Kanye West's Early 'The College Dropout' Tracklist Will Blow Your Mind

A handwritten tracklist for Kanye West's 'The College Dropout' is the kind of stuff that rap nerds dream about.
Author:
Publish date:

Welcome to throwback...Monday?

As the rap world looks ahead to SWISH after Kanye announced its completion and tweeted a preliminary tracklist, longtime comrade Consequence has given us a reason to look back. Earlier today, the close friend and collaborator of Kanye West tweeted out the original, handwritten tracklist for The College Dropout.

Can we talk about how crazy it would have been for “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” to land on The College Dropout? It's one of my favorite Kanye efforts (both in production and in rappiddy raps) and to think it might have been on Ye's debut is blowing my mind. 

In fact, all of this new information is kind of a trip. To think how some additions, subtractions, and a few tiny tweaks could have possibly altered Kanye's entire career is mind-blowing in a Butterfly Effect sort-of-way. Case in point: “18 Years” later becoming “Gold Digger,” one of the biggest singles of his career. If West puts that on The College Dropout, "Gold Digger" isn't a song and he never wins that GRAMMY. Crazy, right?

I think the additions and subtractions really speak to Kanye’s process. He’s always working, always juggling a billion ideas and tweaking songs. “Home” (which features a young John Legend) later became “Homecoming.” He kept “Home” in his mind for over three years and finally used it on Graduation. We look at these albums as individual bodies of work, deeply rooted in time, but this goes to show that the creative process does not have a start and end date; things can fall into place years down the line.

The release of his tracklist also speaks to what I wrote last evening. Look how much different this tracklist is then the final one. Just because Kanye writes something down on a piece of paper doesn’t make it true. Still, I'm not going to be a pessimist. This isn't about SWISH. This is about a fascinating look into one of the most important albums in hip-hop history.

Related