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The outcome of the competition marks a turning point in hip-hop culture, when the dominance of gangsta rap in mainstream hip-hop was brought to an end.Graduation received acclaim from most critics and earned West several accolades, including his third Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.In comparison to previous albums, Graduation features fewer guest appearances from other recording artists.West elaborated that it was a fully conscious decision to keep his guest vocalists at a minimum, saying that, "When I hear the records of my favorite bands – The Killers or Coldplay – you only hear one voice from start to finish." During an interview with Billboard, West revealed that he had worked with Chris Martin, the lead singer of the British alternative rock band Coldplay, on a song entitled "Homecoming", and that it just might possibly be released as the lead single for Graduation.While he rarely listened to house at home, he still felt it was an important part of his culture and background.West further broadened his musical palette on Graduation by not limiting himself to his customary use of samples and interpolation from classic soul records and instead drew influences from a far more eclectic range of music genres.The album has sold 2,700,000 copies in the US and has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Inspired by indie rock bands and house music, Graduation marked a departure away from the ornate, soul-based sound of West's previous releases toward a more anthemic style of rap music that would function well while he was performing in large arenas.
It was released on September 11, 2007, through Roc-A-Fella Records.
Recording sessions for the album took place during 2005 to 2007 at Chung King Studios, Sony Music Studios in New York City, at Chalice Studios and The Record Plant in Los Angeles.
It produced five singles, including the international hits "Can't Tell Me Nothing", "Stronger", and "Good Life".
The coinciding release dates between Graduation and fellow rapper 50 Cent's Curtis generated much publicity over the idea of a sales competition, resulting in record-breaking sales performances by both albums.