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Kanye West Rocked Chicago
February 18, 2004

A Long Awaited Homecoming…Kanye West Rocks Chicago’s House of Blues
Words By: Nia Beckwith

One day after his freshman effort hit the streets, Chicago native Kanye West put on a personal yet crowd-rocking performance at Chicago’s House of Blues. Kanye was in such high demand a second show had to be added. One of the year’s most highly anticipated albums of 2004, College Dropout, was presented to the city of Chicago in a way that most will never forget.

At the first show of the evening the crowd was anxious, and the line was around the corner. The house was packed with loyal Chicago fans ready to watch hip-hop’s new artist of the year.

It’s been a long time coming since Chicago had an artist in the rap game that carries the uncanny arrogance, humbleness, and creative ability of Kanye West. Once Kanye hit the stage it was nothing but love.

Kanye delivered the soon to be classics from the College Dropout and the crowd was high-flown. Word got out that a special guest was going to grace the stage, but the question was who? Would it be Selena Johnson, Hova, or Talib Kweli? The beat dropped to “Get Em’ High” and none other than Common walked out on stage. The crowd went from high-flown to “Get Em’ High” to high above that spaceship that Kanye rhymed about earlier with his Southside comrade GLC and counterpart Consequence.

Common spit his verse from Get Em’ High and then took over the stage with his classic joints “I Used to Love Her” and “The Light.” After Common was done sharing the spotlight it was on again. Accompanied by the vocals of John Legend and Don C on the wheels of steel, Kanye continued to put it down.

Noting his success as a producer, West also played snippets of hits like Alicia Keys' "You Don't Know My Name" and Jay-Z's "Encore” and “Lucifer.” Kanye also announced on February the 10th, that Best Buy alone sold 60,000 units of College Drop Out.

Then right before one of the hottest songs on the pop charts “Slow Jamz” was performed, the crowd got another surprise. The Roc was officially in the building. Roc-A-Fella CEO’s Damon Dash and Karem “Biggs” Burke, along with other members of the Roc-A-Fella camp, made their way to the stage.

Without the help of Jamie Foxx and Twista, Kanye looked to the crowd for assistance as they chanted bits and pieces from “Slow Jamz.” It was then Kanye did his excerpt from “The Champions.”

In an effort to tease the crowd Kanye performed “Through the Wire,” showed his love, and then said good night. Some fans were in the process of leaving when GLC went into his infamous interlude from Jay-Z’s “Encore.”

“OWWWW! It's star time/This man is MADE! He's KILLIN all y'all jive turkeys/ Do y'all want more Kanye? Well if y'all want more Kanye then I need y'all to help me, bring him back to stage/ Say Kanye, c'mon say it! Kanye! Kanye! /Are y'all out there? [crowd chants "Kanye, Kanye, Kanye"] are y'all out there? C'mon, louder! Yeah, now see that's what I'm talkin bout/They love you Kanye - they love you Kanye!

Next thing you knew, Kanye had returned to the stage performing “Jesus Walks.” The crowd went wild all over again. Following “Jesus Walks,” Kanye talked about how happy he was about the units he’d moved. He then began to wrap up his performance and thanked all the people who were responsible for his success. He ended by giving tribute to his hit song, “Through The Wire,” as being the catalyst to jump-start his rap career.


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