Review Summary: Kanye West's masterpiece, his "Purple Rain." I would say Mr. West has done a 'Good Ass Job.'
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
No other artist has fallen from grace like Kanye West. His rise mirrored his fall. An unknown from Chicago, Illinois guest appeared on a Dilated Peoples track and the proverbial ball began rolling. The young unknown producer then began churning out beats for hip hop classics of the past ten years. If you haven’t heard of an album by Jay-Z called “The Blueprint,” or an album by Common called “Be,” I am terribly sorry for you.
It just so happened this producer could rap, and since he was producing beats for anyone who is anyone in hip hop, guest appearances were lining up like a line at Cedar Point. 2004’s College Dropout introduced Kanye West to the world and he continued that success with a series of “college themed” albums; Late Registration and Graduation. Every one if these albums are classics, all featuring a plethora of hard hits for the street, booty shakers for the club and heart felt ballads about the struggles of West’s life.
Then Kanye got on white America’s bad side. “George Bush hates black people,” slipped from Mr. West’s lips as Austin Powers went speechless. Then there was his mother’s untimely death; which spawned a new, darker, depressed Kanye West on 808’s and Heartbreaks. No longer were the beats feel good and the rhyme spittin’ was traded in for an autotune tube. 808’s isn’t an awful album by any means, though If I had to listen to the song “Robocop” ever again, I could change my opinion.
Now with his “bad” album under his belt, the new “Fish dick” eating Kanye West decided it was a good idea to show up at the VMAs with a bottle of Hennessey and the rest was history. Kanye West became public enemy number one and Taylor Swift the symbol of purity and innocence for white America. For the record I didn’t even know who Taylor Swift was before Kanye West. Beyonce’s video may not have been the best video of all time, but pretty damn close.
With his public image in shambles, Mr. West did the only thing he really could and got in the booth. Producing more beats for hip-hop’s elite, Kanye West had part in the “Death of Autotune” that he helped to become the norm for the music industry. You could tell by every guest appearance he was on since 808’s that Kanye was hungry with something to prove (Make Her Say, Run this Town, Kinda Like a Big Deal etc). And then May 2010 happened. Kanye West unleashed “Power,” a song that can only really be defined as ironically enough, “powerful.” If Sean Combs has taught us anything about life it is that there is always a remix; in August 2010 the Remix with Jay-Z made the original obsolete.
This was the first of a series of “Good Friday” tracks that Kanye has been releasing like clockwork every weekend since. Some of the “Good Friday” tracks appear on “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” but the ones that don’t are still bona fide classics (see “The Joy” with Curtis Mayfield “Christian Dior Denim Flow,” and Child Rebel Soldier’s “Don’t Stop”). Kanye West did his best “In Rainbows” impersonation and released all of these tracks for free on his website. Further promoting the album, Kanye dazzled audiences at the VMAs and SNL with performances of “Runaway,” the ballad of the album featuring Pusha T, one half of the fabled Virginia rap duo, Clipse. And to top it all off, Kanye West went all “Purple Rain” on us and released “Runaway” the movie. It’s a visual stunner, with a strange plot about having sex with some kind of phoenix. Then in this digital era, unbeknownst to anyone, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” leaked.
Dark Fantasy – Could we get much higher? Never has a Lamborghini Diablo looked so good. Chi-town n*gga w/ a NaS flow. 5/5
Gorgeous (feat Kid Cudi & Raekwon) – Cudi does what he does best, and appears on the hook. Having a member of the Wu-Tang clan and a Clapton-esque guitar solo doesn’t hurt, either. 5/5
Power (feat Dwele) – Every super hero needs his theme music. A disturbing video spurned rumors of Mr. West being a member of the “Illuminati.” 5/5
All of the Lights – Rihanna supplies the catchy, girl friendly chorus. Hey, females buy records too. The horns are very reminiscent of the movie “Rocky,” which is a good thing. 5/5
Monster (featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Bon Iver) – One of the best “Good Friday” tracks. Jay-Z rapping about cryptids and Nicki Minaj spittin’ the hottest female fire since Lauryn Hill. What more could you ask for? 5/5
So Appalled (feat. Jay-Z, Pusha T, Prynce Cy Hi, Swizz Beatz & The RZA) – A “Good Friday” track where Jay-Z takes shots at MC Hammer of all people (you are really showing your age here, HOVA). Pusha T makes his first appearance, and would you look at that, ANOTHER member of the Wu-Tang clan. 5/5
Devil in a New Dress (feat Rick Ross) – Another “Good Friday” track, with a nasty verse by the Teflon Don added to the end. 5/5
Runaway (feat Pusha T) – 9 minutes. 5/5
Hell of a Life - Daft Punk influence here, not the first time Kanye has dabbled in things foreign to hip-hop (Stronger). 5/5
Blame Game (featuring John Legend) – It’s John Legend people. Your mom likes John Legend and you should too. 5/5
Lost in the World – The album closer. And yeah, it’s good too and shows Autotune is still on life support. Rest in peace Michael Jackson. 5/5
Here it is ladies and gentlemen, Kanye West’s masterpiece. Featuring an all-star team of guest appearances and blurring all genres of music, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is the best album of the year 2010, the year of Kanye West. I would say that Mr. West has done a “Good Ass Job.”
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – 5/5 instant classic.