A decade ago, Kanye West, this era's most compelling pop musician, released his first album. The conflicted artist presented on The College Dropout—an avowed-Christian backpacker rapping about money, hoes, and rims again—has only grown more complicated in the years since then, and the result is a contradictory, often frustrating body of work. That is to say, an inadvisable subject for ranking.
A note about what made it in: not Watch the Throne, notthe GOOD Friday songs, nor any of Kanye's beloved skits, intros, and interludes. This is every proper song on every proper Kanye album, ranked from worst to best: