#8 - Graduation
Graduation is such a great album. But it's rather forgettable, if I'm entirely honest. I've listened through this album a fair amount and the only songs I can sing along to are Stronger and Flashing Lights, and the 2 worst Kanye album songs are on this album, Barry Bonds and Drunk and Hot Girls. I would still recommend it to others, but definitely not as the best Kanye album.
#7 - The College Dropout
College Dropout is where the albums start to get really good. It has so many great tracks, like New Workout Plan, Graduation Day (which is an outro to the song We Don't Care), All Falls Down, Slow Jamz, Spaceship, and others. However, the 4 tracks of School Spirit (the song and 3 skits, actually) are definitely a low point. School Spirit isn't a bad song, but I don't find it very unique or compelling compared to others on the album or in Kanye's discography. Last Call is a great outro track though, and it spends most of its runtime telling an interesting story. However I can't say I necessarily want to hear this story more than probably thrice. This album is also quite long. If 2 or 3 of the songs on the album other than School Spirit were boring or bland, I couldn't justify the 76 minute runtime.
#6 - Late Registration
Late Registration is the Kanye release that is most similar to its predecessor. That doesn't mean it doesn't have its own unique sound though. The album as a whole features more soul samples than College Dropout. This album seems more personal than College Dropout, especially on the popular songs Hey Mama and Roses. The skits here are much better than on College Dropout too. I could never forget "BROKE PHI BROKE, WE AIN'T GOT IT" and "I walked into the brother Kanye's closet and I found new shoes!" My favorite track is Addiction because the instrumental is really relaxing. It's not even like relaxation type music. It soothes the soul. My least favorite track is We Major, which isn't interesting and goes on too long. The only other problem I have with this album is that there's 2 Diamonds from Sierra Leone's for some reason, like, do we really need 2 of them? I only listen to one of them when I go through the album.
#5 - Ye
Between this album and the next album, I had a hard time picking both #5 and #4. I really wanted this to be #4 because it really deserves it, but I just couldn't do that. This album is Ye's most introspective album. I'd like to start with the worst song on the album, All Mine. It's not very fun to listen to. Kanye's first verse is good, with the exception of the last line. It's dumb. The chorus is a bit annoying too. Like the first time through I had no idea what the words were. Then I watched the lyrics video and I was like "This is cheap." Fortunately for us, the 6 other songs on the album are all fantastic. I Thought About Killing You is such a quotable, memorable song. I first heard it and I was so hyped for the rest of the album. Yikes has a great vibe that I won't soon forget. Wouldn't Leave and No Mistakes go hand in hand. Wouldn't Leave is my favorite on the album. It really shows a side to Kim that not many people want to see or care to see. They'd much rather just victimize her and her family. Wouldn't Leave is my favorite on the album. Then we get to Ghost Town, which has a great hook with "I throw my hand on a sto-o-ove..... to see if I still bleeeeeed!" Then we get into Violent Crimes, which is sort of a love letter to his children. Not like a romantic love letter, because that would be creepy. He really cares about his kids here. I love this album. I wish I had the CD actually. If you'll mail me one, send it to me.
#4 - Yeezus
That picture doesn't do it justice. The physical release for this album is gorgeous. Watch some YouTube unboxings of it. It looks even better in person than on YouTube. This album is not so much about trying to see into Kanye's life and moreso trying to give you a unique experience. On Sight is quite the opening. I can't imagine people that only like radio pop could listen to On Sight and feel genuine hype. But I feel genuine hype. That's what it's there for. Black Skinhead is the most non-Yeezus song on the album. It still sounds like Yeezus, but it has more power and a less dark tone. It makes you feel powerful. That's in contrast to I Am a God, which makes you feel scared in the presence of Yeezus himself, portraying himself as a god among men. The end of New Slaves with Frank Ocean signals in a new sound starting with Hold My Liquor, which is more somber and it feels exactly like what I imagine a hangover is like. [I don't know for real, I'm a kid and also a law-abiding citizen.] I'm In It is big and up in your face. If you pay close attention there's dogs barking in the background of some parts of the song. And Blood on the Leaves....
I meant that in a good way. It really makes you feel what Kanye is feeling here. You feel distraught, unsure, and anxious. Then in Guilt Trip, we get a change of heart. "I need to call it off. I need to make it known." He's changing his ways. The dem a gwana's on the hook are addictive and amazing. Send It Up has some synths that are offputting at first, but you get used to them. Bound 2 is a wonderfully crafted track about Kanye's view on love after Guilt Trip's change of pace. It ends in the perfect place. This album could not be 2 seconds longer or shorter.The sample in Blood on the Leaves is going to haunt my nightmares.— Icystorm 9 (@Icystorm9) June 5, 2018
#3 - The Life of Pablo
#2 - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
You probably thought this would be #1, didn't you? Every song on this album is great. Not even going into detail of the ambition of Good Fridays, the vinyl, and everything else, every song is expertly crafted in a way that nothing can be changed and still be as good. It's like an intricate machine with hundreds and hundreds of tiny parts. You don't know exactly how it was built, but it works, and it's amazing. The hooks on every single song are earworms. Every. Single. Song. There are some fantastic verses on Fantasy that would seem weird elsewhere, like how Kanye used a verse from Dark Fantasy in a BET Cypher and it was sorta weird. The flows on this album, except for Jay Z on Monster, are exceptional. Even some of the songs I don't like as much as others, like Runaway, are songs I find myself singing or humming quite a bit. The sample of Bon Iver's Woods in the beginning of Lost in the World is what led me to becoming a Bon Iver fan. This album is exceptional. But it's not as good as
#1 - 808s and Heartbreak
If you want to buy any of the albums mentioned above, here are links.
The College Dropout
The Life of Pablo (digital only)
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
808s and Heartbreak