In this segment of the Concert Series Vault we will be reflecting on a show that we as Stony Brook students would have had the opportunity of attending….if were were apart of the university just a mere seven years ago.
This show is the perfect example to highlight USGs’ ability to capitalize on booking a big name performer before he blew up and became a performer that would cost too much to bring to campus.
On tour in support of his very first full-length album, The College Dropout, Kanye West made a stop to vibe out with the Seawolves on May 3, 2004 in the Sports Complex.
The Statesman writer Paul Akins Jr. had the story on the night Mr. West came to town and was met with a rousing crowd of 2,000 Seawolves in attendance.
Akins captured Kanye’s persona, detailing how he approaches making music while connecting with his audience.
“(His) enthusiasm and passion for music was conveyed throughout his show. West said he tries to’reach the most people in the least amount of time,’ rapping about what he knows as truths. His approach to rap differs greatly from that of other rappers, whom he says only “rap about themselves,” wrote Akins Jr.
With so much hunger and maturity at such an early stage in his career, it should come as little surprise that Kanye became a household name so quickly.
In just his first album, he lays down a smooth conceptual album with exceptional lyricism, accompanied by smooth instrumentals and choice sampling that has become a trademark for Mr. West.
His debut album was released just two months before his performance at Stony Brook, and that is truly a testament to how this concert was able to showcase Kanye before he was making albums with his mentor, Jay-Z.
Songs that almost any current Kanye fan would recognize in an instant, were just exclusive premiers for the majority of this 2004 Seawolf audience.
In 2002, while attempting to return home from the studio, West was involved in a near fatal car accident.
He channeled all the people telling him he wasn’t a good enough MC by recording his first single, “Through the Wire” just two weeks after his admission to the hospital –– with his jawbone still wired shut.
“Jesus Walks” was another single that dealt with a desire to fully embrace faith, that was debuted at the concert.
It was yet another song that students were treated to for the every first time as it did not gain significant airplay until it was unleashed as a single just 22 days after the concert at SBU.
While Mr. West was already established in the rap game as a top notch producer, his emphatic style and powerful lyrics that Stony Brook students got a firsthand listen to, have propelled him to recent mainstream success.