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The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye May 2024
1st Amend Award School

Flashback to ‘Graduation’

For their first review, sophomores Soren Ramerman and Zack Yegremachew cover a hit album from 2007: Kanye West’s ‘Graduation’.
Flashback to Graduation

Graduation is an album made famous by the music artist, fashion designer and public speaker, Kanye West. Released in 2007, this album is known as a classic to Kanye West fans. It has been rated as one of the greatest rap albums ever.

Good Morning: 

Zack – To begin with, I believe this song is an instant classic. From the production to the chorus to the delivery, Kanye does a great job opening the album. While the introduction of the track may not be the most exciting, it does the job, compliments the verses and has a good chorus. 

Soren   One of my favorite intros to an album, I love the production on it from the sample Kanye used from Elton Johns’s song “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”, to the beat that ties in perfectly with the background samples, vocals and piano. The rapping fits the beat perfectly with the effortless flow, and the topics are relatable..

Ratings – 7.5, 10

Champion

Zack – From the jump, you can tell that this tune is great. The opening of the song is one of the best I’ve heard to date. The track changes your expectations for what’s to come in the next songs. The flow and the thrill of this song is far better than the previous one. When I listen to this song it truly makes me feel like a Champion!

Soren – This song is perfection to my ears. The intro to the chorus is stunning. The production is spectacular, the samples are amazing, and the fact that he put Steely Dan’s “Kids Charlemagne” with the chorus to bring it all together made the song beautiful. 

Rating – 9, 11

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Stronger

Zack – This is one of the most streamed songs on this album. But I don’t like this song as much as people. The rapping isn’t great but is enjoyable, gives you a super upbeat feeling making you want to move. 

Soren – The sample is the reason why this song is still relevant to this date. I have no clue how he flipped Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” into one of the greatest samples ever. It ties the chorus and  whole song together making it a very very fun song to listen to time and time again.

Rating – 6.5, 9.5

I Wonder

Zack – Once the first line hits, the song instantly becomes iconic. It will forever be in the ‘Great’ folder of the rap archives. The beat is amazing and the background singing is even better. I wish the song never ended and to this day ‘I Wonder’ if it never did.

Soren – The I Wonder at the start is magnificent. I was shocked to find out Kanye found a song from 1972 called “My Song” by Labi Siffre for the hook and chorus. His rapping and singing ties into the beat in a perfect way. This song will always be one of my favorite Ye songs. 

Rating – 9.5, 11

Good Life (Featuring T-Pain)

Zack – Greatness from the get-go. I don’t think Kanye has made a better intro since this song was released. The Michael Jackson sample was amazing. Kanye had great verses and the chorus is one of his best. T-Pain is also great on this song. He holds his own and keeps up with his partner, making the track a fun and enjoyable listen.

Soren – The vocals on the track really stand out. T-Pain’s main vocals add a fun addition to the chorus that helped the song along the way. In addition,John Legend, Ne-Yo and Micheal Jackson do a great job tying the vocals together. The beat ties great with the singing and  the track is just  fun .

T-Pain – 8.5

Rating – 9

Can’t Tell Me Nothing

Zack – The introduction and the beat-drop after the line, “Wait till I get my money right,” is timed to perfection. This is asong that shows Kanye’s versatility from producing to rapping. The verses and flow are mediocre. The beat is the best part of the song and you ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing.’

Soren – One of the most fun songs. Kanye did a great job tying the lyrics together making them serious but also joking around to keep the carefree tone. The beat is one of the best on the album, and Mike Dean’s mixing was perfect. The song is fun and gets you in a determined mood.

Rating – 7, 11

Barry Bonds (Featuring Lil Wayne)

Zack – The beat is nice and it compliments Kanye’s rapping. Unlike what I’ve heard from the previous songs, I sense a filler feeling coming from the song. The feature is okay but has nothing special. I was expecting much more from a Kanye and Lil Wayne collaboration. 

Soren – The sinister beat doesn’t tie in with the album, but I love it. It is my favorite beat of the album. Kanye’s lyricism is gloating but deserves to be said because of the amount of his success . Lil Wayne’s verse rides off of Kanye’s with a lower pitch for Wayne that suits the beat and tone of the song. 

Lil Wayne – 5, 9

Rating – 6, 9.5

Drunk and Hot Girls (Featuring Mos Def)

Zack – From the beginning of this song you can feel that there’s a lack of effort. The chorus is repetitive and has a super cocky attitude to it. Mos Def had very weak and underwhelming verses. Nothing memorable and decent production

Soren – The intro is fun and adds a nice electronic effect to start off the song. The chorus and bridges are incredibly boring, though. The chorus is overly repetitive and offensive at times. It has very little replay value, the only bright spot is the production is very solid throughout the song.

Mos Def – 1.5, 2.5

Rating – 2

Flashing Lights(Featuring Dwele)

Zack – This is the song with a  great intro that just puts a smile on your face. I listen to this on repeat. One of my favorites and one of the best in West’s discography. The iconic slow but fast beat paradox makes this song timeless and when you add the vocals for Dwele the music comes together well. The verses and chorus are memorable. There are no negatives for this song.

Soren   Flashing Lights is an iconic song that has lasted time and time again. It is constantly played and shown in major public events because of this. The background vocals stand out in this track,  this song fits the album perfectly and adds depth to an already strong album.

Dwele – 9, 9.5

Rating –  9, 9.5 

Everything I Am(Featuring DJ Premier)

Zack – Theinstrumental of the song is beautiful. Kanye has slowed himself down and is showing more of his vulnerable and humble side in his first verse. The chorus is smooth, and the line “Everything I’m not made me everything I am” is amazing. Ye sampled Prince Phillip Mitchell’s “If We Can’t Be Lovers” which compliments the song perfectly. 

Soren – The intro is entertaining and an intriguing sample. The rapping is a calm, chill feel, with the background vocals adding in a strong soulful touch. This song adds elements of thought to an album that is mainly happy and upbeat. 

Rating – 8, 9

The Glory

Zack – The song starts solid and has nice vocals and  goes well with Kanye’s voice. The production and transitions are amazing. All that this track lacks are  memorable lines. 

Soren – The effortless flow Ye demonstrates on this track is fun to listen to. The samples add an enticing element that I didn’t expect but was happily surprised by. the song is fun from the happy lyrics to just excellent production. 

Ratng – 7, 9

Homecoming(Chris Martin)

Zack – Amazing song from front to back. Chris Martin is my favorite part of this song. He’s also the best feature of this album. Throughout the song, Kanye reflects on his journey from Chicago to fame and success which helps give a better understanding of the theme and purpose of his album.

Soren – Chris Martin has one of the best background vocals I’ve ever heard on a song. This song is a masterpiece that has aged like fine wine. It tells an very entertaining story of Kanye growing up. The  song is perfection and one of the best on the album.

Chris Martin – 10, 11

Rating- 9, 11

Big Brother

Zack – Finding out this song is about Jay-Z makes it ten times better and more understandable. Kanye is being humble and respectful. This song is one that rap fanatics will truly understand. Kanye has a verse tying in The Notorious B.I.G into the song. The only thing that would be better is if Jay-Z remixed the song with Kanye.

Soren – This song is a great ode to Jay Z. This song is about how heinfluenced and helped Kanye become who he is today. This song is uplifting and  another fun verse after verse for Ye.

Rating – 7.5, 9

Good Night(Featuring Mos Def, Albe Back)

Zack – For the final track on the album, Kanye didn’t match my expectations. As for the features, there’s not much to say. Mos Def is  okay, but I didn’t even understand Alde Back. I had to search the lyrics to the song  to see what he said. This song is unmemorable.  

Soren – This song is a very creative way to finish off an album continuing with the idea of good morning to good night. It’s slow at times but  a fun song. It didn’t fully cover the ending to the album with part of it feeling like an interlude.

Mos Def – 6 

Albe Back – 4, 5

Rating – 5, 7 

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About the Contributors
Soren Ramerman
Soren Ramerman, Sports Editor
Soren Ramerman joined HSM to pursue the idea of writing about sports and music reviews. Soren wants to create the opportunity forMTHS to learn about new music and sports. Soren enjoys running track doing the 800 and 400-meter races. He also enjoys listening toKanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and Travis Scott. He plans to attend either Washington State University or Eastern WashingtonUniversity after high school
Zack Yegremachew
Zack Yegremachew, Hawkeye Staff
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