By K.B. Tindal
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Hands down, Kanye West was the biggest breakout star of 2004 on the hip hop market, he did songs with everybody. Hip Hop was ready to write Kanye West off when he did not start off as strongly in 2005. Plus, behind the scenes, Damon Dash left Roc-A-Fella Records and Jay-Z took over Def Jam.
What was left for Kanye West to do besides make good music? (pun intended). He continued the college theme with Late Registration, following up his classic debut album with a classic sophomore album. In the spring of 2005, Kanye West dropped the lead single, “Diamonds From Sierra Leone.”
Kanye West got people interested with “Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” but he dominated radio with “Gold Digger,” featuring Jamie Foxx. “Gold Digger” became one of the biggest songs of 2005 and a phrase throughout the year, a big summer hit. There were enough hits off the album to last a year.
Once he built the momentum, Kanye West could not stop it, with “Heard ‘Em Say” with Adam Levine, “Touch The Sky” introducing Lupe Fiasco, and “Drive Slow” featuring Paul Wall all becoming massive hits. Even though the album dropped on August 30, 2005, Late Registration continued to make its impact on the game well into 2006 and 2007. Very few albums are able to have a lasting impact like that and still sounds good and brings back memories eight years later.
Late Registration also featured conscious themes, discussing the world around us and appearances from Common, Game, Cam’ron, Brandy, Paul Wall, GLC, Nas, Jay-Z, Really Doe, Consequence, and more. Production came from Kanye West and his team of producers, including his then-staple of primarily soul samples. The only question is what Late Registration Kanye West would think of Yeezus Kanye West.
Watch Late Registration music videos below:
“Diamonds From Sierra Leone”
“Gold Digger” featuring Jamie Foxx
“Heard ‘Em Say” featuring Adam Levine
“Touch The Sky” featuring Lupe Fiasco
“Drive Slow” featuring Paul Wall, GLC, and T.I.
Follow K.B. Tindal on Twitter @KBTindal.