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    Kanye West - The College Dropout

    Release date: February 10, 2004

    Kanye West's universally acclaimed major label debut The College Dropout was released in February of 2004, and there have been few rap records since that have been both as critically and commercially successful. West's trademark soul production sound, heavily based around pitched up vocal samples, had already gained him multiple production credits on some of Roc-A-Fella's biggest singles, but many still doubted his ability to rap.

    West answered by dropping a classic album centered on themes of family, religion, race, materialism, and personal struggles, deviating strongly from the dominant gangsta rap persona which seemed necessary for success in the early 2000s.

    West answered by dropping a classic album centered on themes of family, religion, race, materialism, and personal struggles, deviating strongly from the dominant gangsta rap persona which seemed necessary for success in the early 2000s. Singles from the album spawned classic visuals such as those for "Through the Wire" and "Jesus Walks" while other singles such as "Slow Jamz," which featured Twista and Jamie Foxx, and "All Falls Down" made their way to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

    The College Dropout remains Kanye West's best-selling album, and its impact continues to be felt today, in the wide acceptance of the more introspective music of artists like Childish Gambino and Drake.

    THE BIGGEST ALBUM TO ALBUM CHANGES IN MUSIC HISTORY