Remembering Late Registration and Kanye West's Impact on Hip-Hop Culture

Remembering Late Registration and Kanye West's Impact on Hip-Hop Culture

“I refuse to accept other people’s ideas of happiness for me. As if there’s a ‘one size fits all’ standard for happiness.” – Kanye West

On August 30th, 2005, Kanye dropped Late Registration, his highly anticipated follow-up to his breakthrough smash hit College Dropout. Musicians’ sophomore albums are a true make-or-break moment, determining whether or not their first album was a one-hit-wonder or if the artist is truly a force to be reckoned with.

We all know what happened with Kanye after that - but do we know exactly what Kanye made happen aside from music?

This post will highlight some of the subtle and not-so-subtle impacts on culture Ye has had throughout the years and remember how his massive career and personality has shaped hip hop as we know it.


“Keep your nose out the sky, keep your heart to god, and keep your face to the rising sun.” – Kanye West

Early on in his career, Ye was involved in a car crash that almost ended his life and his career. After a long day in the studio, Ye fell asleep at the wheel and totaled his car, resulting in massive facial surgery that required his jaw to be wired shut.

While some rappers and hip-hop artists would have taken this as a sign to give up and walk away, Ye viewed it as an opportunity to create. The end result was Through the Wire, a single that would become a worldwide sensation and the lead single from College Dropout.

This mindset of turning negatives into positives also proved useful when another adversity struck Ye shortly after the car wreck when College Dropout was leaked early. Instead of lashing out and going in a downward spiral of anxiety and panic, Ye listened to what people had to say about the album and made significant changes before its official release.

The end result was the legendary College Dropout album that catapulted him into stardom.

Once Ye became a household name, this strong character trait would be absorbed by a number of his fans, instilling a positive never give up attitude into many with a huge dose of confidence, as outlined below.

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"You want me to be great, but you don't ever want me to say I'm great?" – Kanye West

The only thing that matches Ye’s larger than life talent is his gargantuan levels of confidence. While at times it can come off as brash or arrogant, there is nothing wrong with inspiring men and women to be more confident in what they do and say. Muhammad Ali continuously said “I’m the greatest of all time”, and nobody gave him any flack about it - why is it wrong when Ye does it?

Ye’s gathered countless amounts of criticism for his unabashed confidence, but the way he handles haters has also impacted culture in a positive way - he doesn’t.

Just like turning negatives into positives, Ye does not acknowledge the haters of his personality; a lot of people want that sense of freedom to do what you know to be right regardless of the consequences.

His radical action to be aggressive about his sense of self along with his inaction to those who want to bring him down has inspired others to have that same level of confidence, positively impacting up and coming artists and others who want to strive for greatness.

On a personal level, Kanye’s prominent levels of confidence had a major impact on the vision I had when starting Drawlz.

Just like Kanye’s music, I wanted to positively impact people on a daily basis in my own way by providing quality, comfortably, and most importantly, stylish underwear that would boost men’s confidence and impress those who have the privilege of seeing my customers in them - and just like Kanye’s sound, I wanted to create my own lane in the underwear industry. 

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“I feel like I’m too busy writing history to read it.” – Kanye West

Back in September of 2007, Kanye Wests’ Graduation and 50 Cent’s Curtis were released on the same date - a risky move for both artists that wound up defining the future of hip hop.

50’s gangster rap had dominated the charts and minds of the youth since Get Rich or Die Tryin was released in 2003, but the release date showdown proved that the people were tired of that low vibrational sound - they wanted music that inspired them to do and be better, and this was evident when Graduation outsold Curtis by a landslide, even debuting #1 on the charts.

The subsequent sound of hip-hop became less violent and misguided, instead going down the fork in the road that led to more honest and constructive sounds. Graduation and the albums before it brought about the likes of Drake, Travis Scott, Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino, and many, many others.


“Know your worth! People always act like they’re doing more for you than you’re doing for them.” – Kanye West

After Ye changed the sound of hip-hop forever, he went on to change the way music was released. Learning from the early leaks of College Dropout and other albums and singles, Ye teamed up with Jay-Z on the 2011 album Watch the Throne and approached the release of the album that would shape the future of the music industry.

Instead of only relying on physical copies for the release, Ye and Jay-Z released the album digitally through iTunes on August 8th and physically through Best Buy on August 12th. Even with these strict release parameters, the album debuted at #1 and has been certified platinum - all while preventing any leaks.

This unique and risky approach proved that if there’s enough talent, and enough demand for said talent, record labels and artists can release music on their own terms and still see financial, critical, and global success.


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“I could let these dream killers kill my self-esteem, or use my arrogance as a steam to power my dreams.” – Kanye West

Ye’s bold approach to making music and making it in life has forever cemented him as a cultural icon that inspired countless men and women to be who they want to be unapologetically, regardless of whether or not they’re making music.

Aside from forever changing the sound and direction of hip-hop, Ye also forever changed the attitude of those who truly listened to his music for the better. He’s had his ups and downs just like the rest of us, but just when you think he’s down for the count, he leaps up for another round with yet another surprise knockout - an attitude and mindset we all crave deep down inside.

On that note, I’d like to end this with a massive “Thank You” to Kanye for helping me build the confidence to build my vision of Drawlz to what it is today, and also thank the community for doing the same.

Thank you for stopping by, stay confident and comfortable.

Anthony, Founder



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