Jeen-Yuhs P3

The Graduation Effect – Things to Think About Before Watching ‘Jeen-Yuhs: Part III’

Part II left us right around 2004-2005, where Kanye not only broke into the hip-hop industry, but took it by storm. Impressing producers like Pharrell, getting on features with Jay-Z, and showing us the creation of legendary hits from both The College Dropout and Late Registration. We know what follows next: the Taylor Swift Grammy’s incident, yelling at the paparazzi, jabbing at Kris Humphries after he married Kim Kardashian, the list goes on and on. Through all of it, the one constant with Kanye is he kept making record-breaking music.

The Graduation Effect

Does anyone else ever go back and listen to old albums or mixtapes? If not, you really should, because when I check what comes out every Friday on streaming platforms it upsets me. 

When I had some down time this weekend, I had the chance to fully listen through Lil Wayne’s old mixtapes The Dedication 2 & 3. For context, the release date for D2 was May 22nd, 2006 and D3 was November 14th, 2008, A.K.A the first mixtape you bumped when we had a black President. I’m asking for a little effort here: listen to these two tracks for yourself and tell me what you notice.

What Should Be Noticed

You can hear it in Lil Wayne’s sound change from 2006 to 2008. The sound that he delivers in The Carter III and eventually other artists like Lil Uzi, Post Malone and Travis Scott used: Auto-Tune. It should be noted that T-Pain was the original auto-tuner, but these new artists do not have the same success without Kanye West. 

This September will be the the 15th anniversary of Kanye’s “Graduation” . An album that Kanye bet would outsell 50 Cent’s album, Curtis. That bet symbolized the end of an era (it should be noted that it was the first time two artists pushed 600k units the same week since 1991). The gangsta rap dominated genre had changed and was transcended by mainstream pop music. Graduation changed the entire music industry; we saw our most beloved artists go from oversized jerseys and 2003 NBA Draft suits to Pink Polos.

It was a changing of the guards. Look at just some of the hit songs from 2007-2010 and tell me music remained the same.

Billboard 2006-2008

Even though this style of music opened the door for a lot of musicians, I am so happy to see people my age going back and listening to Kanye’s old albums, so they can remember him for the classic songs he delivered instead of his social media outbursts. Maybe it provides a new inspiration for musicians, and maybe we can get rappers to rap over hard music instead of this emo/self-loathing music that is turning all our men soft. Make Rappers Rap Again. 

Also, if you want to know more about about the 50 Cent and Kanye Rolling Stone cover shoot check out the healthy competition the that hip-hop had back in 2007.  

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