20 Watts

ISSUE 20 | 20 Watts Review 11 :: Kanye West : Graduation by 20watts
February 21, 2010, 10:32 pm
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Kanye West's Graduation is #11 on 20 Watts' Best of the Decade List

Part of 20 Watts’ Best of the Decade Coverage!

TOP TRACK: “Flashing Lights”

One of the greatest battles a hip-hop album faces is the struggle to remain relevant despite the passing of time. This holds especially true for mainstream rap. With its now-inextricable links to pop music, the subgenre has become increasingly time-contingent and disposable. Listen to any other rap album from 2007, say SouljaBoyTellem.com, and you’ll realize how distinctly “2007” it really is. But Kanye West’s Graduation proved it is not a mere relic of the past.

With Steely Dan and Public Enemy samples, Graduation’s blending of musical influences and genres coalesce to create one of the most original albums of the decade. With so many intricacies, there is something for everyone. And it’s this attention to detail, including the album’s accompanying Takashi Murakami cover art and legendary Glow in the Dark Tour, which trans­formed this rapper from a College Dropout to a cultural icon (for better or for worse).

— Carly Wolkoff

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