College Dropout". You're probably asking why I even picked up this album. Well, the answer is quite simple: as long as the music is great, that's all that matters.
I haven't heard "The College Dropout" in its entirety, but I have heard Kanye (or Ye as he's called) beats and production stylings for Alicia Keys, Common, and John Legend. AK's sophomore album is a winner, and from what I've heard of "Be" (Common's album) and "Get Lifted" (Legend's), they seem like winners, too. Well, for my first taste of Ye, I have to say that it's a keeper.
Kanye West is daring, for lack of a better word. His fashion (I gotta get Pastel when it's out), his wordplay, and his music may be mainstream rap's anti-bacterial soap for a disgusting cesspool of similarity. His sense of humor is charming and chuckle-worthy on the opening skit featuring Bernie Mac, "Wake Up Mr. West". That transitions intriguingly into the beautiful "Heard 'Em Say", featuring the fascinating Adam Levine of Pop-&-B band Maroon 5. Levine adds a welcoming diverse touch to West's music, his Stevie Wonder-ish vocals proving that some white people do have a lot of soul. It's refreshing to hear Ye rap about middle-class angst, but the sex aspect of that angst gets in the way too much, like on the hit single "Gold Digger" and on the exquisitely melodic but profanely satirical "Celebration".
However, these good-but-could-be-better tracks and filler tracks like "Drive Slow" come far and few between. The brilliance of "Late Registration" lies in Ye's love for old-school soul music, and his samples add a sublime touch to both his rhymes and producer Jon Brion's alternative touch, particularly on "Touch the Sky" feat. Lupe Fiasco". When Ye is rapping about something other than how great he is, we realize that he's great, especially with the "Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix) feat. Jay-Z", which absolutely roadkills the original version, an exercise in trite, ego-driven rap.
Love him or hate him (I have mixed feelings myself), Kanye West has released a near-masterpiece that has completed his transformation into a pop superstar. At its best, it's one of the most contradicting, interesting, fresh, and entertaining rap albums I've heard in recent years, and let's hope that Ye can churn out more great music, and keep his diva tantrums in check. Oh, BTW, the skits are pretty good. You'll get a kick out of them. If you don't, you don't care about black people.
n3ur010g1c gives Kanye West's "Late Registration (Clean)" a 10....out of 12.
88 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2005
Kayne West returns with his second solo album "Late Registration" (2005). To say Kayne West has made an impact on the music and entertainment world is an understatement, simply read the latest copy of Time magazine and you will see what I mean. Kayne West's production skills are definitely on point as beats throughout this album are excellent. The albums single's "Gold Digger" feat. Jamie Foxx and "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" are both distinct tracks, I prefer the later. My favorite collaboration on this album is the first track "Heard Em Say", Kayne West and Maroon 5's Adam Levine team up for a memorable cut. Some production help comes from Just Blaze who sampled Curtis Mayfield "Move On Up" for "Touch The Sky" an uplifting track, which has West and Lupe Fiasco shining. The next couple of tracks are good, though in all honesty I find myself listening to the beats/samples more the lyrics. The Hank Crawford sample used on "Drive Slow" reminds me of the one used on a track off 2Pac's All Eyes on Me. Kayne West helped Game out on "Dreams" so it makes sense that he return the favor on "Crack Music". Brandy laces "Bring Me Down" with some smooth vocals, while Kayne West talks about the haters. The remix of "Diamonds From Sierra Leonne" feat. Jay-Z follows. Hov's former rival Nas drops in and provides some substance on "We Major". Kayne West praises and shows his love for his mom on the dedication "Hey Mama". Consquence and Cam'Ron hook up with Kayne for "Gone" another standout, which samples Otis Redding's "It's To Late". Production wise this album is impressive, West samples and innovates well. Lyrically I find Kayne West to be hit or miss, shining on some tracks while barely leaving an impression on others. That said he remains the same rapper, and I respect him for not trying to take on another persona as some do. I recommend picking up "Late Registration" its an album that vibes well, one which fans of many different musical genres will enjoy.
110 of 149 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2005
No one and I mean no one could have predicted the critical acclaim that Kanye West received on "The College Dropout". Yes, Kanye was beginning to be well known as a producer by producing several tracks for the likes of Jay Z, Beanie Sigel, Scarface and others but once "Through The Wire" was made, Kanye began to become a well known producer and a decent rapper. Even after hearing "Through The Wire", I can admit that I still wasn't convinced. When I heard "Slow Jamz" with Twista & Jamie Foxx and "Jesus Walks", I firmly became a believer in Kanye's rap skills. I was definitely impressed with "The College Dropout". My favorite songs were "Get 'Em High" with a rejuvenated Common and Talib Kweli, "Never Let Me Down" with two verses from Jay Z, "Jesus Walks", "We Don't Care" and "Spaceship".
Although, Kanye sold over 2 million copies of "The College Dropout", you can tell that he felt like he still wasn't getting the respect that he deserved. He formed a record label Getting Out On Our Dreams, (G.O.O.D. music) and he slated John Legend and Common as his first two releases. If you look at the year of 2005 and you take a look at all the CDs that have been released up to this point, John Legend's "Get Lifted" is the best r&b CD of 2005 so far and Common's "Be" is the best rap CD of the year so far. The chemistry that Common and Kanye West displayed on Common's CD is definitely something to be remembered for years to come.
"Late Registration" was originally slated to come out earlier in the summer. When the release date kept getting pushed back, I grew impatient and of course I went seeking for tracks. The songs that I were hearing were real nice: Some of the titles were "Gossipping", "Drop Dead Gorgeous", "Arguing" w/John Legend, "Hey Mama", "My Way" and "Wack N....." with one of the best Talib Kweli verses that I have ever heard. Now I wasn't sure if these were going to be actual songs on "Late Registration" but these songs held me over until the CD was actually released. The 1st single, "Diamonds From Sierra Leone", was a nice intro to the CD as well. The remix with Jay Z still shows that the "retired" Def Jam president still has it. He even went as far as saying "...As long as he's alive, Memphis Bleek will be a millionaire". I am sure Kanye spent endless time trying to come up with the right mixture of songs to make sure that his 2nd release was just as good as "The College Dropout". After I wore both "Diamonds" tracks to the ground, Kanye West dropped his 2nd single featuring Jamie Foxx, "Gold Digger". Kanye had to make sure if he caught people off guard with "Diamonds" that the "College Dropout" fans would be right there with "Gold Digger", which was a smart move by Kanye.
After hearing "Late Registration", there will definitely be a debate about who has made the best rap CD of 2005 so far: Common or Kanye West. The CD starts off with a song that should be a single in the future, "Heard 'Em Say" featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5. The song is very laid back and the track allows Kanye to actually talk about pertinent issues that are going on in the world today. Kanye has no problem saying what is on his mind on this track. "Touch The Sky" is produced by Just Blaze and sounds alot like Jay Z's "Encore" off of "The Black Album". Although the track is pretty good, Jsut Blaze should know better about basically duplicating a song that Kanye has already produced. "Drive Slow" fetaures ("The People's Champ") Paul Wall and GLC, who was featured on "Spaceship" from "The College Dropout". Kanye produces a track that works for him and the Texas bred Paul Wall. Paul Wall will definitely have people anticipating his release of "The People's Champ" on Septmber 13th, after hearing this verse. This song is one of my favorite songs on "Late Registration". Common shows up with a verse on the interlude, "My Way Home". He shows the same formula that he displayed on "Be" and on "Get 'Em High" from Kanye's last CD. Whoever thought Kanye couldn't talk about social issues of the world today, definitely needs to check out "Crack Music". Kanye displays why he is one of the best producers in the hip hop game today with this track. The Game is featured on the chorus and Kanye has an anthem for people to enjoy for years to come. Hip hop politics come into play as well on this track: Since The Game has had no problem dissin' Memphis Bleek and Young Gunz on tracks like "300 Bars", The Game doesn't get a chance to rap a verse on "Late Registration". I know The Game wishes that he kept his mouth shut because he definitely could have dropped a nice verse on "Crack Music". I am sure that Coach Carter wasn't going to let Game rap on the track after what he said about him and some of his Rocafella artists. "Roses" definitely displays Kanye's growth after only one CD. Kanye West isn't the greatest lyricist, but he is immensely talented and his is very clever with his word play in his verses. Although, she isn't given credit in the liner notes, when you hear Patti LaBelle's voice, you know it's her providing vocals as only Patti does on this track. Brandy shows up on "Bring Me Down" and while the pair don't seem as one of the best people to put on a track together, they do a decent job on making the track tolerable. Compared to the rest of the CD, the song may not measure to the other tracks but the song is still worth listening to. "Addiction" has Kanye basically bringing a humorous side to addictions that most people have, whether or not they are his own remin to be seen. I remember at one time, Kanye West was tring his best to get Jay Z and Nas on a track together. Since, he wasn't able to accomplish his task, Kanye decided to do the next best thing: Track 13 is the Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix) and Track 14 is "We Major" which is a track that features Kanye West, Nas & Really Doe. Ladies and gentlemen, Kanye has outdone himself on this track. This track will definitely be the most memorable moment on this CD. Nas spits nothing but fire on this track. Although, some people slept on his double CD, "Street's Disciple", Nasir Jones shows why he has been one of the most respected hip hop lyricists for over 10 years: His last lines on this track are "Look, I used to "cook" before I had the game took, Either way my change came like Sam Cooke." This track alone is worth the price of this CD, in my opinion.
"Hey Mama" is a track that Kanye takes time out to thank his mother for the sacrifices and struggles she went through with Kanye when he was a child, just like how 2Pac created "Dear Mama". Kanye does a good job of putting his feelings into words on this track. "Gone" is another track where Kanye shows that he is more than just a producer as he delivers one of his best verses on the whole CD on this track. Although, Cam'ron has been slippin' lyrically, in my opinion, he delivers a nice performance on this track along with Consequence, who is best knwon for his performances on A Tribe Called Quest's "Beats, Rhymes & Life", especially on the song with Faith Evans, "Stressed Out". Kanye ends things with "Late", which is a nice change of pace as Kanye slows things down a bit with a nice old school sample.
"Late Registration" demonstrates that there will not be a sophomore jinx as far as Kanye's disc library is concerned. This CD also creates a nice chnage of pace from most hip hop acts that are out today. Now don't get me wrong, I know there will be people that say, "Oh!, he uses too many samples" or "Oh! he's just too arrogant and cocky". However, if you just sit down and listen to "Late Registration" without any prejudice towards Kanye and just pay attention to the music and words, then you will realize that Kanye West has created another masterpiece. If you have bought this CD and you enjoy "Late Registration" as much as I do and you have not listened to Common's "Be" CD, I am going to need you to get this CD IMMEDIATELY!!. Then you can be like me and compare the best two rap CDs of 2005 so far.
James' Top 6
1) We Major w/Nas & Really Doe
2) Drive Slow w/Paul Wall & GLC
3) Gone w/Cam'ron & Consequence
4) Crack Music w/The Game
5) Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix) w/Jay Z
6) Roses w/Patti LaBelle
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2005
First of all, This is a place for commenting about an album not expressing idiotic views.Go vent in a chatroom!Next,to those that call Kanye a racist maybe you should ACTUALLY LISTEN TO THE ALBUM first.It is coproduced by Jon Brion,who worked with the talented Fiona Apple on her second album.(He's white by the way)And it features a variety of guests ranging from Common,Nas,and Jay-Z to Adam Levine from Maroon 5(who's also white)This album has artists of different genres of music and different races,so it represents all that is good about America. The music is filled with inventive melodies and creative string arangements.What really stands out about this album is the way Kanye and Jon crafted music that is at once both complex and catchy.Check the song "Addiction" for example.Another refreshing thing about this album is that after a complete listen you'll notice there are no songs about shooting guns,selling drugs, and being a thug.Even Kanye's views on women go beyond the standard misogyny of most rap albums.Check out the beginning of his verse on "We Major." Kanye provides a much needed injection of humanity to a redundant rap genre.Standout tracks are "Heard 'Em Say","Addiction","We Major",and the bonus track "Late." All in all,there are no bad songs on here,with "Bring Me Down" featuring Brandy being perhaps the weakest moment.I definitely recommend this album for anyone who likes creative and inventive music and is bored with mainstream rap.Even people who are not really into rap music may enjoy "Late Registration." So in conclusion,to anyone reading this review,please don't be influenced by this whole "racist" rhetoric.After all,Eminem,Sean Penn,and a list of other celebrities have expressed displeasure with George Bush.I don't think they've been called "racist."
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2005
Of course I was going to get Kanye West's "Late Registration," but I didn't run out to get it the first day because I thought it couldn't be that good as they are saying huh? This album really is awesome. Musically, I think it's a masterpiece similar to Common's BE in the sense that you could really just eliminate the vocal track and probably enjoy the album just as well. How can I describe the songs? Sometimes you enjoy an album so much it's hard to review it. "Touch The Sky" featuring Chi town newcomer "Lupe Fiasco" borrows from a Curtis Mayfield classic and this song is so fire. This song is followed up by "Gold Digger" featuring Jamie Foxx doing his Ray Charles thing. This is the current single. It's radio friendly but not the best song on the album.
The skits on this album are less than the other album. We hear alot about "Broke Phi Broke." "Drive Slow" featuring Paul Wall man, the track is really good on this song. Chi town people will really be able to relate to this song where he shouts out 79th and May. Common shows up on the song "My Way Home."
You know what I DONT like about this album? There are like only 3 songs with JUST Kanye West. I mean I am not taking away from the album but it just seemed feature heavy and I seemed to like some of the songs with just Kanye better, like "Roses." "Diamonds from Sierra Leonne" is on the CD as a remix and a bonus track. Other guest artists on the CD include Cam'Ron, Jay Z, Brandy, Consequence, Nas, Really Doe, Game and Adam Levine from Maroon 5. I remember hearing Kanye had done some stuff with John Mayer but it's not on this album. It's a great CD and I think it's better than College Dropout. I enjoy Kanye's CD's because he seems to be talking about something different than other rappers and if you look closely at his cameos, he's still trying to be different. Like repping Brandy on a track when the music industry has seemed to write off this successful young lady and he also put Game on his album when so many people are trying to squash his career. But yeah, the track on the Brandy song is fire. I love this CD! There is a really good bonus track after the "Diamonds" song.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2005
Kanye West, in my opinion, is the savior of rap. Since the death's of Tupac and Biggie I think im safe to say that rap has gone down hill. There isn't any depth to any of the songs anymore, they just seem like they're all club songs. Kanye is puttin rap back on the map. He has complex beats that are amazing, and lyrics to go on top of them that actually have a message in them. It's like Kanye can't even speak without saying something important.
For any fans of his first cd, i have both and this one, in my opinion, is so much better, and i love his first cd. The best two songs lyrically on the cd are Roses and Crack Music. He's got deep songs, and then he has more lighthearted feel good songs. Number 21 on the cd, Late, is a great track. I even love number 18, and its a skit, but the skit just works good with the song to follow it. trust me if you get this cd, you'll get your moneys worth. even when i show my friends this cd that don't usually like rap, they like it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2005
Some Idiot wrote in a previus review that Kanye doesn't write his own lyrics! This is BS! The liner notes that say "written by C. Mayfield" etc are referring to the samples Kanye uses, not his own lyrics! If you knew anything about music you would know who C. Mayfield is(an old soul legend - FYI) maybe you would question how he was able to write lyrics for Kanye since he is dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway the lyrics sound so typical Kanye, it's absurd to think they were ghost written!!!!!!!!!!!
Also why does eveyone hate on him for the whole Bush comment. Give hip props for having the balls to speak his mind!!! Do you think the help would have been as slow if the victims had been predominantly white? Get real! Kanye has good grounds for his comment!
Anyway good album, even if he is not a lyrical genius at least he is doing something different, and you have to like the passion that goes into his music, which is sorely lacking in alot of todays stuff.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Kayne West's second album Late Registration follows the blueprint of his wildly success debut The College Dropout, wisely sampled beats and numerous. But instead of being merely a sequel, the album ups the ante. Mr. West teamed up with pop producer Jon Brion and Mr. Brion adds a sheen to the beats that lifts the production value. Mr. West will never be considered a great technical rapper, but he has a smooth flow and solid rhymes. Standout tracks include the first two singles, "Gold Digger" features Jamie Foxx doing his best Ray Charles, "My Way Home" is a too brief track with great work by Common, "Diamonds Of The Sierra Leone" expertly samples the Shirley Bassey song "Diamonds Are Forever" with a strong appearance by Jay-Z on the remix, "Crack Music" is a stinging social commentary and "Touch The Sky" is the standout track on the album. Kanye West is a rare breed in that he is able to tread the line between street credibility and mass appeal.