Kanye West’s first two albums The College Dropout and Late Registration are having a resurgence on the Billboard 200 chart.
In the latest chart update on Tuesday (March 1), Kanye’s 2004 debut album The College Dropout has climbed from No. 109 to No. 36 on the Billboard 200, reaching its highest position in 17 years (March 2005).
The Chicago rap icon’s sophomore album Late Registation — released in 2005 — has also re-entered the Billboard 200 at No. 185, marking its first appearance on the chart in over five years, according to Chart Data.
The rise of both albums follows the release of the first two episodes of Kanye West’s Netflix documentary Jeen-Yuhs, which tells the story of his early career and the making of The College Dropout.
Attention to his older music could also be credited to the release of his new album Donda 2, which, unlike the rest of Kanye’s catalog, is currently only available via his $200 Stem Player.
Released in February 2004, The College Dropout debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, selling roughly 441,000 copies in its first week. Late Registration then dropped in August 2005 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with around 860,000 copies sold in its first week.
During a rare interview with Emixshow in 2003, Kanye West referred to himself as “backpacker” while discussing The College Dropout.
“It’s called College Dropout, and it’s supposed to come out this summer,” he said at the time. “It’s been moved up because people at Def Jam are really liking it. I don’t want no hip-hoppers to miss out on it. Not doin’ shit that is supposed to be for the culture is what I do for the culture. Anything you try and say, I’m gonna flip and get sarcastic.”
He added, “If I was on Rawkus, I would say I’m a gangsta rapper. If I was on Roc-A-Fella, I would say I’m a backpacker. But I’m all of them. I’m not even one person.”