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Every Kanye West Album Ranked – From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’

As one of the most controversial, yet important, figures in the music industry, over the last 20 years, Kanye West certainly has made a name for himself as one of the biggest artists in the world.

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’

He began his career in the mid-90s as a producer before making a name through Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records. Since then, he has been one of the most recognisable voices in the game. Follow me as I rank every studio album from the artist!

13. JESUS IS KING (2019)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’

A product of Kanye’s gospel era, it’s an interesting blend of faith and art. While I’m not a fan of most of this album, a few songs elevate it tenfold. I am a huge fan of “Follow God”. The production on that song, and honestly throughout the whole album, is fantastic. Similar to Kids See Ghosts, it’s hard to love something so stylistically different from the Ye albums that I do love. Though, it’s not bad at all but rather an acquired taste.

12. Kids See Ghosts (2018)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’
Kids See Ghosts

The second collaboration album from Kanye West is the first and only of its kind within his discography. It’s not under his name, as the album is the product of a coming-together between him and Kid Cudi. Kids See Ghosts is musically enjoyable but stylistically pales in comparison to Kanye West’s other albums, especially when ye released the same year. None of the songs, although good, have ever caught my attention or landed on any of my playlists due to how mellow they are overall. The album also lacks any distinctive hook for me as a listener. While not bad, it’s definitely far from my favourite album.

11. Donda (2021)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’

With an album name dedicated to West’s mother, Donda is the longest album of the lot, coming in at ~1hr 50mins. There are many great songs, but due to the album’s overall length, it drones on for quite a while. Some of the songs are quite forgettable,  blending into one another and getting rid of the album’s flow. But thanks to the sheer volume of excellent tracks, with even better feature verses, it’s hard not to enjoy the majority of this album. Be sure to check out “Jail” and “Jesus Lord pt 2.”

10. Yeezus (2013)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’

The first highly experimental album from Ye can be polarizing upon first listen. Yeezus takes a bit to warm up to, considering its deconstructive nature and unique production. It was clearly made out of a passion for the industry and the art. Kanye’s lyrics are slightly less profound in comparison to his earlier albums, but there definitely are top-tier lyrics worth paying attention to. Yeezus has fewer bangers in comparison to the others as well, but I can’t help but sing along to the likes of “Bound 2” and “Black Skinhead.”

9. Vultures 1 (2024)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’
Vultures 1

Kanye’s latest collaboration album is pretty diverse, ranging across a variety of different topics. It’s the first in a trilogy of albums co-created with Ty Dolla $ign, balancing mellow tracks with some almost hardstyle songs. The album’s use of samples is often hilarious and probably has the most crowd-pleasers since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, making for an easy listen. Definitely check out “Carnival”, “Vultures”, “Fuck Sumn” and “Problematic”. The album does suffer from a lack of concision and based on this one, Vultures 2 is looking to follow suit. That being said, I did love this album and have had it on repeat since it dropped.

8. Late Registration (2005)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’
Late Registration

The second album in Kanye’s college trilogy isn’t for everyone with its slightly more mature lyrics, darker subject matter, and opting to utilize a more orchestral sound, later demonstrated in his live rendition Late Orchestration. With not as many club bangers, it’s easy to forget about, but make no mistake, Late Registration is still very much a lyrical genius just getting started. It’s a great album that makes for far better background music than its predecessor but still has a few bangers throughout (“Gold Digger” and “Touch The Sky” in particular). I love the sounds of “Touch The Sky” and “Gone” the most, as well as the comedic skits, which actually improved from TCD.

7. 808s & Heartbreak (2008)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’
808s & Heartbreak

I found this album difficult to place. It is certainly amazing and undisputably influential, but I find a good portion of the songs forgettable even if they are really enjoyable while listening to them. These songs don’t leave a lasting impression, bar a few which include “Heartless”, and “Amazing”. That is definitely not to say it is bad, it is certainly good and will always have a place in my heart, inspiring an entire era of rap/hip-hop. 

6. The Life of Pablo (2016)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’
The Life of Pablo

Kanye West’s eighth studio album, The Life of Pablo, is a pretty revered one featuring 20 songs that are all pretty lengthy. Its almost a step back in terms of style and reminds the listener more of ‘old’ Kanye while mixing that with some newer stuff such as Yeezus. This is definitely not a bad thing, and it’s got a heavier sound to it which makes it a unique listen. The lyricism is as great as ever, combining some of Kanye’s eccentricities with some deeper meanings. An interesting album, that upon replay, I am surprised has fallen down so low on my Ye rankings. That being said, in a discography this amazing, some of the good stuff has to be towards the back half. “Pt. 2” and “Famous” are some incredible songs that you should listen to.

5. Watch The Throne (2011)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’
Watch The Throne

Kanye’s first collaborative album is nothing short of outstanding. One thing has been clear since Kanye’s first collaboration with HOV on “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”, Jay-Z and Kanye West are a powerhouse of a duo. Watch The Throne has some of the hardest songs of either artist’s careers and does not hold back. Featuring on the album are some really talented and high-key musicians including the likes of Frank Ocean and Beyonce, it’s a definite must listen, even if it doesn’t take as much time with its subject matter in comparison to some of Ye’s other albums.

4. ye (2018)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’

One of the artist’s shortest albums running only just under 24 minutes, it’s an easy listen that’s quite thought-provoking. Out of the seven songs on the album, I adore five. That is an insane hit rate for an album like this. The remaining two, “I Thought About Killing You” and “Wouldn’t Leave”, I find forgettable but that’s fine considering the above. Some hilarious lyricism here too. Top form Ye.

3. The College Dropout (2004)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’
The College Dropout

Kanye’s freshman album is a monumental one. Housing some great features and a level of production that is indisputably iconic, it is one of the artist’s best. From rapping an entire song with his jaw wired shut, to some of the funniest skits in rap history, it’s hard not to love this one. I particularly love and come back to “Jesus Walks”, but find “Spaceships” and “I’ll Fly Away” a tad forgettable. The cover art is certainly iconic and utilizes some unique imagery. A spectacular album with a couple of just fine songs. 

2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

An album many consider to be the magnum opus of the Chicago native. I can’t say I blame those individuals, as it is one of the most vibrant and imaginative albums with some great features and crowd pleasers, all characterized by some indulgent lyricism. It solidifies that slight shift in tone seen with 808s but works to justify its existence as the fifth studio album from the artist. It’s the first album to include interludes and the ones here are really enjoyable. Definitely as far as you can be from skip worthy. Almost every song on the album is a banger, who doesn’t love “All Of The Lights” or “Runaway”. Stunning.

1. Graduation (2007)

Every Kanye West Album Ranked - From ‘The College Dropout’ to ‘Vultures 1’

Perhaps one of the greatest albums to ever exist, Graduation is one of the most memorable collections of music I personally have ever heard. Kanye utilizes samples, his unique lyricism and some fantastic production to make 14 extraordinary pieces of music. Each track is different from the last and is easily distinguishable, making for a really striking listening experience. There’s too many songs to choose from in regards to favourites but I do particularly love “Homecoming”. 

Kanye West has such a diverse discography that it is more than likely these rankings will change immediately. Locking in with Donda versus singing to Graduation in the car with friends, there’s genuinely something for everyone and for every mood. If you haven’t heard of Kanye West before (somehow), definitely check out some of his albums and if you have, @Feature_First on our social platforms with your Kanye West album rankings. 

Up next for Kanye is Vultures 2 and Vultures 3, both of which were scheduled to release earlier this year but missed their release dates entirely. They have not been rescheduled as of yet.

Thank you for reading this article. For more extensive rankings such as this, feel free to check out some of our other lists on the site. 

Zanda is the Editor-in-Chief of Feature First and oversees the publishing of the outlet and content of the social media pages. He is based in Queensland, Australia and may or may not have a life like cardboard cut-out of Ryan Gosling in his room. Zanda has been actively turning Feature First into a reliable and high quality entertainment outlet since 2023.