Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Release Date: November 22, 2010

Track Listing

  1. Dark Fantasy
  2. Gorgeous (feat. Kid Cudi and Raekwon)
  3. POWER (feat. Dwele)
  4. All Of The Lights (Interlude)
  5. All Of The Lights
  6. Monster (feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver)
  7. So Appalled (feat. Jay-Z, Pusha T, CyHi the Prynce, Swizz Beatz, and RZA)
  8. Devil In A New Dress (feat. Rick Ross)
  9. Runaway (feat. Pusha T)
  10. Hell Of A Life
  11. Blame Game (feat. John Legend)
  12. Lost In The World
  13. Who Will Survive In America

Review

Kanye West works hard. Perhaps works too hard. He is at a point where every action is polarizing. He causes ripples in the media whether or not he intended to. The only way he got there, is from working too hard. Injecting a soulful exuberance to Jay-Z’s 2001 opus The Blueprint, Kanye since then has been carving his mark in music.

No matter how you feel about him, Kanye has always wore his emotions on his sleeves. He has always spoke his thoughts unfiltered.  Now at his fifth album, Kanye demonstrates on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy that he is more prolific than ever and if you add talent with a workaholic; borderline obsessive ethic that the product can be great.

The album opens with an assist from The RZA, who provides Kanye with a vintage circa 1994 Wu-Tang Clan sound scape to allow him to speak with an introspective social commentary:

Hey, teacher, teacher tell me how do you respond to students?
and refresh the page and restart the memory?
re-spark the soul and rebuild the energy?
we stopped the ignorance, we killed the enemies
sorry for the night demons still visit me
the plan was to drink until the pain over
but what’s worse, the pain or the hangover?

Then on the following song Gorgeous he continues on the social commentary path:

This the real world, homie, school finished
They done stole your dreams, you dunno who did it
I treat the cash the way the government treats AIDS
I won’t be satisfied til all my niggas get it, get it?

He has gone from the nerd, backpack rapper that he provided the prototype for and moved on to much bigger things. He still drives the sample powered vehicle that brought him to the masses but now he is using a more refined touch with instrumentation.

He is taking little parts of each of his previous albums and has elevated his music to a grandiose stage. MBDTF has a complete story arc filled with every emotion he has. Pain and confusion from a breakup on Blame Game, lust of a fantasy life on Hell Of A Life and everything in between. The short film Runaway proves this point.

MBDTF has plenty of guest spots both with vocals and production. The RZA and No I.D. help Kanye create lush, atmospheric sound while guest rappers Jay-Z & Nicki Minaj provide verses that lend to the highly abstract hallucinatory plot Kanye has woven. (Both rappers have show stealing verses on Monster)

On POWER he rhymes:

I embody every characteristic of the egotistic
he knows, he so fuckin’ gifted
I just needed time alone, with my own thoughts
Got treasures in my mind but couldn’t open up my own vault
My child-like creativity, purity and honesty is honestly being crowded by these grown thoughts
Reality is catching up with me, taking my inner child I’m fighting for custody

Those few bars represent MBDTF as a whole. He is talented. He is creative. He knows who he is. He was able to get time alone with his thoughts. He was able to open his vault and show off his treasures.

He created a theatrical album filled with fantastical ideas. But those ideas are rooted in human emotions. Kanye West not only created one of the most human hip-hop albums in recent memory and the one of the most human albums released in 2010.