ISSUE DATE: Aug. 29, 2005
When West finally got a deal (in the end, Roc-A-Fella overcame its institutional bias against Polo shirts), he shattered the myth that he was too soft, too weird and too bourgeois to fit the mold of a platinum-selling rapper. His 2004 debut album, The College Dropout, went nearly triple platinum, topped all the major critics’ polls, earned 10 Grammy nominations and made rap accessible to audiences that hadn’t paid attention in years. “That record restored my faith in hip-hop,” says Jamie Foxx, who lent comic vocals to West’s No. 1 hit Slow Jamz.
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