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Graduation received acclaim from most critics and earned West several accolades, including his third Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
The album has sold 2,700,000 copies in the US and has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
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 was primarily produced by West himself, with contributions from DJ Toomp, as well as Mike Dean, Nottz, Brian "All Day" Miller, Eric Hudson, Warryn Campbell, Gee Roberson, Plain Pat and Jon Brion.
The former musician had been recommended to West by multiple of his friends, including English disc jockey Samantha Ronson, all of whom claimed his music and the way he dealt with the press reminded them of Dylan.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.It was made available two years later under the new title "Home" on West's 2003 mixtape Get Well Soon...West has stated that growing up, he would listen to hip-hop music at home or in his car, but when he felt like dancing, he would attend a house club.While he rarely listened to house at home, he still felt it was an important part of his culture and background.
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.