Release Date: 8/30/2005

The release of Late Registration couldn't have been executed better. Kanye West was on the cover of TIME that week. "Gold Digger" was buzzing, climbing towards its 10-week stay at No. 1 on the pop charts. And the Friday after it dropped, 'Ye went on national TV and said that "George Bush doesn't care about black people." It was a perfect storm, and for a moment, Yeezy was easily the most famous man in America. The first-week sales of his sophomore album, almost double that of his debut, proved it.