From interrupting Taylor Swift as she received an award to running for president just this year, it’s fair to say that Kanye West is a controversial character that rubs plenty of people the wrong way.
Yet beyond the controversy, beyond the showbiz marriage to Kim Kardashian, beyond the bravado, and beyond his comical sneaker range, there is a man that is widely regarded to be a musical genius. West’s strong discography is a testament to this, as is his ability to drastically alter the hip hop landscape – which he did following the respective releases of The College Dropout and 808s & Heartbreak.
However, there’s just one question: Which of Mr. West’s records are the best? With the help of Betway and their extensive research, this article will list the five greatest Kanye West albums in reverse order.
Metacritic score: 79
As ever, Kanye didn’t rest with what he had when he released his third studio album, Graduation, in 2007. Leaving behind the soul-based and ornate sound crafted on Late Registration, this album took inspiration from indie rock, house music, electronic sounds, and more. After defeating 50 Cent in their much-publicized sales battle, Kanye saw Graduation become a regular feature in lists for the top albums of the year. Complex even went as far as to rank it #1 for their best album between 2002 and 2012.
Metacritic score: 84
Released in 2013, Yeezus once again went up another level in terms of ambition. The decision was a wise one as Yeezus, and Kanye himself was met with almost universal acclaim. Legendary rock artist Lou Reed even went as far as to say that nobody came close to what Kanye was doing and that his work is “not even on the same planet.” Yeezus made numerous appearances at #1 in the list of best 2013 albums.
3. Late Registration
Metacritic score: 85
Despite his debut album’s wide success, Kanye didn’t play it safe when he released Late Registration in 2005. Rather than going with a “chipmunk soul” approach to production as with The College Dropout, Kanye went beyond his and hip hop’s comfort zone to incorporate a diverse selection of musical styles. This resulted in an eclectic yet excellent collection of songs, with “Diamonds from Sierra Leone,” “Touch the Sky,” and “Gold Digger” being particular highlights.
2. The College Dropout
Metacritic score: 87
Kanye’s 2004 debut couldn’t have got off to a much better start. While it’s a more standard hip hop record when matched up to his subsequent works, The College Dropout was certainly more than just standard in general – it’s a certified classic. Along with many other list topping placements, The College Dropout was deemed the album of the decade by Entertainment Weekly.
1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Metacritic score: 94
Betway isn’t the only outlet that deems My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as Kanye’s ultimate masterpiece. This 2010 release has gained unparalleled praise from critics, fans, hip hop skeptics, and everyone in between. With monster hits like “Power,” “All of the Lights,” and “Runaway” sitting on the tracklist, MBDTF opened the door for hip hop to become more mainstream and accepted. Everyone from Rolling Stone to Billboard considered it not just the album of the year, but the decade.