During a highly circulated 2013 interview with the New York Times, Kanye West spoke candidly on a slew of topics— Kim, minimalism, and succeeding the throne of Steve Jobs among them— in a way he hadn't done before. One topic Ye fleshed out in conversation and shed some light on was his discography, and his feelings on its entirety. It wasn't quite as tidy as Jay Z photographing all of his music albums in an ordered stack, but it did reveal a lot about what Kanye thinks of his output. He said that 808s & Heartbreak "redefined the sound of radio," while admitting that "the fact that I can't sing that well is what makes 808s so special." Meanwhile, he called My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy a "backhanded apology." In more clear terms, he called his releases in the four years leading up to 2013 as the “most culturally relevant albums” of the time.
Almost immediately, his comments were absorbed into the ever-evolving conversation that overtakes the timeline with regularity, about how one ranks Kanye's discography. Regardless of how you may feel about him as a person— political endorsements and bromance breakups aside, Kanye has one of the most impressive rap catalogs ever, spanning seven solo records and two collaborative efforts. He has undeniably secured a place at the bow of American culture. In the words of the artist himself, "I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things."
Four years out from the interview, and his testament to his relevance still holds up. With The Life of Pablo’s one year anniversary already behind us and even Graduation coming up on its tenth birthday, we're revisiting the topic to offer our ranking of Kanye West's albums, from worst to best.