10 Things We Learned from Kanye West's 'Late Registration' Album

10 Things We Learned from Kanye West's 'Late Registration' Album


Each Kanye West album seems to show listeners a new vision of the artist. His 2004 debut album, The College Dropout, was him showing that he鈥檚 more than Jay Z鈥檚 producer and that he鈥檚 just as talented on the mic as he is behind the boards.

The Chicago rhymer’s 2007 sophomore album, Graduation, was his 鈥渟tadium record鈥 with him at the top of the mountain as one of music鈥檚 premier musicians. 808s and Heartbreak was an emotional ride into West鈥檚 loneliness after the death of his mother and his breakup with Alexis Phifer. On My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, ‘Ye addressed his critics as well as himself as he returned to the public eye after his controversial appearance at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

West’s 2011 collaborative album with Jay Z, Watch the Throne, was a victory lap of sorts for both men as they cemented themselves as the voices of a generation. His 2013 album Yeezus showed us an experimental, angry West who wanted to shock listeners and the music industry by making his music sound almost nothing like anything he had done before.

But where does Late Registration fall into that legacy? The album doesn鈥檛 seem to have as much of an overarching statement as West’s previous works. If anything, it feels like a transitionary period from College Dropout to Graduation.

Thematically, it resembles The College Dropout and sonically it is somewhere between the soul-heavy Dropout and the larger-than-life Graduation. Yet, even if it may not be as entirely unique as West鈥檚 other albums, it deserves to be put on the same pedestal as all the rest. Depending on who is asked, Late Registration might even be considered his best effort.

The album shows West as he climbs to the top of rap鈥檚 food chain, expanding his sound and innovating wherever he can. It is also perhaps the album where West provides his best verses. Everything is immaculate from the beats to the guest features to the skits.

Late Registration celebrates its 11th anniversary today (Aug. 30), which is a perfect time to revisit the album. Check out 10 Things We Learned from Kanye West鈥檚 Late Registration above.