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The outcome of the competition marks a turning point in hip-hop culture, when the dominance of gangsta rap in mainstream hip-hop was brought to an end.Graduation received acclaim from most critics and earned West several accolades, including his third Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
It features guest contributions from artists, including Mos Def, Dwele, T-Pain, Lil Wayne, DJ Premier and Chris Martin of Coldplay.
In terms of lyricism, he simplifies some of his rhymes after touring with The Rolling Stones on their A Bigger Bang concert tour and discovering he could not captivate the audiences as well with his most complex lyrical themes.
West made a conscious decision to abstain from the widespread recording practice of excessive rap albums saturated with skits and filler and instead comprised Graduation with significantly fewer tracks.
Toward this end, West incorporated synthesizer sounds into his production and dabbled with electronic music, while sampling from a wider spectrum of music genres.
Lyrically, the album is more introspective in comparison to its predecessors, as West dedicated much of Graduation towards analyzing himself and conveying his ambivalent outlook on his newfound fame.
The album has sold 2,700,000 copies in the US and has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Graduation is the third installment of Kanye West's planned tetralogy of education-themed studio albums, which West subsequently later deviated from due to the events surrounding the conception of his fourth studio album, 808s & Heartbreak.
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Graduation is the third studio album by American rapper Kanye West.
It produced five singles, including the international hits "Can't Tell Me Nothing", "Stronger", and "Good Life".
The coinciding release dates between Graduation and fellow rapper 50 Cent's Curtis generated much publicity over the idea of a sales competition, resulting in record-breaking sales performances by both albums.
In West's attempt to accomplish this "stadium-status" endeavor, West incorporated layered electronic synthesizers into his hip-hop production, which also finds him utilizing slower tempos, being influenced by the music of the 1980s, and experimenting with electronic music.