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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Take your time: NMU Public Safety recommends taking it slow when driving in the snow
'Take your time': NMU Public Safety recommends taking it slow when driving in the snow
Dallas Wiertella February 21, 2024
POSE — Tschumperlin poses with two of his favorite Disney characters.
The Wildcat at Disney World
February 21, 2024

Kanye’s latest: a rap masterpiece

(5 out of 5 stars)

When I found out that Kanye West and 50 Cent would be releasing albums on the same day, my heart pitter-pattered with anticipation. I don’t usually have gangster rap CDs blasting through my car speakers, but I have no problem “getting down” with 50 Cent or better yet, my homeboy, Kanye.

I raced to purchase the album on the Sept. 11 release date, with my cousin, a hardcore 50 Cent fan, trailing close behind. Ever since 50 Cent announced that if Kanye beat him in record sales he’d quit recording solo albums, my cousin was adamant that if I was going to purchase Kanye’s “Graduation” album, she was going to cancel out my contribution by buying 50’s “Curtis” CD.

The time I spent waiting for Mr. West’s third and latest release to hit stores was not in vain; in fact, it was well worth the wait.

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The fact that West started out as a producer before making it big as a hip-hop hero definitely helped make “Graduation” a success. The tracks are impeccably produced, and the stark differences between one track and the next will leave the listener constantly guessing, but consistently pleased. Whether you’re listening to the synthesizer-heavy “Stronger” (which was sampled from Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”) or the smooth piano tinkering in tracks such as “I Wonder” or “Homecoming,” the songs come off as explicitly hip-hop, but a touch of jazz, classic or techno manages to always shine through.

West’s lyrical content on “Graduation” gives another reason for applause. Unlike the rhymes of many rap or hip-hop moguls, 50 Cent included, West’s lyrics actually have something to say. Listeners can agree that yeah, some thought was probably put into this.

A shining star on the album is the song, “Everything I Am.” On the track, West compares himself to other music industry favorites, from Queen Latifah to Beyonce: “I never rock a mink coat in the winter like Killa Cam, or rock some mink boots in the summer time like Will.i.am.” Maybe the lyric tugged at the animal rights activist in me, but either way, I liked it.

A lot of other artists help make “Graduation” a great album, and the collaborations on the CD only add to the diversity of the tracks. One of the greatest — and probably least expected — match-ups occurs on “Homecoming.” West enlists the help of Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin to spice up the track, and Martin’s distinctive voice is complimentary, although a complete contrast, to West’s smooth-as-cream delivery.

Other guest stars include hip-hop artist T-Pain on “Good Life,” rapper Lil’ Wayne on “Barry Bonds” and Mos Def makes an appearance on a favorite track, “Drunk and Hot Girls.” OK, I know what you must be thinking. With a title like that, the song must be comparable to 90 percent of the other clich

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