New York, NY - August 14, 2007 – Kanye West’s 3rd album, Graduation is locked and loaded for a September 11, 2007 release on Hip-Hop Since 1978 / Roc-A-Fella Records. One of the most anticipated albums of the year, Graduation features the smash singles “Stronger” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” accompanied by the groundbreaking videos co-directed by West and acclaimed director Hype Williams. As “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” – the DJ Toomp banger featuring a newly remixed verse from Young Jeezy and an unlikely alternate video from comedian Zach Galifianakis – heats up in the streets, the clubs, and urban radio stations across the country, its synth-heavy, Daft Punk-sampling counterpart “Stronger,” is blazing trails at Rhythmic Top 40 and pop radio.

PASTE Magazine writes: “Graduation is merely excellent, easily among the year’s best. And the album feels better and better the more you contemplate its place in the pop canon. After all, thematically and musically, The College Dropout, Late Registration and Graduation constitute something of a trilogy. All three are marvelous in their own ways, and their combined impact is overwhelming.”

On Graduation, West continues to break rules and obliterate boundaries, pushing the music and the genre forward as only he can. Heavy synth patches surface throughout, as the influence of global pop culture and a retro-future aesthetic seeps into Kanye’s signature, soulful, sample-laden sound. Lyrically, West vacillates between the contemplative and the irreverent. On “Good Life,” Graduation’s third single, Kanye and T-Pain encourage us to “throw ya hands up in the sky” over a lazy, irresistible, PYT-sampled beat. On “Homecoming,” a sparse, piano-and-drum driven track co-written by and featuring Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Kanye continues to pay homage to his native Chicago as Martin asks “Do you think about me now and then? Well, I’m comin’ home again….maybe we can start again.”

The Village Voice recently commented: “Kanye is pretty much the only pop star working right now who treats pop stardom as something serious, as a holy vocation.” Indeed, Kanye takes the visual component to his art very seriously. From his groundbreaking, visually-stunning videos to the photography and packaging concepts that accompany his albums, tours and merchandise, West is very much a visual artist. To that end, Kanye has brought in the world famous Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami to design and illustrate the entire album packaging, including the single covers for “Stronger” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” Murakami has also animated a full-length video clip of the album’s opener “Good Morning.”

On the strength of a 5 week pre-order campaign launched on August 7, Graduation is already the #2 album on iTunes, and “Stronger” has reached #2 on the iTunes singles chart. Last week, MTV announced Kanye as a VMA performer and multiple nominee, taking away 5 nods including “Video Of The Year” for “Stronger.” The VMAs air live on September 9th.

Kanye West’s last album, 2005’s Late Registration, debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts with over 860,000 copies sold in its week of release, was nominated for the Grammy for Album of The Year, and won the Grammy for Rap Album of The Year.

Stay tuned for more on Kanye West, including developing information on Graduation, live performances, television appearances and more…..