The album is a classic, most people would agree. Kanye was two for two. Two albums under his belt and two very dope end products.
Can you believe this was one of the two Kanye West albums—the other being 808s and Heartbreaks—that I really didn’t check out? Crazy, I know, especially for this one. I could understand why I would shy away from 808s because it was different and full of autotune but Late Registration? Nah, not Late.
I mean, I heard Late Registration, I fucking love “We Major” and enjoyed a lot of the other songs but I failed to fully listen to the latter end of the tracklist.
Late is more than dope.
It’s cinematic, beautiful, soulful, gran, etc. It’s incredible, for short.
I was sleeping on this album. I really was. I already had favorites from this album, and a few not so favorite but now that I recently rediscovered it—in the past few months—I can vouch that the majority of the album is fucking dope!
Like I said, the album is amazing. Let me go down the list, really quick, in no particular order.
One word to describe it: incredible. This song is in my list of favorite songs, EVER! It’s that good. I love it that much. Kanye killed it. Nas destroyed it. His verse is one of my favorites. Really Doe did work. Tony Williams’ voice is magnificent. His singing was soulful. I don’t know what else I can say. It’s magical.
“Crack Music” is just in fact that: crack! At first, I wished Game had a verse because he was the hottest rapper at the moment but I’m glad he didn’t. His verse would later appear on his second mixtape aimed at destroying G-Unit. Kanye wanted to stay neutral so he took the verse off. Game still killed the hook. Kanye makes the best analogy about his music: its one hundred percent top quality cocaine.
“Diamonds From Sierra Leone (remix)”
Ah, the song that features Jay Z and his infamous and brilliant business line. Kanye gave us a dope verse but Jay Z was on another level. Kanye paralyzed the beat, and Jay murdered it.
“Touch The Sky”
Kanye cosigned the next up from Chicago, Lupe Fiasco, when he gave him a spot on this song Lupe took full advantage and stole the show. Lupe was already buzzing. I was already fucking with him. I had his three Fahrenheit 911 mixtapes. I became a fan when I came across Part II: Revenge of the Nerds. I even had by older brother pick up a copy of Fader with Lupe on the cover—I still have that magazine ‘till this day. Lupe killed his verse with his wordplay, metaphors and the double entendre. He left a great impression.
Cam’ron, Consequence, and Kanye kill this song. That’s all I’m going to say.
“My Way Home”
He shared the spotlight with another Chicago fellow, Common. This time he let Common take over and gave him a bigger mainstream platform.
Wow, this is a beautiful song. Once his mother passed, the song gained strength and became extra powerful. It now brings me to near tears. It’s just a beautiful dedication that Kanye did to his mother. I was going to write something special about this on mother’s day but failed to do so.
This song is one of those gems that you uncovered years later. I realized how dope this song was in the past year. My guess is that I overlooked this song because I was so amazed by the first three quarters of the album. Kanye even raps a verse from the point of view of a college student, which is something I loved about early Kanye. He had a script. He was going to do a four album series related to college (College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation, and A Good Ass Job), if only he could’ve kept that going. That’s not a diss to the albums that came after Graduation. I know things change. Life happens.
This is the other gem that I recently discovered. This shit is too dope! It’s short but it’s a good song. It’s joyous, it’s a celebration like ‘Ye says in the hook. Listen to the song and see if you can stop yourself from smiling. It’s hard. It’s almost the perfect “have a good time” song. Plus, joining Kanye in singing “flooooooooowwww” is a wonderful thing to do.
Paul Wall and GLC join Kanye in this collaboration. The song was a strange collaboration but the end result was this dope track.
“Heard ‘Em Say”
This song made hip-hop fuck with Adam Levine, or at least, it seemed that way to me.
“Gold Digger” is a certified banger. It always gets the party popping. Once Jamie Foxx starts singing and you hear “She take my money, when I’m in need,” its over.
Even the songs I listen less to like the original “Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” “Roses,” “Addiction” and “Bring Me Down” were cool. I like the first three. The latter one, for some reason, I can’t fuck with it. It’s still an okay song. I just think its at the bottom of totem pole of this album. This is just my opinion, I could randomly come across this song in the future and instantly fall in love with it and I’d be “fuck, I was wrong.”
The beats were sick. Just Blaze killed “Touch The Sky.” Those horns…oh my fucking God…too dope…too dope! Just Blaze always impresses me. Dude is out of this world. Those trumpets are so loud, that I feel like I have to lower the volume before my speakers explode.
Kanye did his thing with those hard ass drums and soulful samples; “Crack Music” is a prime example. “Gold Digger” too, your neck is in serious danger when that beat comes on.
“We Major” “Late” and “Celebration” are amazing in my eyes. They aren’t the “hardest” beats but they are special too me. The horns, piano and wind chimes on “We Major” are incredible.
It’s been ten years since this album came out, and I can still bump this album like if it was just released in 2015. Kanye made a timeless album. The music is unbelievably good. He killed this album, and I can’t believe I slept on this album like I did—well, not slept on, but more like lost some of the songs in shuffle.