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Recording sessions for the album took place during 2005 to 2007 at Chung King Studios and Sony Music Studios in New York City and at Chalice Studios and The Record Plant in Los Angeles.
It produced five singles, including the international hits "Can't Tell Me Nothing", "Stronger", and "Good Life".
Graduation received positive reviews from most critics and earned West several accolades, including his third Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
The coinciding release dates between Graduation and a fellow rapper 50 Cent's Curtis generated much publicity over the idea of a sales competition, resulting in record-breaking sales performances by both albums.
The outcome of the competition marks a turning point in hip-hop culture, when the dominance of gangsta rap in mainstream hip-hop was brought to an end.
It features guest contributions from artists, including Mos Def, Dwele, T-Pain, Lil Wayne, DJ Premier and Chris Martin of Coldplay.
The album's cover artwork was designed by Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami.