Late Registration is the second studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released August 30, 2005, on Roc-A-Fella Records. Recording sessions for the album took place over the course of a year at various recording studios located in New York City and Hollywood. West collaborated with American record producer and composer Jon Brion to produce Late Registration, and the album features guest contributions from artists including Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Jamie Foxx, Nas, Brandy, and Adam Levine of Maroon 5.
The production style exhibited on Late Registration is notably more lush and elaborate in nature than West's previous album, The College Dropout. By collaborating with Jon Brion, West was able to utilize production styles and instruments not commonly associated with hip-hop music. More intricate sampling methods and the inclusion of string arrangements meant that the production featured on the album was unique to hip-hop music. West sought out to deliver lyrics that allowed him to continue his style of storytelling during songs, and the album covers topics of social issues, such as poverty, drug trafficking, health care, and blood diamond trades.
The album produced five singles, including the international hits "Touch the Sky", "Heard 'Em Say" and "Gold Digger", the latter topping the Billboard Hot 100 at number one. Music videos for all five singles were produced. West supported the album with a promotional concert tour, and the live album Late Orchestration. Late Registration debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 860,000 copies in its first week. The album has sold over 3 million units in the US and has been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Upon its release, Late Registration received rave reviews from music critics and earned West several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 48th Grammy Awards and an Album of the Year nomination. It appeared at the top of several publications year-end lists of top albums. Initially naming it the best album of 2005, Rolling Stone subsequently ranked Late Registration number 118 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2012.
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