ON THIS DAY… #KanyeWest DROPS ‘Graduation’! [vids]


ON THIS DAY… September 11, 2007, Kanye West DROPPED his 3rd album ‘GRADUATION’ to CRITICAL ACCLAIM!!!


Graduation is the third studio album by American rapper Kanye West, released on September 11, 2007 by Roc-A-Fella Records. Recording sessions took place during 2005 to 2007 at Chung King Studios, Sony Music Studios, Chalice Recording Studios, and the Record Plant. It was primarily produced by West himself, with contributions from DJ Toomp, Mike Dean, Nottz, Brian “All Day” Miller, Eric Hudson, Warryn Campbell, Gee Roberson, Plain Pat, and Jon Brion. The album also features guest appearances from recording artists such as Dwele, T-Pain, Lil Wayne, DJ Premier, and Chris Martin of Coldplay. The album’s cover art and its interior artwork were designed by Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami.

Inspired by stadium tours, house-music and indie rock, Graduation marked a departure from the ornate, soul-based sound of West’s previous releases. He musically progressed to a more anthemic style of composing rap songs that would function well when performing in large arenas. West incorporated layered synthesizers into his hip-hop production and dabbled with electronics while sampling from a wider spectrum of music genres and altering his approach to rapping. Graduation concludes the education theme of West’s first two albums The College Dropout (2004) and Late Registration (2005). Lyrically, the record is introspective in comparison to its predecessors. West dedicated much of his songwriting towards analyzing himself and conveying an ambivalent outlook on his newfound fame and media scrutiny alongside providing inspirational messages of triumph directed at listeners.

Graduation debuted at number-one on the US Billboard 200, selling over 957,000 copies in its first week of sales. It produced five singles, including the international hits “Stronger”, “Good Life” and “Homecoming”, the former of which topped the Billboard Hot 100. The album has sold over 2,700,000 copies in the United States and been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Graduation received critical acclaim from most critics, and earned West several accolades, including his third Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.

The coinciding release dates between Graduation and rapper 50 Cent’s Curtis generated much publicity over the idea of a sales competition, resulting in record-breaking sales performances by both albums. Graduation’s success and the outcome of its competition with Curtis marked a turning point in the music industry, when the dominance of gangsta rap in mainstream hip-hop came to an end. It is credited with paving the way for other hip-hop artists who did not conform to gangster conventions to find commercial acceptance. West promoted Graduation with a worldwide Glow in the Dark Tour that spanned from April to December 2008.



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