I think the primary reason I don’t listen to more mainstream rap or hip-hop albums is the skits. Including the intro track, five of Late Registration’s 21 tracks are skits. They just… don’t serve any purpose other than to be self-servicing for the artist.
That aside, Mr. Kanye West’s second studio record, released in 2005, still sounds as good today as it did then. The follow-up to the groundbreaking College Dropout, Late Registration sees West make an attempt at a more refined sound.
On the single “Touch the Sky,” a collaboration with Lupe Fiasco, West employs the use of horns for a song that’s as over-the-top as its video counterpart – something that very few artists can pull off. Thankfully, West is one of those artists.
The first triplet of tracks right off the top are the album’s primary singles. “Heard ‘Em Say” featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5, is one of the slower burning singles West has ever released, using a galloping piano riff to drive the jaunt. I’m not a Maroon 5 fan myself, but it’s a decent little tune.
The last of the opening tracks, “Gold Digger” is one impossible to have not heard. If you’ve managed to avoid it in the last 8 years, I want to know where you’ve been hiding.
As it is with most big rap releases like this one, I’m interested in the supporting tracks. Like “Gold Digger,” most listeners will have heard the two other singles. They were huge. I’m thankful to report in that supporting songs like “Crack Music” with The Game deserve their place on the album every bit as much as the singles.
But let’s reiterate here: rap comedy skits are so overplayed. They don’t need to be on here, and are a big distraction, and in my opinion, a detraction. Thankfully there’s enough good here to outweigh the nonsense. “Late” alone is enough to make me forget about them.
From the wildly successful Late Registration, this is the best of the underdog tracks, “Drive Slow” –
Standout tracks: “Crack Music” and “Drive Slow.” The singles are obviously jam too.
Weakest track: All of the skits. That Brandy track isn’t something I’d listen to… uhh, ever. Also, all of the skits.
RIYL: Big-time rap or hip-hop albums. Jay-Z, Killer Mike, Big Boi.