What Is the Real Story Behind Kanye West’s Iconic ‘Graduation’ Bear That North Rocked Recently?

Published 10/30/2023, 12:46 PM EDT

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Kanye West easily qualifies as the powerhouse of the hip-hop genre. The world experienced the magic of his musical prowess when he released his debut album, ‘College Dropout’ which instantly achieved massive success. So much so that even after countless controversies, fans have named this album as the reason they have stayed by his side. From its tracks to the bear on its front, the album reaks of iconic.

As the Grammy-winning rapper has been away from music for quite a while, it is understandable that fans reminisced about the tracks from ‘College Dropout’. However, curtsy of North West, Ye’s eldest, another element of the album, the Bear, has resurfaced and so has its story.

The story behind Kanye West’s iconic ‘Graduation’ cover

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The eldest daughter of Kanye West paid tribute to her father in the cutest way. She dressed up as the bear from ‘College Dropout’ this Halloween. On the cover, the bear is shown being sent into space after graduating from a fictional institution in “Universe City. The almost childlike scene was created out of the artistic canvas of ‘Warhol of Japan,’  by Takashi Murakami.

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The bear served as some sort of mascot for the controversial musician. He appeared on the first two albums and symbolized the West’s rejection of societal standards in his path. Furthermore, the bear never appeared again in the rapper’s work. This implied that the musician has outgrown that stage of his life. However, Ye and Murakami collaborated once more to design the album cover for Kid Cudi and West’s ‘Kids See Ghosts.’

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When two legends cross paths, magic is unavoidable. Murakami’s skilled art and West’s tantalizing beats combined to create a masterpiece that future generations will remember. This was true not only for the ‘Colleg Dropout’ bear but also for ‘Graduation’.

Ye’s ‘Graduation’ album is a timeless classic

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Kanye West recently celebrated the 16th anniversary of the ‘Graduation’ album, and it is safe to say that this album is a hip-hop masterpiece. The timeless classic ‘Graduation’ was released in 2007 and immediately went on to break several music records. Another intriguing aspect of the album was that it clashed with 50 Cent’s ‘Curtis.’ Further, West, who was still regarded as an underdog at the time, went on to sell 957,000 copies, outselling 50 Cent, the king of rap at the time.

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The record introduced a new form of music that many people were unfamiliar with at the time. The legendary album pushed more electronic-influenced beats to the forefront. Furthermore, even after more than a decade, the album continues to blow the minds of music fans, who are always demanding more from the rap legend.

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Please share your thoughts on Kanye West’s masterpiece ‘Graduation’ in the comments below.

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Sakshi Singh

165 articles

Sakshi Singh is a Hollywood News reporter at Netflix Junkie. Her love towards Hollywood and the entertainment industry began when she came across Mindhunter and the thrilling series opened her eyes to the power of storytelling. Her background in law saw her first foray into the world of writing through several published articles in law journals.

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