Soulful instrumentation and crisp beats define Kanye's second release. The Chi-town rapper used the extra cash earned from The College Dropout to orchestrate a lush, dynamic follow-up that marries pop-soul grooves and explosive hip-hop rhythms. The soul-inflected “Celebration” and the R&B brooder “Bring Me Down” showcase his seductive mix of hard-edged, city-bred beats with soaring strings. He hits heartbreaking heights with the stormy “Roses,” a powerful ode to his dying grandma. But it’s the Ray Charles sample and the irresistible thump of “Gold Digger” that cemented the world’s Ye addiction.