He may have his detractors, but can anyone honestly argue the 10 years in music since Kanye West released his breakthrough ‘College Dropout’ album would have been as brilliantly unpredictable without him? This week marks a decade since the Chicago rapper’s debut hit record store shelves, a milestone he celebrated with the above calorific masterpiece modeled on the album’s artwork, as snapped by his barber and friend Ibn Jasper. As the man himself might say, ain’t nobody fresher than my motherfuckin’ cake.
No wonder he’s celebrating. ‘College Dropout’ set the then 26-year-old back-room producer on a path to more than just rap superstardom. Kanye today is the most provocative force in entertainment – a one-man Jumanji rampage through pop culture that either never sleeps, or just never seems to. In the ten years since ‘College Dropout’, he’s packed in another five solo albums – that’s one boundary-pushing bestseller every eighteen months when you factor in his blockbuster 2011 ‘Watch The Throne’ collaboration with Jay Z – and sparked a fierce race debate spanning the entire US after declaring “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on live TV in front of an estimated 6m people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, among other controversies. And it all started with ‘College Dropout’.
It’s not all good news for Kanye though. I’m ‘a let you finish ‘Ye, but it’s Drake who had the best birthday cake of all time…