Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Deep and thematic, Kanye’s fifth offering cements him at the top of the world.
“Is hip-hop just a euphemism for a new religion?” asserts Kanye West in “Gorgeous” and damn, is he right. Rap has been saved from the over saturated same-old-same-old and restored back to the game changing stage which hasn’t been since since Weezy’s Tha Carter or Jays Black Album.
His fifth offering goes for a pic ‘n’ mix of style, powerful stadium rock anthems, chilled, devouring r’n’b and post modern space disco. The minimal, auto-tuned introspective style of 808’s and Heartbreak has been left behind and replaced with a grandiose, mammoth journey of self depreciation and a kaleidoscope of righteousness, cementing ‘Ye on top of the world. In a world where we’re comfortable to sit back and devour sub-standard blog-easy music, ‘Ye constantly wants us to demand more.
The earliest glimpse from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of its finer moments. Returning to his rap roots “Power” solidifies ‘Ye as a daring, model for the future, and in true fashion he knows it.
“I’m living in the 21st century, doin’ something mean to it, doin’ better than anybody seen do it, screams from the haters got it’s ring to it, I guess every superhero needs his theme music…”
Just as Jay took apart hip hop with The Black Album, ‘Ye completely destroys the rulebook and rewrites it himself. “Runaway” the albums emotional centerpiece is a 9 minute composed self manifesto. Debuted this year at the VMA’s, the song serves as a subtle apology as such to the “Yo Taylor Swift” moment. Built over a lonely piano loop, the song finds Kanye swerving between ‘bent down on one knee plea” and self righteousness toasting, trying to figure out why he’s been such a douchebag. Nearly six minutes in the track cuts out and you think it’s all over. Then the piano starts up again, and with his most ambitious move yet, Viva La Vida esque cellos are tuned in, with Ye himself singing a poignant, raw solo through his vocoder. With anyone else this would fall flat on it’s face, yet it keeps rolling for atleast 3 more minutes without breaking the vibe.
Featuring Jay Z as a standard, ‘Ye’s also brought along what seems like a rundown of 2010’s best (and La Roux) for his fifth offering. “All of The Lights” is the most collaboration heavy with an extensive offering of 11 artists including Elton john (word) and John Legend. This is only the tip of the iceberg, almost every track features someone, including perhaps one of the best verses of the year from Nicki Minaj on “Monster”.
In a genre where it’s convention to show how gangster and hardcore you are, Kanye’s set himself apart from the world by showing it’s okay to let out your deepest, heartfelt thoughts. “Blame Game” sees an introspective ‘Ye divulging on a past relationship, reminiscing and guilt tripping about it, backed up by John Legends irresistible hook and finishing with a skit from loud mouth Chris Rock.
From dishing out his album in bite sized pieces every week, to producing a 30 minute short, Kanye set’s a new standard with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by defying convention and rewriting the rulebook. It’s not so much a concept album, more a cultural defining moment.
Stand Out Tracks: Runaway, Power, Blame Game, Gorgeous.