Isolated lines recognize that Jesus died for us, condemn rappers who glorify murder, and preach perseverance.
Harsh profanity appears early and often. In fact, Kanye’s materialistic boasting is matched only by his affection for the term “motherf—er.” S-words are another favorite. On the prowl for meaningless sex, he and Mos Def complain about the hassles of seducing “Drunk and Hot Girls,” while a randy proposition on “I Wonder” states, “Somethin’ in your blouse got me feelin’ so aroused.” “The Glory” and “Stronger” find the artist attracted to “dykes.” Champagne and sex on a private jet are part of the “Good Life,” which suggests that selling drugs is one way for an ambitious person to punch his ticket. The rapper enlists the services of a psychic (“I Wonder”). Racial and misogynist slang is sprinkled throughout. The best education is whichever one gets a kid out of the streets on “Good Morning” (“Cheated on every test … Look at the valedictorian scared of the future/While I hop in the DeLorean”).
When sampling was passé, West was taking big vocal loops from old soul records and adjusting the pitch to create a helium effect dubbed “chipmunk soul.” The producer in him continues to experiment. But don’t let the cute anime animals on the cover fool you; Graduation is an arrogant, profane disc that should be expelled.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.