Hippo Manchester
September 8, 2005

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CD Reviews
by Dan Ryan

Kanye West,

Late Registration

***1/2

Popular rap music, as we know it, is done! Kanye West’s Late Registration, embodies the best of the last 10 years in hip-hop and hangs it out to dry.

As if knowing the end is nigh, Late Registration is filled with heavy production, danceable beats, rap-superstar ego and hip-hop royalty of the likes of Jay-Z,  The Game, Brandy, Nas, Common and Talib Kweli. But packaged with West’s stereotypical rap-superstar ego are his insecurities. On many tracks (and skits) West rhymes about his inner battles of maintaining a connection with his poverty-stricken roots, while trying to retain indie cred, without selling out.

 Late Registration is bloated at times, clocking in at 21 tracks (23 if you own the UK edition), and tracks like “We Major” and the second version of “Diamonds of Sierra Leone” are easily skippable — brevity is something the hip-hop genre has yet to grasp. Needless to say, no one could have done it better and now rap music has only two directions to go in: evolve or grow into a  stagnant cesspool of unoriginality. Outkast, your move.