Celebrating The 10 Year Anniversary Of Kanye West’s ‘The College Dropout’, Vintage Footage Released

Posted: February 10, 2014 by ericbernsen in Interviews, Music, News
Tags: , , ,

In 2014,  Kanye West is considered as a worldwide celebrity who is best known for his controversial “rants” and relationship with Kim Kardashian. However, today marks the 10 year anniversary of Kanye’s debut studio album The College Dropout, a body of work that has had a monumental impact on the genre of hip-hop, being labeled as a “classic” in the eyes of many fans/critics. While Kanye is now recognized as being extremely outspoken about the power of his art, back in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s West was just a hip-hop producer trying to make a name for himself. Early on in his career, Kanye’s persistent worth ethic and valuable connections gained him access to hip-hop stars such as Jay Z and Talib Kweli. West was well-respected as a producer for creating hits such as “I.Z.Z.O.” and “Get By”, but the powers that be did not recognize his rapping abilities. In an era in which ‘gangsta rap’ dominated hip-hop, no label executive thought that Kanye’s middle class artsy raps would ever cultivate into mainstream success.

Needless to say, Kanye used the rejection as motivation and once he got signed by Roca-A-Fella chief Dame Dash, he tricked him into believing that he would solely be producing a compilation album for the label’s talented roster. However, in reality Kanye West had been relentlessly working on his solo LP that would eventually be a game-changer in hip-hop. After Kanye suffered a serious car accident, he heavily promoted his personal track “Through The Wire”, which was inspired by his near death experience. While the song took some time to take off, it was his next offering “Slow Jamz” (ft. Jamie Foxx and Twista) that took the industry by storm and all of a sudden The College Dropout was gaining attention. Regardless of all the Grammy awards and sales the album accomplished, The College Dropout will forever be remembered as Kanye’s entrance into hip-hop as a refreshingly honest voice. His musical creativity had no bounds and Kanye’s passionate spirit resonated throughout the entirety of The College Dropout, marking it as a highly influential album and still arguably Kanye’s best work.

Luckily enough, there has been some early footage of Kanye West during The College Dropout tour that has been brought back to the light. The video goes behind the scenes into the life of Kanye during that time period, and features guest appearances from artists such as A-Trak, John Legend, and GLC. Other vintage footage included is a recent Billboard interview with directors Coodie & Chike, who were early collaborators with Kanye as they took the lead on the production behind the “Through The Wire” music video. Besides detailing their work on that, the directors share other worthwhile anecdotes and also show a clip of the first time Kanye rapped his “Never Let Me Down” lyrics for Pharrell.

You can watch these videos below and also read this fantastic piece by Billboard that has quotes from 26 artists who worked on The College Dropout as they reminisce on the making of the album. Revolt TV is also planning to air a documentary about The College Dropout and its impact on hip-hop. We will be sure to included that video when/if it is released.

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