Kanye West Album Rankings Are Like Astrological Signs

Except real.


Complex magazine made waves Wednesday by publishing their definitive ranking of all of Kanye West’s albums to date. The list includes all 8 of West’s solo LP’s, plus his G.O.O.D. Music collaboration album (which seems less relevant imo but hey run your magazine however you’d like). Anyway, as you can guess, people are getting heated in the comments.

Complex’s ranking is:

9. Cruel Summer
8. Late Registration
7. 808s and Heartbreak
6. The Life of Pablo
5. The College Dropout
4. Yeezus
3. Watch the Throne
2. Graduation
1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

But people on Twitter contain multitudes. Chance the Rapper tweeted his own Kanye list at the magazine after taking issue with the standing of “Late Registration,” and now fans and journalists are following suit using #KanyeRanked. Normally a hashtag game like this would gross me out, but there’s something so nerdy and organic about it that I’m charmed despite myself. It’s like a Stones/Beatles or Floyd/Zeppelin debate in that the stakes are low and there is no right answer, but better because we’re not in a Milwaukee basement in 1979. Debating things’ goodness and badness like this lets people with encyclopedic knowledge of niche topics release their pressure valves and blow off some steam at one another in the name of art, and considering the amount of steam people have to blow off in early 2017, it somehow seems extremely healthy to focus on something you love a lot.

Plus, we learn a lot about a lister by how they rank these records. West’s albums are different from one another, and the fact that I’m seeing things that register as unlistenable for me topping some people’s lists is shocking in a fun way! You’re out there?! Stanning for “808s and Heartbreak”?! “Love Lockdown” did it for you more than “Roses”?! What a rich and complex tapestry our society is!

It’s like we’re all talking about our star signs, only they’re linked to something less arbitrary than a birthday. And that can be a fun lens to look at the world through for five minutes on a Thursday afternoon. Or whenever, really,