Kanye West | The College Dropout | 2004 | US | VG+

Happy birthday to the incomparable Mr. West, born #onthisday in 1977.

Combination producer/MC’s were a dime a dozen in the 2000’s. It seemed like everyone behind the boards during this era needed to get behind the mic as well. Arguably, the best one to do it was Chicago’s Kanye West.

After making a name for himself producing the best work on Jay-Z’s The Blueprint in 2001, he continued to build a reputation in underground circles and the mainstream. This led to his debut album, The College Dropout, which showed his prowess on a mic as well (albeit at least partially ghostwritten by Consequence and Rhymefest).

Nonetheless, you can call Yeezy many things, but complacent is not one of them. A consummate risk-taker, Kanye has never looked backwards in his career, but has always pushed his art forward.

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