Kanye West Faces Costly Fallout After ‘Yeezus 2’ Is Cancelled
When Kanye West made his mark on the hip-hop world in 2006 with his debut album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, he had a lot to live up to. His first hit, “Black Skinhead,” was played more than 10,000 times on YouTube before it left the Billboard charts. The album was released nearly a year earlier, but West felt he hadn’t quite hit the peak of his music yet, and he decided to make another record. At the same time, he started a new partnership with record label Roc-A-Fella Records, which had helped start his musical career with his debut.
When Kanye West, right, and Jay Z met through Roc-A-Fella Records, the duo announced their partnership and released their debut album together, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
In 2007, West released The College Dropout, a sprawling, experimental project that included a slew of guest appearances and featured a wide variety of musical styles. As The Chronicle’s Jon Caramanica wrote at the time, the album “wasn’t a record made for the masses, but for the hip-hop faithful.” (The same could be said of Kanye’s debut, in his own words.) The next year, West released The College Dropout II: The Sequel, which combined the two albums. While critics gave the project a lukewarm reception, The Washington Post called it “a dazzling array of beats, hip-hop techniques, musical styles, and raps that could well define West’s career.”
It wasn’t only critics that were critical of West’s sophomore effort. When The College Dropout II: The Sequel was released, West was already engaged in a bitter battle with Jay-Z, who had released The Blueprint before West’s sophomore album. West decided to release a third and final full-length album separately in 2009 titled Late Registration. The New York Times wrote that Late Registration was “a collection of songs which seem to represent the essence of West’s musical worldview, from the pop-minded ‘Gold Digger’ to the defiantly political ‘Gold Digger’ and the philosophical ode ‘All Day and a Night.’”