Ten years ago, a 26-year-old rapper from Chicago named Kanye West changed the game with his groundbreaking debut The College Dropout. To commemorate the historic moment, Kanye and others look back on the album’s impact.
In a series of tweets, a humble Kanye reminisced on his 2004 opus, which won two Grammys and has sold over 3 million copies in the U.S.
“Ten years ago today we finally released what had been my life’s work up to that point: The College Dropout,” tweeted ‘Ye. “I say ‘finally’ because it was a long road, a constant struggle, and a true labor of love to not only convince my peers and the public that I could be an artist, but to actually get that art out for the world to hear.”
He continued, “I am extremely grateful to each and every person along that road who helped, lent an ear, lent their voice, gave of their heart to that project, and to all the projects that followed, and are to come.”
He also thanked his fans for always being there. “I am honored and humbled by my fans, for the unwavering support and love over the past ten years,” he said. “I wake up every day trying to give something back to you that you can rock to and be proud of.”
Eight albums and 21 Grammys later, he hasn’t lost his passion for music. “Ten years later I am still the same kid from Chicago, still dreaming out loud, still banging on the door,” he said. “The doors may be heavier, but I promise you WE WILL BREAK THEM.”
Kanye’s other half, Kim Kardashian, also took a moment to salute her fiancé. “10 years ago today Kanye released his 1st album The College Dropout! This was a game changer!” she wrote. “Could only imagine what you were thinking and feeling today 10 years ago! Happy anniversary to the best producer/artist over the past decade!!!! Can’t wait for the next 10 years! Gonna be listening to this album all day.”
Damon Dash, who executive produced the album, recounted the challenges leading up to its release. “Love being a part of making history…you never get used to it…funny thing is everytime I do make history I have to fight my partners first to do it…you wouldn’t believe the internal resistance I got trying to put this album out…good thing I don’t listen to squares and proud of Kanye for staying relevant for so long…and to all that doubted…again…I told you so…again,” wrote the Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder.
Plus, read what some of the album’s contributors including John Legend, Syleena Johnson, and No I.D. had to say about their involvement via Billboard.