A Tale of Two Albums: College Dropout & Charity Starts at Home

Back in March, I had an idea. I would–after years of casual Twitter ramblings–write an article comparing two albums that captured pivotal moments in my life: Kanye West’s College Dropout and Phonte’s Charity Starts at Home. I’ve long held the belief that these two albums mirror each other. College Dropout representing the arrogant optimism of one’s early to mid-twenties. Charity Starts at Home representing the hard-earned pragmatism of one’s thirties.

I was going to wax poetic about who I was in 2004 (at 21 years old) versus who I was in 2012 (at 28 years old). How my hopes and dreams turned into anxieties and resentments that turned into burnout that turned into descending from the clouds to build a life on the ground.

I took deep listens to both albums and spent a week collecting copious notes, pleasantly surprised that not only did the overall themes of the respective albums mirror, they spoke to each other on a song-by-song basis.

What happened? I lost the desire to write the piece. My journalistic curiosity was sated in the investigation.

But. Why let good notes go to waste?

Here’s what could have been.

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