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What do you get when you take the greatest living rapper and the greatest hip hip producer. You get one hot album. Sign the petition and lets make it happen.

by kenn on 8/23/2005 12:20:00 PM

Mr. West Takes The Cover Of Time Magazine

Source: Rocafella.com


"...One of the better sounding rap records in history...widely expected to be the biggest-selling record of the year." - Time Magazine

"'Late Registration,' is the most dynamic and original album of the fall-maybe even the year." - Newsweek

"'Late Registration'...just might be this year's most eagerly anticipated album, in any genre." - New York Times

NEW YORK, NY - August 22, 2005 - Hard to believe, but Kanye West, the 28-year-old Grammy award-winning hip-hop superstar who this week graces the cover of Time Magazine and was named to that publication's list of the 100 most influential people in the world, is still fighting for his life. West - the perpetual underdog - is currently pitched in heated battle with the latest 800-pound gorilla in the corner: Himself.

"It's hard when people are depending on you to have an album that's not just good, but inspired," says West. "I mean, my music isn't just music - its medicine."

With Late Registration, set for an August 30 release on Roc-A-Fella Records, Dr. West has indeed delivered the medicine. And once again, he's done it the only way he knows how: with honesty, humor and his overwhelming conviction to prove himself by making great music.

Early reviews of Late Registration have been astounding, garnering perfect scores from the likes of Rolling Stone (5 stars) and many more. West has been named #1 on Blender's HOT 100, and is featured on the cover of their September "Hot Issue." Throughout the month of August, Kanye has been on an extensive national promo tour, visiting radio stations and hosting listening sessions for the new album, to overwhelming response.

This month-long whirlwind of activity will soon culminate in Kanye's performance at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards in Miami this Sunday, August 28, and will launch an onslaught of television performances and promotional appearances throughout September including: an in-store appearance at Tower Records Lincoln Center in New York and the airing of an E! Network concert special on 8/30, an in-store appearance at Borders and an album release party in his native Chicago on 9/1, an outdoor performance for Good Morning America on 9/2, the launch of the NFL season with a live performance on ABC on 9/8, and the airing of a performance and interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show, also on 9/8. Several other major television appearances will be announced shortly.

"Gold Digger," Late Registration's second single and follow-up to the buzzworthy "Diamonds From Sierra Leone," is shooting up the charts just 2 weeks after it's release to radio, and has already reached #3 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Tracks. The Hype Williams-directed clip for "Gold Digger" was immediately added into heavy rotation at both MTV and BET, and has penetrated the Top 10 countdowns on both networks.

Late Registration is a big album in every sense of the word. Kanye's trademark sample-based production has expanded to include live instrumentation and lush arrangements, courtesy of renowned composer/producer Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann, Magnolia, Eternal Sunshine and more), who co-produced the album. West has always been an artist who challenges not only himself, but his audience and his fellow musicians with new ideas and new ways of expressing the joys and sorrows of life through music. Late Registration does just that as it takes listeners down avenues and alleyways filled with sound and vision.

With a line up of guests that includes Jay-Z, Nas, Jamie Foxx, Brandy, Paul Wall, Cam'ron, Adam Levine of Maroon Five and his longtime friend and collaborator John Legend - West has widened his scope since The College Dropout. There are new flavors and voices in the mix - most notably that of Brion - but it's still 100% Kanye, still the voice of the underdog tackling the highs and lows of everyday life through pointed lyrics and emotionally charged music.

Eschewing cliché for reality, Late Registration addresses a litany of topics that range from the personal to the political and all that falls in between. The fist pumping "Crack Music", which features a one-line hook from the Game, looks at the effects of drugs on the black community and offers that at the end, "the music is medicine." A similar thread runs though "Addiction", a song that has West asking why it is that "everything that's supposed to be bad makes me feel so good?" On "Bring Me Down," Brandy gives a mournful voice to Kanye's barbed cynicisms as he raps "If you ever wanted to ever be anything, there'll always be somebody that'll shoot down any dream."

While tracks such as these show West's rage, he's not one to dwell on the negative. He'd rather examine it and turn it into something positive. This introspection finds its way onto tracks like his breezy and harmonious collaboration with Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine, "Heard 'Em Say", where the two stress the importance of being honest with yourself in a world that's anything but.

Kanye's not one to limit himself, and lets his humor shine through on tracks like "Drive Slow" featuring Paul Wall and the return of GLC, and "Gold Digger," his reunion with Jamie Foxx, a cautionary tale for those who confuse love with the love of somebody's wallet.

Throughout, Late Registration's sheer depth of musicality is what's most impressive. Dark and eerie at times, uplifting in others - tracks like "Touch The Sky" and "Celebration" come to mind - the album finds Kanye at once madly in love with hip-hop music, and fighting with it like a lover scorned - trying to push it's boundaries, to see how far it will go. A daunting task, indeed.

It seems as though West is more than up to the task.


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