If somebody were to ask me to rank my favorite artists albums from best to worst, 99% of the time I would be able to tell you. I can tell you off top that Jay Z‘s Reasonable Doubt is his best work. I could tell you that Eminem‘s Encore will go down as one of his worst. Hell I can take it a step further and say that Michael Jackson‘s Dangerous album should be ranked ahead of Bad (Yeah I said it..)
However, when it comes to somebody like Kanye West. He is that rare 1% that will legit have me stumped if you were to ask me what is his best album is. Last week Complex set social media by storm when they released their “definitive” ranking of Kanye West’s albums. For whatever reason there was a huge controversy when the publication ranked Late Registration below Yeezus and 808’s & Heartbreak. It even upset Chance The Rapper of all people and prompted him to make his own list of Ye’s best albums that fans disagreed with even more.
While I was watching the constant debate go down on my timeline I couldn’t do nothing but sit back and laugh. There is no such thing as a “definitive” list of Kanye’s best albums. It’s impossible in my eyes because it literally changes on a daily basis. In my honest opinion I feel like I’m doing a disservice to Kanye if I were to rank his albums against each other.
Kanye West is arguably the most consistent artist that has released classic albums back to back. Each album has their own unique sound to it and they stand the very test of time. When somebody asks me what my favorite Kanye West album is, my answer will always be the same: “It depends on my mood.”
If I’m feeling like being soulful, I pop in The College Dropout. If I’m feeling like I want to touch the sky with violin strings playing in the background I’ll listen to Late Registration. If I want to feel stronger or if I want to be in my emotions I’ll listen to Graduation or 808’s. If I want to listen to what perfection or what it feels like to be a God, I’ll pop in My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy or Yeezus. Or if I want to float to that Ultralight Beam for 30 hours I’ll pop in The Life Of Pablo.
If you were to ask Kanye himself about what he feels is his best work, his answer would probably surprise you. At the end of the day, there is no right answer about how we should rank Ye or any of our favorite artists albums. It’s all opinion so nobody is right and nobody is wrong. With each album, the artists want to show their maturity through their music.
During his 2009 performance at VH1 Storytellers, Ye put this quite clearly:
“So many people get caught up in recreating their old album. It’s impossible for me to remake another College Dropout. But I can make the best Graduation and best 808’s. And that’s how I think you keep advancing as an artist. So few hip-hop artists have ever advanced. There songs on their seventh or eighth album sounds like exactly the songs on their 1st album. More then an artist I’m a real person and those people grow. And I wanted to sing my growth.”