I remember before Kanye West’s Graduation dropped, when he was in the battle for first week sales with 50 Cent and his LP Curtis two years ago. I told anybody who would listen that Kanye would be victorious for the simple fact that every time he drops an album, there’s a story behind it. Curtis Jackson was chiefly concerned with you treating his dick like a Pixie stick or a roller skating rink or some other kid’s delight.
Kanye had a lot riding on Graduation. He was mainstream now after “Gold Digger”, his national lambasting of George Bush, and some truly remarkable Grammy moments (I dont’ care what anybody says, this outfit was fucking KILLER minus the taco meat of course). He had been the Renaissance Man for vets like Common, Twista, and Jamie Foxx whose previous releases were almost allergic to Soundscan. And his Big Brother Jay-Z was officially retired. Graduation could’ve been titled The Man Who Was To Be King.
Can you believe it’s been 2 years since “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” “Stronger”, “The Good Life”, and “Flashing Lights” came out and yet they’re still selling the Stiles from Teen Wolf glasses Kanye promoted at Target right now? I still listen to “Good Morning” every time I go to the gym to get the blood flowing. I still get goosebumps when “Big Brother” finishes the album. Graduation isn’t perfect as I say in my write-up, but it’s not too far off. But Kanye says it best: This is my dissertation, homie this shit is basic, welcome to Graduation.