Released on Sept. 11, 2007, Graduation solidified Kanye West’s position as a forerunner in a new era of Hip Hop. Inspired by the impulsive energy of stadium performance, Ye blended elements of indie and alternative rock with electronic and house music to create soundscapes of his own.
Graduation’s cover art was designed by Japanese artists, Takashi Murakami. In addition, he also directed the animated music video for “Good Morning.” Murakami collaborated with West more recently on the KIDS SEE GHOSTS album cover.
50 Cent’s Curtis dropped the same day as Graduation, and the two battled it out for the top of the Hip Hop charts. Ye took the throne, beating Cent’s sales by almost 300,000 copies in the debut week. Graduation led to high critical acclaim, earning Kanye 8 Grammy nominations, taking home 3 for Best Rap Solo Performance, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album. Since then, Graduation has received a 2x Platinum certification.