From the Vault...


Kanye West
"Late Registration"

© Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Records
Year of Release: 2005

track listing
  • Wake Up Mr. West
  • Heard 'Em Say
  • Touch The Sky
  • Gold Digger
  • Skit #1
  • Drive Slow
  • My Way Home
  • Crack Music
  • Roses
  • Bring Me Down
  • Addiction
  • Skit #2
  • Diamonds From
    Sierra Leone (Remix)
  • We Major
  • Skit #3
  • Hey Mama
  • Celebration
  • Skit #4
  • Gone
  • Diamonds From
    Sierra Leone
    (Bonus Track)
  • Late

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    Kanye West
    "Late Registration"

    By now, Kanye West is a household name... Really? Well, we all know why. He's been controversial ever since his incident with Taylor Swift. And of course, being married to Kim Kardashian. She has been controversial as well.

    But back in 2005, his "Gold Digger" tune was the "Introduction to Kanye West" and his second career album, Late Registration. "Gold Digger" has a line (modified) from Ray Charles' "I Got A Woman" -- "Well, I Got A Woman, Way Over Town, That's Good To Me." Not exactly word for word, but it's there. That is just my hearing opinion... And actually, "Gold Digger" (and many other rap artists and their "popular" tunes), just gets overplayed, and on your nerves. "Gold Digger" spent a total of 10 weeks at #1, and with those many weeks, it was endless hearing this song, over and over.

    To really summarize, this is one of those "typical rap albums," where most fans of music do not really care much for Rap. And this album is that. As I reviewed many rap albums in the past, they were either a hit or a miss. Late Registration was Kanye West's second album. Most rap fans (and if they are really fans of Rap) will agree that this is a good-to-great album. The same could be said for his non-#1 debut a year before, The College Dropout (2004).

    There are some short "skits" throughout the album, as they all are either pass overs, or just ignore fails. (These skits just didn't do anything for me.) And on that note, let's get the songs out of the way, that classifies as "just pass overs" or "just ok" tracks.

    The good part to say of that, and even throughout the entire album, is that Kanye West gets good help from other Pop and Rap artists.

    Pass tracks: "Touch The Sky" (with Lupe Fiasco), "Drive Slow" (with Paul Wall & GLC). [Nice storyline though on this one.] "Crack Music" -- UGGH, definitely, let's pass on that one... Brandy (who is a good singer, to say) helps out on "Bring Me Down." She maybe the one that saves this song, to say the least, but again, it's passable. And let's pass on another one, "Gone" (with Consequence and Cam'Ron, whoever they are).

    Now, let's go over the "ok tracks." These songs are salvageable, and "just ok" to listen to(?). [The question mark is like it means -- it's "ok questionable" : "Celebration," and "Late."

    Then there's the "No, No, turn it off, No..." These tracks I can pass, and never go back: "Addiction," "We Major" (with Nas & Really Doe). [A note to mention on Nas -- I have to agree, that his Rap music is quite good, and what makes it better for him, is how his lyrics are.]

    I can even say that the album's most popular track, "Gold Digger" is also passable, or even a no no song, most likely because of it's overplaying. "Roses" is where it's not a bad song, yet it's not a really good one either. "Hey Mama" is not a bad song either.

    Two songs are where the music is quite good, but when the rapping lyrics come in... Pass. "My Way Home" (with Common) -- the music reminds me of the 1970s Isaac Hayes, yet when the rap lyrics kick in, well, you know... And the same is said for the remix of "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" (with Jay-Z). There's another version of Diamonds also, and of the two, this one is a bit better than its Remix.

    I can even say that the album's most popular track, "Gold Digger" is also passable, or even a no no song, most likely because of it's overplaying.

    Which leads up to one more track left. And with help from Maroon 5's Adam Levine, it HAS to be good. And it is! "Heard 'Em Say" is a track I can play more than once. It has the later feel of Prince's music (who recently passed away, in April, 2016.)

    As for many artists, they all had to start somewhere. Late Registration would be the "best introduction" for Kanye West, when he would become more popular. Thanks to "Gold Digger," his music became recognized. His next #1 song would be from his next album, released in 2007, Graduation. The #1 song from that album was "Stronger." His next album, 808s And Heartbreak would be reviewed on our site. And quite honestly, I thought it was very well recorded album, despite it's good moments and least ones. Three more albums were released afterwards. And, since the release of Late Registration and the next five albums after, they all reached #1 on Billboard's Hot 200 albums chart.

    But really, Kanye West is not recognizably famous for his music. He is popular for his actions. His involvement with Taylor Swift, and his incidents with himself (or with his wife, Kim Kardashian) have made news headlines. He has had his involvements with the media, U.S. Presidents, music/video award programs, and petitions. His relationships before his marriage to Kim Kardashian had its moments. And of course, his relationship with his current wife had ITS own moments. His mother had passed away in 2007, which took its toll. (808s And Heartbreak) was the focus of his relationships at the time, and his mother's death. You can say that Kanye West has been having an "interesting life"; never a dull moment. Unique. Different. Drama.

    History was made with his most recent album, The Life Of Pablo. It was only released on mp3. No other music sources were involved in selling the album. No Amazon. No Best Buy. No Target. No Walmart. No stores. The only way you could purchase it, was through his website. Not to mention, there are ebay sellers who burn copies of the album, and distribute them with the album's artwork for like $10.00 online through eBay. IS THAT LEGAL TO DO? Make money buy "burning" CDs and selling them? If that is legal, then everyone can make copies of say, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and make profits. And with mentioning of selling burned CD copies on eBay, nowadays, rappers are selling what are called mixtapes of their music. This is the same as what Kanye West did, with The Life Of Pablo -- selling their Mixtapes only through their websites -- Not selling them through the usual stores and online stores. Their personal websites are selling them (as they should), and, yes, eBay. (Again, is that legal?)

    Late Registration was the beginning of Kanye West's (music) popularity. I guess you can say he became better with each album afterwards. With his past bad relationship and his mother's death behind him, he created more "incidents" (aka drama), and to some, you would think it would be more troublesome. Again, it's never a dull moment in the life of Kanye West. And yes, more of his music will be reviewed here on WSVNRadio -- whether we (myself and you, the readers), like Kanye West ... or not.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1560
    Keith Urban--Ripcord
    Next Review: #1562
    Jimmy Wayne--Do You Believe Me Now