The College Dropout: Why isn't Kanye West's debut album on Apple Music or YouTube?

Kanye West album appears to have been removed at the request of his label

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Tuesday 17 July 2018 08:33
Kanye West and Kid Cudi debut new album Kids See Ghosts at listening party

Kanye West's opus The College Dropout has disappeared from Apple Music and his YouTube channel, disappointed fans have found.

Screenshots of messages from Apple customer services posted on a Reddit thread explain that the album was removed at the request of West's label. The Independent has contacted The Island Def Jam Music Group for comment.

The College Dropout was released in 2004 via Def Jam Recordings and Roc-A-Fella Records. It was West's debut studio album, recorded over a period of four years from 1999 and includes hip hop classics such as "Jesus Walks" and "All Falls Down".

Upon its release, the album sold over 400,000 copies in its first week and scored West a Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2005, along with nine other nominations. It is consistently ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time.

One fan suggested West may have asked the album to be removed because he was unhappy with it, writing: "Does Kanye even like his older music? He strikes me as someone who probably loathes it in a way. Like, I could imagine him going back to listen to it and hearing all of these “flaws” or things he'd do differently."

West has made something of a habit of editing already-released works. After releasing The Life of Pablo in 2016 he caused a stir by making subtle revisions to different tracks on the album, plus two major ones which saw him put Sia and Vic Mensa back on "Wolves" and also add "Saint Pablo" as the album's outro.

“In the months to come, Kanye will release new updates, new versions, and new iterations of the album. An innovative, continuous process, the album will be a living, evolving art project," Def Jam records said at the time.

Last month saw a spate of Kanye and Kanye-produced releases, including his eighth studio album Ye, Teyana Taylor's KTSE [Keep That Same Energy], Pusha T's Daytona and Kids See Ghosts with Kid Cudi.

The College Dropout is currently still available on streaming services including Spotify and Tidal.

The Independent has contacted representatives for Kanye West and Apple Music for comment.

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