Kanye West
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


5.0
classic

Review

by Daniel Smith USER (21 Reviews)
December 1st, 2010 | 39 replies | 6,020 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yeezy taught you well...Yeezy taught you well.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

I don’t care what you think about Kanye West, I really don’t. That’s right, I’m addressing you, the reader, because when something like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy accumulates critical hype to the degree it has, its reviewers come across as repetitive trend-followers. Unless they’re naysayers. And the way Pitchfork and company have given Kanye the ever-coveted kiss of eternal indie approval, you’ll be hard pressed to find a negative reaction to Fantasy. So here’s the deal: I’m going to prove that Yeezy’s fifth full-length is an important release in the world of hip-hop without introducing my own opinion of its content. Granted, I have an opinion, and two weeks ago I would’ve been perfectly content with sharing it, but a sudden onslaught of hyperbolic praise is reason enough to make me proceed cautiously. Plenty of reviewers want you to purchase Fantasy, and if I have to drain my argument of sentiment to avoid appearing like an advertiser, so be it. All I have to say is this: Kanye West has something to say.

Yeezy makes this very clear from the get-go, courtesy of a spoken-word intro in which the up-and-coming Nicki Minaj orders West’s audience to shut up and listen. Then, after a thirty-second choral tease, Kanye drops the first beat of his dark fantasy. Before long, he’s spitting ego-laced one liners [as usual], but this isn’t the ‘Ye of old; what separates Fantasy from West’s previous endeavors is circumstance. This is the work of an exile, an outcast whose relevance wholly depends on his next move. Well, here it is, and it’s not apologetic in the least. What it is, though, is a self-aware projection of the artist himself, twisted traits and all. No holds barred. From the possessive album title to the explicitly deprecating cover art to the referential lyrics, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is Kanye’s self-titled, in a sense.

And Kanye, according to Kanye, isn’t just a disser of presidents or an interrupter of pop stars. This Kanye’s a cubist nightmare; he’s a naked, hairy, 40-swigging monstrosity; and he has his head impaled upon a bloody sword. He doesn’t care what you think of him, either. Yeah, he’s a scumbag. Yeah, he’s the abomination of Obama’s nation. He knows it, too; more importantly, he feeds off of it. Without a certain one-two punch of personal loss, 808s & Heartbreaks’ melancholy wouldn’t have surfaced. Likewise, without the 2009 VMA’s, without the SNL/South Park jabbing, without public backlash, without negative energy, Fantasy wouldn’t be the ugly affair Kanye set out to make with startling vivacity and acceptance.

In a genre of music bogged down by modern superficiality, the monster offers up a portrait of genuine, passionate honesty. For this and this alone, Fantasy presents a strong case for entry into the list of significant hip-hop records. But Kanye’s ambition for 2010 extends far beyond an important studio release: whether or not you respect him, you cannot deny that he is far and away the year’s most prolific artist. No other musician has utilized Twitter as a stream-of-consciousness link to his or her fanbase, leaked free B-sides on a weekly basis, directed a 35-minute symbolic art film, or tinkered with the SNL stage. Mr. West has, all in the course of four months. With a potentially game-changing record to boot, not to mention his outrageous work ethic, Yeezy reemerges as an essential artist for this still-young decade.

I haven’t even mentioned the record’s sound yet, and why should I? Kanye doesn’t want me to tell you about the three-minute autotune solo in “Runaway,” about how he samples King Crimson, Aphex Twin, Bon Iver, and Black Sabbath throughout the album’s seventy-minute runtime, or about the strings, the horns, the choirs, the guitar solos – rare instrumentation for a rap record. He wants you to experience his beautiful dark twisted fantasy on your own time, with few if any preconceived notions, and you should listen to him; he’s earned your time, after all, the crazy workaholic that he is. Maybe you’ll end up connecting with him on a demented level…because ultimately, only a handful of people understand the duality of mankind like Kanye West. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a dissertation on his flawed character and yours, too. Ye’s already graduated. Now it’s his turn to enlighten, to illustrate, to lecture. He’s giving a toast. Raise your glass, and perhaps you can echo the repeated sample that closes out “Blame Game,” a vocal sample that is – pardon my opinion – one of the creepiest things I’ve ever heard, so seductive…so robotic…so twisted.



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user ratings (2778)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Scoot
December 1st 2010



17681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty decent review, although we definitely don't need any more now.

Digging: Unjust - Glow

Drsmith4
December 1st 2010



1712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I wish there was the option to post a review without giving a rating, because the 5/5 takes away from my desire to separate opinion from analysis. Oh, well.

Highly considered not posting this, since this is already hyped to the N'th degree.

tapitforever
December 1st 2010



1243 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is a good review

conradtao
Emeritus
December 1st 2010



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Pretty decent review, although we definitely don't need any more now."

Look at Age of Adz.

Good review. Vocal sample at the end is Chris Rock, but you probably knew that already ; )

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2010



16134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Only hip-hop album I've ever 5'ed.

BigHans
December 1st 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review. I really want to hate this since I hate him so much but its undeniably fucking good.

Counterfeit
December 1st 2010



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

quit hatin hans. Yeezy balls.

AnotherBrick
December 1st 2010



9770 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

aoty

BigHans
December 1st 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Slow Jamz is still my favorite Kanye song

Counterfeit
December 1st 2010



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

fuckin a brick.

ipunchscenekids
December 1st 2010



202 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album Rating: 2


5

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2010



16134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gotta say this probably is album of the year for me. In any genre. For some reason I've always related to and loved Kanye's lyrics.

PuddlesPuddles
December 1st 2010



4765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Because of Sputnik, I no longer find that "Yeezy taught you well" shit funny or cool. Thanks.

Counterfeit
December 1st 2010



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

niggaz got jokes

PuddlesPuddles
December 1st 2010



4765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Its soooo lame

ipunchscenekids
December 1st 2010



202 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

best lyric is still the one i put as my name on this account

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2010



16134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There's too many classic lines to name on this album.

Drsmith4
December 1st 2010



1712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Gorgeous contains some of my favorites on the album. Definitely a top 3 song.

HalfManHalfAmazing
December 1st 2010



565 Comments


I wasn't impressed in the least bit by what I heard.

Titan50
December 1st 2010



4588 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This review needed to be written. Well done.



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