Release Date: February 10, 2004

Kanye’s debut was supposed to hit shelves on January 27, 2004. However, in the December prior, several tracks from the album leaked. Instead on freaking out, Kanye pushed the release date back, added verses, and redid instrumentation. The drums on “The New Workout Plan” were completely re-worked, for example.

"Kanye was like, 'Okay, I'm just going to make the album better. I'ma put strings on some shit, have choirs come in. I'ma switch up verses. I'ma make the drums sound stronger,'” album collaborator GLC told MTV. "He went in and refined his whole album. At that point, a person usually panics. Kanye just redid shit."

"He remixed and remastered the album several times," former manager John Monopoly said in the same article. "He's so meticulous. His ears work like he's on some daredevil super shit. He remixed his album like two or three times. He's really into his craft. He would [pay] out of his pocket for certain things, like orchestras."