100 Best Albums of the 2000s

45

Kanye West, 'Graduation'

Kanye's third album was his tightest and sleekest yet, with the Louis Vuitton don picking designer beats to match his designer clothes: There was the Steely Dan-sampling "Champion"; "Stronger," which cribbed from Daft Punk; and even a Chris Martin hook on "Homecoming." Kanye was more self-obsessed than ever, but the music's hypnotic sheen helped his fame-sucks rants go down easy. "I'm doin' pretty good as far as geniuses go," he rapped on "Barry Bonds." No one argued.

Related:
Rolling Stone's Original 2007 Review

Photos: 2011 Essence Music Festival

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