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Apple Music Celebrates 15 Years of Kanye West’s Graduation

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Apple Music has launched a new radio episode of Essential Album to celebrate 15 years Kanye West’s classic album Graduationwhich was released on September 11, 2007. The show is hosted by Kosine, one half of the celebrated production duo Da Internz.

“The album is all about challenging what it means to graduate from school versus the street…to achieve. Because on this day ‘we will become legendary’.” Kosine explores how Kanye’s childhood was more suburban than street, while West had an unforgiving bustle. “At a young age, he showed a love for music, a predilection that would become a fixation,” Kosine adds. “He would go to Chicago State University and then drop out to focus full-time on his developing craft. Isn’t a plan B.”

Kosine also delves into Kanye’s brilliant eye as a songwriter and producer. “He wrote and arranged and explored the intricacies of sampling and production. Yet Ye mainly aspired to be behind the microphone himself. And so he just kept going, first making beats, then making records. Because guess what? Beats are not going to be #1 on the Hot 100 charts. Songs do.”

Kosine has recruited Beastie Boys legend Mike D to investigate Kanye’s power. He says: “I was a fan of his from his productions. He brought something to the production game that I hadn’t heard before. The accelerated samples and aggressive beats. He had a backpack rap style with a pop sensibility.” Kosine then explores how Kanye’s relationship with Jay-Z has shaped him as a producer and recording artist.

The Graduation artwork, a striking anime depiction by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami featuring a Kanye West-esque bear propelled toward the sky, serves as a fitting analogy for the stratospheric creative ambitions of Kanye’s third album. After the success of 2005 Late registrationhe toured in support of U2 in an effort to broaden his fan base. Watching the Irish megastars play in packed arenas inspired Kanye to create an album that would invest rap in rock and pop dynamics, with simplified lyrics that would be better translated to large crowds.

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