Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Release Date: November 22, 2010
Record Label: Def Jam
Hate him or love him, Kanye West is everywhere. Without question, hip hop has been dominated by Mr. West this past decade. Who was once an egotistical, abrasive rap genius has matured now into an egotistical, abrasive rap and pop music icon. With four critically acclaimed albums under his belt, radio hit after radio hit, and numerous Grammy awards and nominations, we expect the stuff of legends for his next album. And with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye is poised once again to sport the crown and take the throne as the King of hip hop this decade and beyond. But will this release gain the mass popularity of his previous work? Or will his latest effort fall short of a mainstream masterpiece? You already know the answer.
When I heard news that Mr. West would not be titling his new album Good Ass Job, I became brutally disappointed. A title like Good Ass Job says one thing and one thing only: Album of the Year, especially when that artist is none other than Mr. West. Then out of Good Ass Job came My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and quite the bizarre album art to back it. I was put off by the title mostly because it just didn’t feel like Kanye and after already hearing his first single “Power,” I was unsure now how the rest of the album would sound.
The tracklisting for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy looked very familiar when it was released. This was again another disappointment. I enjoyed Mr. West’s “Good Friday” releases, but I wasn’t expecting those tracks to appear on the album. It was very upsetting to see that I had basically already listened to half the album before its release. A small discomfort, but not a game changer.
But enough praise for Mr. West and his past accomplishments. Let’s get into the man’s Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy…
Mr. West is talented in so many ways it’s almost unfair. He does well what so many artists fail at and you wonder how others in the music business feel when they find out he’s releasing a new album. He sets standards for other acts to follow. And setting new music trends is just one of the many super powers of Mr. West, though the one I find most impressive is his uncanny ability to produce a dope ass album opener. This is one of the hardest aspects of writing an album, and Mr. West does it with ease and the opener on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is no exception. Mr. West opens it up with “Dark Fantasy,” a huge track with everything you’d expect from the man. Great beat, great flow, and a few extras to keep things interesting. The main component that keeps this song afloat and probably the only thing Nicki Minaj has done that I find commendable, is her opening dialogue. I can’t really describe it, but it just works so well, who cares? The piano that follows accompanied by a chorus of “Can we get much higher” and “Oh oh oh” is an early album highlight. Already this shit is sick and Mr. West hasn’t even stepped through the door. His raps on this track are straight fire, a sort of “I’m back bitches” mentality that he is so well known and loved/ hated for. Mr. West opens yet another album with a home run, scratch that, a grand slam.
So how’s the rest of the album? The short answer to that would be familiar, considering a bulk of the songs featured on MBDTF were part of Mr. West’s GOOD Friday tracks. The familiarity of the rest of the album is THE ONLY, I’ll repeat, THE ONLY downside to this album. While most of these tracks have gone untouched since their release on a certain Friday in the past few months, “Runaway” has evolved into a nine minute jam that features some crazy and creative vocodor work. In this case, familiarity isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because all of these tracks are great and deserve spots on this album.
Now that I’ve mentioned this release has only one downside, you can probably guess the score this album will receive. But I can’t leave you with just that, it’s imperative that I stress my praise for what I am considering album of the year…
Mr. West’s style is constantly evolving, which is why he’s been such a successful figure since his first release. People don’t want to hear the same old same old and he knows this. I believe MBDTW is the height of Mr. West’s songwriting maturity. He has expanded hip- hop across such genres as pop, electronic, and even indie folk with features from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. We have seen the evolution of Mr. West and it never fails to impress and astonish.
By now you’re probably wondering why I haven’t talked much at all about specifics on this album. The reason being is that this album is just that good. If I had to use only single words to describe this album they would be creative, cohesive, and complete. But I think the best way to describe MBDTF would be “huge.” And huge may be an understatement. It’s huge in its cast, sound, talent, length, appeal, and attitude. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is album of the year and it will receive numerous Grammy awards and nominations. If “every superhero need his theme music,” My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is Mr. West’s.
Fantastic album. Only short coming at all is that the songs are over indulged no need for nine minute song ie: runaway and no need for chris rocks oddly familiar back and forth at the end of the blame game I feel a single version of sorts should be released. Regardless 9/10 effort and another classic album under kanye's belt.