Kanye West: hip hop’s class act, a man who boldly proclaimed on national television that, “George Bush doesn’t like black people.” For years, West has paid his dues behind the scenes, producing for the likes of Nas, Common and Jay-Z. Now that the limelight is his, there is hardly a track off of his latest album that doesn’t serve as a reminder of this.
This is not to say that such blatant smugness is a bad thing. None of us would listen to rap if we weren’t prepared for a healthy dose of self-indulgence. But, as with all things in life, it doesn’t matter what you do so much as how you do it. Sure, Kanye spends a good amount of time celebrating, well, Kanye, but he shows just enough forethought, reserve and – dare I say – subtlety to distinguish his raps from those of 50 Cent, the Game and Snoop Dogg. Kanye also achieves a level of believability foreign to most gangsta rappers today. Though he makes no effort to hide his hip-hop-garnered wealth, he doesn’t constantly act as if he just won the lottery, hip hop’s class act, indeed.
I won’t bother describing the album in detail, as most of you reading this have probably heard the album, or at least spent the last two weekends or so bumping to “Gold Digger” whilst pounding a case of Natty Ice. Suffice it to say that Kanye West delivers a more mature form of hip hop. Appropriately enough, Late Registration is well suited to the college crowd that it depicts.
[Drew Reed, however, is about as classy as a 10-cent hooker.]