Album Review | Kanye West – Late Registration

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Late Registration is Kanye West’s second studio album. It was released on August 30th in 2005. I was six. I’m pretty sure this album received even more critical acclaim than The College Dropout. This album is definitely considered a classic. Kanye’s got a lot of classic albums. This one spawned some of his most famous singles. Like I said in my review of The College Dropout, I haven’t heard this album. I haven’t even heard all of the singles from it. I’ve heard most of them, but not all. This seems to be a lot of people’s favorite Kanye album, so I’m really looking forward to it. I’m expecting this to be better than The College Dropout. It should be dope af.

Track 1: Wake Up, Mr. West (Prod. Kanye West)

I’ve heard this track. It’s just the Bernie Mac Assistant Principal guy bein’ like “OHO HO. I knew I was gon’ see- I KNEW I was gon’ see you again! Knew I was gon’ see you again…” He proceeds to shit on Kanye for seemingly no reason at all. He eventually notices that Kanye is asleep. “Kanye! Nigga, is you snorin’ in my class? / Wake up Mr. West!” This segues into the next track, Heard ‘Em Say.

Track 2: Heard ‘Em Say Feat. Adam Levine (Prod. Kanye West & Jon Brion)

Heard 'Em Say

This is one of the few tracks from this album that I have heard. I’m pretty sure this was the first single released for the album. Nope. It isn’t. I was wrong. It’s the third single. Whatever. This song has another one of those legendary beats. It’s so calm and relaxing. It’s just a light piano sample. It’s dope af. What if that was all I said about this song? What if I only talked about the beat? That would be weird. Jesus Christ. The YouTube comments under music video’s are always so fucking corny. Anyway, as I said, this beat is fucking crazy, and Kanye flows over it perfectly. His laid back delivery is perfect for this beat. That first verse was great. Adam Levine did a really good job with the hook too. It sounds great. I really don’t see how anyone could dislike this song. I can’t find anything wrong with it. There’s not even really anything to nitpick. I guess it might annoy some people that the voice of the Bernie Mac Assistant Principal Guy rolls into the beginning of this track, but that didn’t really bother me that much, and even if it did, it’s not a big enough deal to penalize this song for. I definitely fuck with this shit. This song is dope af. The music video’s dope too. 5/5

Track 3: Touch The Sky Feat. Lupe Fiasco (Prod. Just Blaze)

Touch The Sky

This is probably my favorite single from this album. It’s really between this one and Heard ‘Em Say. Lupe Fiasco is one of my favorite rappers, so I guess it makes sense that I like this song so much. This song is responsible for bringing Lupe Fiasco to a mainstream audience. I wonder what Lupe’d be doing if this song never happened. This is the only song on the album that doesn’t feature any production from Kanye West. It’s starting now. This is another legendary beat. This beat is pure happiness in the form of music. Kinda like the We Don’t Care beat. This hook is dope af too. “I gotta testify / Come up in the spot lookin’ extra fly / ‘Fore the day I die / Ima touch the sky.” This hook always gets stuck in my head. Kanye’s flow fits perfectly into this beat too. His verses were dope af. Lupe killed it tho. Lupe definitely had my favorite verse. I don’t think he stole the show or anything, but he really went in tho. I definitely fuck with this shit. This song is dope af. The music video’s really dope too. I remember hearing this song a lot when I was littler. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. 5/5

Track 4: Gold Digger Feat. Jamie Foxx (Prod. Kanye West & Jon Brion)

Gold Digger

Speaking of songs I heard a lot when I was littler, Gold Digger is one of the most played out Hip Hop songs of all time. I swear I probably heard this damn song 3 times a day for two years after it came out. I’m so tired of this song. It’s been a minute since I heard it tho, so maybe it isn’t as bad as I remember. I mean, it’s a really dope song, but I heard it so much that I just don’t like it anymore. Hopefully I gave it enough time. Okay, it’s playing now. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m in a good mood or what, but I’m actually enjoying this song. The hook is legendary. “Now I ain’t saying she’s a gold digger / But she ain’t messing with no broke niggas.” These days whenever I hear this song all I can think about is The Boondocks. His flow on the first verse is great. I really shouldn’t have to say anything. It’s a dope song that everyone’s heard. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this song again, but I am. I used to hate this song because it was played the fuck out. I like it again now tho. It’s dope. The music video’s pretty generic tho… 4/5

Track 5: Skit #1

This song is inappropriately titled since it’s technically the second skit, but I’ll let this slide. I don’t have anything to say about this skit. I guess it’s supposed to be funny, but I coulda did without it.

Track 6: Drive Slow Feat. Paul Wall & GLC (Prod. Kanye West)

This is the first song that I haven’t heard from this album. It’s also this album’s last single. I know that Paul Wall is a legendary Southern MC, but I’ve never heard any of his shit. Well, that’s not true. I’ve only heard one of his songs, and it came out in 2015, so I haven’t heard any of his classic shit. I obviously learned who GLC was when I reviewed The College Dropout. Okay the song’s starting now. Damn. This beat is dope af. Ye went in on the first verse. This song has a much more laid back and reserved vibe than the last few songs did. Paul Wall’s goin’ in on the second verse. Damn. He actually kinda killed it. His verse was really dope. GLC did his thing at the end too. That chopped & screwed outro was dope. I don’t usually like shit like that, but it sounded really dope with this beat. I fuck with this. This is dope af. The music video above is for the remix, which featured an additional verse from T.I. I’m gonna watch it now. Eh. T.I’s verse was cool. Nothing special tho. I won’t feel like I’m missing out if I just keep the original instead of downloading the remix. His verse wasn’t bad tho. The music video was pretty generic. The song’s dope af tho. 5/5

Track 7: My Way Home (Performed by Common) [Prod. Kanye West]

This is apparently a song that didn’t make it to Common’s sixth album, Be. Kanye didn’t want the song to go to waste, so he included it here. It’s starting now. This beat is dope af. Wow. The song just ended. I don’t know if I should rate this. It’s less than two minutes long. Common only spit one verse. It was dope af. I think this song is dope af. It just feels like more of an interlude than an actual song. I still fuck with it tho. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 8: Crack Music Feat. The Game (Prod. Kanye West & Jon Brion)

This beat is dope. The hook is alright. It’s definitely not bad, but it doesn’t stand out at all. It’s just two lines from Kanye, and then the same two lines from The Game. Kanye’s goin’ in on the first verse. He’s rapping about how the government distributed crack to black communities in a successful attempt to prevent African Americans from thriving. “How we stop the Black Panthers? / Ronald Reagan cooked up an answer.” This is great. It should be interesting to see how The Game tackles this subject. Kanye’s second verse was dope. The Game didn’t get a verse. He literally just did two lines on the hook. Damn. Apparently The Game’s verse was cut out because he didn’t stick to the original topic. I’m not surprised honestly. The Game doesn’t really seem like the right artist for a song like this. I just listened to the version with The Game’s verse. He had a cool verse, but it’s easy to see why it wasn’t on the original song. It has almost nothing to do with what Ye was saying. The Game fucked up. I fuck with the song. That outro is a little long winded, and The Game’s feature was unnecessary, but other than that it’s dope. 4/5

Track 9: Roses (Prod. Kanye West & Jon Brion)


This song is based on a near-death experience that Kanye’s grandmama had. Wow. This is really sad…

That's sad…

This beat is great. Kanye’s first verse just ended. God… DAMN. This shit is so sad. The fuckin’ nurses in the hospital were asking for autographs when Ye was tryna see his grandmama. I would’ve been like “BITCH, IF YOU DON’T GET THAT FUCKIN’ CAMERA AWAY FROM ME I WILL RIP YOUR FUCKING HEART OUT.” Seriously, what kind of asshole does shit like that? This song is dope. If y’all know me, you know I love sad music. I probably would’ve enjoyed this more if it weren’t for that long outro with the female vocals and everything. That was a bit much for me. I still really enjoyed the song tho. This is dope. 4/5

Track 10: Bring Me Down Feat. Brandy (Prod. Kanye West & Jon Brion)

Oh God… I don’t know how this is gonna turn out. I’m not a fan of Brandy… It’s starting now. Wow. I don’t know. Brandy has a huge presence on this track. She sings until Ye’s verse starts, which is 50 seconds in. This beat’s cool. Kanye’s goin’ the fuck in. Damnit. He only has one verse, but it’s dope af. He went the fuck off. Why? I mean, it’s not a bad track, but it’s not really something I would listen to casually. I really want to like this song, but the only thing I really like is Kanye’s verse. It’s not a bad song. I just personally can’t get into it. 3/5

Track 11: Addiction (Prod. Kanye West & Jon Brion)

This beat is dope af. The first verse wasn’t bad, but his flow got old pretty quickly. This hook is cool. That Etta James sample sounds great. The song just ended. It’s a dope song. The shit he’s saying just isn’t that interesting. I wasn’t in love with his flow either. It’s just about how he’s addicted to money, women & weed. That Etta James sample is probably the best thing about this song. I fuck with it. It could be better tho. 4/5

Track 12: Skit #2

This is a slightly different version of Skit #1. It’s the same idea. Just a different execution. This shit wasn’t necessary.

Track 13: Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix) Feat. JAY-Z [Prod. Kanye West, Jon Brion & Devo Springsteen]

Diamonds From Sierra Leone Remix

This is a remix to one of Kanye’s most critically acclaimed songs of all time. I’m not sure why he put the remix before the original on this album… I haven’t heard the original, so I kinda wish he put that first… I guess it’s not that big of a deal. It’s starting now. Damn. This beat is huge. It sounds really cinematic and grandiose. It’s fuckin’ incredible. Oh. The reason this beat sounds so cinematic is because it samples the theme song to Diamonds Are Forever. This song is about how a lot of rappers’ chains are made with blood diamonds. Well, not only rappers’ chains; just diamonds in general. This is a pretty unique subject for a Hip Hop song. I can’t say I’ve heard any other songs about this. “I thought my Jesus-piece was so harmless / ‘Til I seen a picture of a shorty armless.” Damn. This is really makin’ me feel guilty of owning a chain… I’m just gonna assume that the diamonds are fake… Kanye’s verse was dope. Jay’s goin’ in now. “I sold kilos of coke, I’m guessin’ I can sell CDs / I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man.” JAY-Z’s verse was really dope. I kinda didn’t like it tho. I mean, on any other song it would be great, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the original topic of this song. I liked his verse, but it kinda sucked to me in a way. It was still dope tho. I fuck with this song. This is dope. 4/5

Track 14: We Major Feat. Nas & Really Doe (Prod. Kanye West, Jon Brion & Warryn Campbell)

This is the only song that I’ve heard from this album that wasn’t a single. I’m really surprised that it wasn’t tho. I think it would’ve done really well. It’s playing now. This beat is fucking immaculate. It sounds like something that would play during the credits of a Mario game. Really Doe’s hook is long as fuck, but I really like it. Kanye’s goin’ in now. His verse was dope. I’m excited for this Nas verse tho. Nas is my favorite rapper. I’m pretty sure Nas & JAY-Z were still beefin’ when this album dropped. Not sure how this collaboration ended up happening. This was after Ether came out too, so Jay must not have been happy about it. Nas went in. His verse was great. This uncredited bridge from Tony Williams is dope af too. Everything about this song just sounds heavenly. It’s absolutely dope af. 5/5

Track 15: Skit #3

This is yet another extension of the original skit. For what it’s worth, this is the most entertaining one out of all of them so far…

Track 16: Hey Mama (Prod. Kanye West & Jon Brion)

This song is obviously dedicated to Kanye’s mama. Kanye’s singing the hook, and it’s a little sappy, but I really like my mama, so I’m kinda okay with this. There’s not really much to say. It’s just a really heartfelt song dedicated to his mama. I feel like if you have a bad relationship with your mama then you’d probably really dislike this song. My mama’s my favorite person in the world tho, so I can relate to this shit. I always loved songs like this. I don’t know why. I hate love songs, but I like songs about mothers. That’s weird. I definitely fuck with this song. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 17: Celebration (Prod. Kanye West & Jon Brion)

This beat is cool I guess. It’s not really that great, but it isn’t bad. It’s fine. This song is… I don’t know… He’s rapping about a celebration, and… It’s… I don’t know. It’s just really simplistic. It feels empty. There’s no substance to this song. I’m not feelin’ this lazy flow he has. This doesn’t feel like a real song. It sounds incomplete. There are only two short verses. His flow is really lackluster. The hook isn’t bad. It’s just really, really not good. “Yeah, you know what this is / It’s a celebration, bitches / Grab a drink, grab a glass / After that I grab yo ass.” That’s the hook. The second verse is a little better than the first, but it’s really short. I don’t really feel like he was trying with this one. It sounds like something that shouldn’t have been on the album. It sounds like a bonus track. I’m not feelin’ this one. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 18: Skit #4

This is the conclusion to the unnecessary story that’s been told in each skit. Not really sure what the point was. It’s not really a big deal tho. These skits have no effect on my rating of the album.

Track 19: Gone Feat. Cam’ron & Consequence (Prod. Kanye West)


I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of Cam’ron’s music. I heard him featured on the remix to Errthing Valid by Smoke DZA and on The Bluff by Wiz Khalifa, but I’m not familiar with any of his actual music. Hopefully he’s decent. The song’s starting now. This beat is dope. Definitely not his best. I like it tho. The strings in the background sound great. Kanye went in on that first verse. That was dope. This is actually really good so far. I feel like I’m not saying enough to make it clear that I’m enjoying this. I like the sample he used for the hook. Cam’s goin’ in now. I actually liked his verse. It wasn’t that great lyrically, but his flow was dope. Consequence is on the third verse. He went in. His verse was dope. There’s a brief instrumental break before Kanye’s finale verse. He fuckin’ murdered that last verse. The way the beat switches up and gets more menacing is perfect. It mixes really well with his verse. He killed that shit. This shit is absolutely dope af. I fuck with this shit. 5/5

Track 20: Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Prod. Kanye West, Jon Brion & Devo Springsteen)

Diamonds From Sierra Leone

This original version of Diamonds From Sierra Leone was released as the album’s first single. However, it is technically a bonus track. I pretty much already know that this shit is about to be dope af. The only reason the remix wasn’t dope af to me was because JAY-Z’s verse had nothing to do with what the song was about, and I doubt Kanye will get sidetracked like that on his own song. I don’t know for sure tho. It’s starting now. It’s the same beat and hook from the remix. Wow. I guess the shit I said about Jay is invalid because this first verse has nothing to do with blood diamonds. Or any diamonds at all for that matter. Kanye had a dope verse. It’s just not really about what I thought it would be about. I still enjoyed it tho. Goddamn. Kanye West fucking ripped that last verse to shreds. That shit was dope af. If you ask me, that verse was miles ahead of Jay’s verse on the remix. I still enjoyed that verse, but this one blows it out of the water in my opinion. Kanye controlled himself on his own track. That shit was incredible. He killed it. This is absolutely dope af. Even tho it’s not about what I thought it was gonna be about, I still enjoyed it. I fuck with this shit. The music video’s dope too. 5/5

Track 21: Late (Prod. Kanye West)

This is apparently a “hidden track.” I guess it wasn’t actually listed on the album. It’s starting now. This beat is dope af. The hook’s cool. It’s not amazing, but it’s definitely not bad. I’d say it’s slightly above average. Kanye’s flow is dope. This sounds like a cut from The College Dropout. He’s rapping about how school is a waste of time. I really like this sample that he flipped. It sounds great. I actually really enjoyed this song. I don’t have much to say about it. It’s just nice to hear him spit like this again. Not that he wasn’t spittin’ on the rest of the album; it was just cool for this particular song to hear him throw it back to his College Dropout style. There’s really not anything that I dislike about this song. It’s dope af to me. 5/5

Track +1: Back To Basics Feat. Common (Prod. Kanye West)

This is a track that only appeared on the Japanese edition of this album. The rating of this one won’t affect the overall score of the original album. I just decided I should check it out since I’m tryin’ to hear the majority of Kanye’s shit. I’m honestly not really feelin’ this beat. It’s not the worst shit I ever heard… Maybe the worst Kanye West beat I’ve ever heard. It’s supposed to be smooth, but the piano sounds kinda discordant. Kanye was on the first verse. It was cool. Not amazing or anything. Not really bad tho. There’s no hook. Common’s goin’ in now. Woah. That’s it? His verse ended pretty abruptly. The whole song ended pretty abruptly. His verse was probably like 12 bars long. That was pretty underwhelming. I’m really not feelin’ this song. I can definitely see why this was only on the Japanese edition. It’s a really lackluster track. It sounds like it was recorded in about 15 minutes. I’m not feelin’ this. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track +2: We Can Make It Better Feat. Talib Kweli, Q-Tip, Common & Rhymefest (Prod. Kanye West)

This song was exclusively released on the UK edition of this album. I’m expecting much more from this track. Talib Kweli, Q-Tip & Common are some of my favorite MCs. I’m not really familiar with Rhymefest, but he apparently co-wrote Jesus Walks, so I’m assuming he’s dope. The track’s starting now. This beat is dope af. Kanye’s singing on the hook. It doesn’t sound bad. It’s cool. Apparently his girl is afraid of black men because her black ex-boyfriend hit her. That sucks. Kanye’s verse was short, but I enjoyed it. Kweli’s verse was dope. Each verse is really short, but the track has a really laid back vibe, so I personally didn’t really mind it. Q-Tip’s verse was great. Common & Rhymefest had great verses too. This is just a really smooth track. It kinda sounds like something that would play during the credits of something like Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins or Are We There Yet? That’s the kind of vibe it’s giving me. Those movies are fuckin’ terrible, but I fuck with the song. I really like this. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

That was dope. He pretty much did exactly what you would expect and want him to do after The College Dropout. This was a good way to follow it up. It has some of his best verses and singles. The two biggest differences between this one and the first album are that he’s not talking about how much school sucks on every other track, and that the production is much more lush and grandiose. Other than that it’s pretty similar. He still seems like the same Kanye from The College Dropout. Maybe he’s slightly more cocky, and aware of his talent/success. It’s uncanny how consistent these first two albums are. They both have the same amount of tracks, they both have one wack song, they both got pretty much the same score—I rounded the score of this album up by half a point—and they’re both classic albums. If you liked The College Dropout, I’m 90% sure that you’ll like this one too. I feel almost exactly the same way about this one as I did about the first album. It’s just a dope project. I fuck with it.

Favorite Song: Late

Least Favorite Song: Celebration




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