Album: Graduation
Producer: Kanye West
Label: Roc-A-Fella Records

Kanye always knew how to start an album. “Good Morning” is his cleanest opener, on his cleanest album; the perfect first step to what would be the capstone to the College Trilogy, and the last time he would privilege cohesiveness in his catalogue. In his words, Graduation is his dissertation, and its first track is its thesis. ‘Ye would take over the world, watch it crumble around him, then get more artistically daring with each subsequent release—Good Ass Job would never show up, and he would abandon the things that make this song great: its focused, three-verse structure, gently building beat, and sweet sense of melancholy. ‘Ye would go on to burn his influences and talent down for scraps, and began to create weirder, bigger things. One thing he never lost, though, was his ability to start an album. —Brendan Klinkenberg