Some people think Kanye West is a bit self absorbed, kind of cocky and a tad annoying, but I wonder how many of these people actually know him on a personal level. I’ve never met him, conversed with him or been in the same room with him but for some reason I know him or at least I know of the experiences that he speaks of.
In 2004, he released what I consider one of the greatest hip hop albums of the last 5 years. You can argue me on this, but I’m positive we’d have a very good conversation and by the end, I’ll be the winner of our debate. College Dropout spoke to me and so many others. Until then, the experiences of kids who society considered “middle class” or “upper lower class” had not been addressed. There’s a large group kids who grew up in the hood and instead of succumbing to the negative images around them they got good grades, went to college and due to a number of reasons didn’t graduate. I too am one of those kids that followed this path. We can’t identify with dope boy anthems nor can we get down with the tales of ghetto princesses because that’s not our life. What we can relate to is attending our very first step show, getting a low paying campus job and house parties. Kanye explored a lifestyle that so many of us could identify with. Listening to his masterpiece triggered good memories from a time in my life that I don’t visit very often. Not only did he address the experiences that I enjoyed but he also discussed topics that my peers and I talked about often. From not having enough financial aid, to the materialistic mindset of so many students living credit card to credit card, ‘College Dropout’ should’ve been named ‘College Experience’ because he captured my experience in every rhyme.