Much has been made about the "old Kanye," a figure that has no shortage of nostalgia-fueled admirers, to the point where its hard to pinpoint exactly what era fans are referring to anymore. For the day-ones, however, who originally grew fond of the producer during his early years on Roc-A-Fella, The College Dropout will forever be a high point in Yeezy's career. And seeing as today is the album's seventeenth anniversary, it feels appropriate to spotlight one of the project's true standout cuts -- the Mos Def and Freeway assisted "Two Words," an ambitious and lyrically driven anthem.
What makes the song so refreshing is, among many qualities, the era-defining instrumental. A blend of soulful vocals, harpsichord, lively bass, and wailing guitar, Yeezy's production here is easily among his finest hours. And while he's rhyming alongside two heavyweights in Mos and Free, Ye rises to the occasion with some impeccable lyricism. "I am limelight, Blueprint five mics / Go-Getters rhyme, like, should've been signed twice," he spits, kicking up a dexterous flow. "Most imitated, Grammy nominated / Hotel accommodated, cheerleader prom-dated."
A classic posse cut evocative of a bygone era, "Two Words" is proof that The College Dropout will forever withstand the test of time. Say what you will about Kanye West in his current iteration -- sometimes, it's simply best to let the legacy speak for itself.
QUOTABLE LYRICSI am limelight, Blueprint five mics
Go-Getters rhyme, like, should've been signed twice
Most imitated, Grammy-nominated
Hotel accommodated, cheerleader prom-dated
Barbershop playa-hated, mom-and-pop bootlegged it