Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam; 2013
Score: Recommended (with sweet and sour sauce)
Buried at the end of “Last Call”, the final track on The College Dropout, is a nine minute long interview-style recording of Kanye West recounting the crowning events that lead to his eventual signing to Roc-A-Fella Records. In retrospect this segment is probably the most captivating part of the rapper-producer’s debut album. Here was a measured, sane, Kanye speaking in endearingly giddy tones about meeting his idols — Jay, Dame, Cam, Kweli — for the first time ever. This moment symbolized the Spring of West’s pop career, a season in which his only crises were ones of the physical world: stacking enough paper to cop a Pelle Pelle and some J’s; moving sight unseen from Chicago to an apartment in Newark, New Jersey; finding enough time in his rapidly increasing work schedule to finish mundane tasks like assembling Ikea furniture. “Last Call” was Kanye at his most relatable. His most normal. His most likeable.