I've known about Kanye for a long time. Like way back going to 1996, maybe 1997. I used to work with Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, also known as the Madd Rapper. Back when D-Dot was producing hits heavy for Diddy and the Bad Boy camp. The Hitmen production team, as they were called, were untouchable. Deric had my office sign a young unknown Kanye to his production company, Crazy Cat Catalogue, just cause Mr. West was sick with it behind the boards. Years later, I sat down with Kanye. He was telling me about the heat he had produced for Jay-Z's upcoming Blueprint album, back in 2001. He was also going nuts about how he was about to launch his rapping career. He was real amped and animated about it, but inside I was going "yeah right", not cause he wasn't talented, but because Kanye West wasn't no rapper. Not in my mind. Then, not in anyone's.

When dude's first album "College Droput" dropped, the world jumped on his shit. I wasn't buying into the hype though. Because he didn't fit the rapper profile, I was still "yeah right".  No doubt "Jesus Walks" was fires, and the rest of them singles was hot, but I just wasn't recognizing. Ni@@a wore a back pack. He rocked mascot costumes on his album covers. He looked too collegiate to be placed next to any of my top ten rappers. Plus, he sounded corny, mid western accent interfering with the flow and the way he extra emphasized every other word and the third in his verses. He was awright, but nah B. Kanye wasn't no rapper to me. I seen producer rappers before, they supposed to sound decent on they own beats. I boycotted "College Dropout" hard. The beats he produced for everybody else was crazy though.

The 2nd joint "Late Registration" dropped, and shit still sounded awright. That single with white dude from Maroon 5, and Ye', up in the video all alone and running around Macy's acting a fool, that was cool. The joint with playing him Evel Kneivel and with Pamela Anderson Lee, not so much. Plus the rumors of his ego began surfacing, him pitching all types of non man-like bitches at award shows, wearing little boys clothes, going out his way to let the world know how big he had made it and how he couldn't wait to show the rest of us low browed peons how his toys and artwork was those of a high falutin artisté. How he was too eager to separate hisself from the common man, I seen that before too. Just another case of revenge of the nerds. Plain and simple, I still hated on Kanye.

"Graduation" was undeniable though. I copped immediately. As much as I had hated on Mr. West, I'm usually not a hater by nature, so I guess the hate flow ran dry. Still corny, showing more of his ass as the asshole he was/is, that CD stayed in the tape deck. Like I said before, rapping producers weren't no kinds of special, Dr. Dre, Diamond D, Pete Rock, Jermaine Dupree, all of them weren't no rappers but sounded decent because they produced their own beats. My bad, but the only rapper producer who could never sound decent on his own dope ass beats was my dude Ced Gee from Ultramagnetic MC's fame. Ced Gee never had a rapping bone in his body. Boy did homie sound turrible. But yeah, "Graduation" was the order and the bag of chips. In a good way. Still a producer rapping on his own shit, but somehow dude went from sounding decent to effin great.

And right after I finally gave dude the benefit of the doubt, felt comfortable telling people in public that I effed with Kanye [||] and "Graduation", ni@@a went ahead and dropped that emo rap album of a record that was "808 And Heartbreaks". Some cats got soft and mushy for that piece, like Dallas Penn (who also rocked out to this year's Kid Cudi joint), but you and I know what time it is. I'm not mad that 'Ye made that album, just surprised that he and his label thought it was a good idea to sell it to the public, it was more of some shit from his personal stash than for public consumption. He was no doubt heart broke, I been there before. Dude also lost his damned mind. Album sounded like he was suicidal or something. Come on son!

After that wackness dropped, and he linked up with Amber's shaved head and round ass, seems like dude went crazier, spazzing out on pure innocent snow white girls at award shows and such. You know you must be acting the fool when South Park dedicates an episode on your behalf and the President calls you a jack ass. Still, I don't know if the big homie Hov sat the boy down and tole him to get back to spitting and what not, but god damn if Kanye ain't get incredibly better as a rapper in 2009. Almost to the point where he's murdering cats on they own joint. On the regular. "Run This Town", "Kinda Like A Big Deal" "Forever", Kanye West has become the beasting off the Reisling rapper for 2009. Even when paired up against the great white Eminem on "Forever", I put my money on Ye'. So we talking Em, Jay, and possibly the Clipse (even though my dudes strongly disagree in my interview with them earlier this week. Soon come).

Like I said, Kanye is not my favorite rapper at all, but in 2009, dude showed the most improvement and arguably murdered everyone on they own shit. Maybe it's because of how he lost his mind. Seems like the crazier a rapper becomes, the better he gets on the mic. I dunno, the jury is still out on Kanye, I gotta see what he drops on his next album, but if I was a rapper, and was looking for a cameo from someone to drop a mean sixteen, I might hold back from calling Kanye. Only because I'd hate to hear Nas, or whomever rap back on a diss song about how Ye' murdered me on my own shit. Getting murked by the nerd with the peculiar looking friends could never be a good look.