“Graduation” Day Nears For Kanye West (feat. Coldplay’s Chris Martin)

Urban music lately has dabbled in electronic sounds, but Kanye West takes it a step further with the synth-heavy first single from his upcoming CD.

“Stronger” samples Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” and slows down the beat. At No. 47, the track is the top debut of the week on the Billboard Hot 100. “That melody just hit me so hard,” West says when asked about the song’s inspiration. “I mean, it’s the music. It wasn’t a gimmick thing. That’s not atypical of Kanye,” Def Jam president and West mentor Jay-Z says. “It’s been his pattern since day one. He always has to push the envelope. That’s his cross to bear.”

On “Graduation,” only Coldplay’s Chris Martin, T-Pain, Mos Def and DJ Toomp made the cut as guest contributors, because, as West says, “When I hear the records of my favorite bands — the Killers or Coldplay — you only hear one voice from start to finish,” a departure from the recording trend of duets and guest vocalists.

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