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Chaka Khan, Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan, vol. 1 (1996)

Chaka Khan was one of the most powerful R&B divas ever, dropping a string of soulful hits that spanned from the 1970s through the 1990s. This greatest hits collection gives a good taste of her range, and includes "Through The Fire," the 1984 slow jam that provided the bones for Kanye West's "Through The Wire."

Jay-Z, The Blueprint (2001)

Kanye West's big break in the music industry came from his successful production efforts on Jay-Z's acclaimed Blueprint album from 2001. Kanye produced "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)", the album's lead single and one of Jay-Z's most successful songs ever. Other West compositions on the album include the soul-drenched "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)" and the battle track "Takeover."

Kanye West, Late Registration (2005)

Kanye's sophomore album rocketed the rapper from stardom to superstardom; the single "Gold Digger," featuring Jamie Foxx singing an interpolation of an old Ray Charles tune while Kanye raps about the dangers of acquisitive baby mamas, became the ubiquitous radio hit of 2005 and hit #1 on the pop charts.

Kanye West, Graduation (2007)

The final installment in Kanye's college-themed trilogy, Graduation saw the rapper and producer broadening his range beyond his trademark neo-soul sound. The album's most successful single, "Stronger," is actually built upon a sample from the French techno band Daft Punk. The album won four Grammy Awards.

Kanye West, The College Dropout (2004)

Kanye's landmark debut album; "Through The Wire" was the record's first single.

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