It’s been a very slow summer for smart Top 40 hip-hop. The best stuff has come out of Houston, really, but only the occasional release from someone like Common has made the summer season worth rapping about. On Tuesday, hopefully that will change. On August 30, Kanye West releases his highly-anticipated second solo album, Late Registration. The pre-release buzz indicates that – compared to his debut, College Dropout – some things are the same (guestspots by Jamie Foxx and Jay-Z) but some things have definetly changed (he brought in art-pop producer Jon Brion).
What’s the verdict? I’ve only heard the solid singles, but my anticipation certainly grows more thanks to Rolling Stone giving the new album a coveted “five stars,” the highest (and thus, rarest) honor. Aside from a few amazing songs, I felt College Dropout was overrated. But, even I’m excited about this new one. From Rob Sheffield’s review:
“Whatever your pet theory on the state of hip-hop, Dropout gave you a challenge, flaws and all. But Late Registration is an undeniable triumph, packed front to back, so expansive it makes the debut sound like a rough draft.”
Read the complete review here.