When Radiohead released Kid A back in the fall of 2000, one reviewer summed up the album like so..."The Greatest Things In Life Cannot Be Talked About, They Must Be Experienced." That sums up Kid A and some music to come out after. Kid A, much like their previous effort Ok Computer, were albums ahead of their time and generation. Still to this day I cannot even describe the genius quality of these discs. I started giving this award away in 2003 and I would give away a special award to an artist that has released an album light years ahead of anything we are ready for now, or has resurrect a new genre much like what The Strokes did with their debut Is This It. This award symbolizes a record that is something far greater for any list and needs it own category. That is "The League of Their Own." In the past I have given it to the following:
2003- The White Stripes- Elephant
2004- The Killers- Hot Fuss
2005- The Mars Volta- Francis the Mute
2006- TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
...and now the recipient of this year's League of Their Own is an artist from Chicago but has reached global heights and put hip-hop back where it belongs...right on top.
Kanye West - Graduation.
Daring to do what many in hip-hop are afraid to do, Kanye West has done it all and with flying colors. Hip Hop a rather conservative genre, West has taken his talent and open mind and put it to wax, and has come full circle on Graduation. Sampling everyone from Elton John to Daft Punk and rhyming about Rosie Perez's chest size to Blond Dyke's, West created the Dark Side of the Moon of Hip Hop records. No one has even dared to ever do what he has done, at least in the United States anyway, many like England's Dizzie Rascal and Canada's K-0S have come close. Yet it is West who is the Best. He takes a European flair, combined with not your typical lyrics (he doesn't rhyme about guns and ghetto's), Kanye has taken the genre to new heights. Now with the passing of his mother and what I said in my honorable mentions when talking about artist going through dark times and creating the best work of their career, it will be mind blowing to see what he can do next. Graduation is by far from another planet as far as the genre is concerned, but will go down as one of the best of all time.
Key Tracks: Homecoming (with Chris Martin), Everything I Am