The Score: Kanye West, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"

Monday, Nov 22, 2010 3:05PM

Written by J. Bachelor

Buy Now
  • My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  • Kanye West
  • November 22, 2010
Rolling Stone 5/5
Consequence Of Sound 5/5
Hip-Hop Wired 4/5
Soul Culure 5/5
Spin Magazine 9/10

One of the year's highly-anticipated albums has arrived, as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  marks the fifth studio release from rapper/producer Kanye West.

The follow-up to 2008's 808s and Heartbreak, Yeezy's latest project's its lead music video and cover art have already garnered much controversy.

A lot has happened to Kanye West since the release of his last album 808 & Heartbreaks. While becoming public enemy number one after embarrassing America's sweetheart, Ye took advice from fellow label mate Mos Def and left the country, not only to get himself together but to work on a new album as well. Ye needed a reinvention and had to show us he was stronger not only as an artist but as a person as well. This strength is shown in his newest album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. (Hip Hop Wired)

Twisted Fantasy includes cameos from a few G.O.O.D. men, as well as from noted hip-hop and r&b veterans.

If anything, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a product of a wide-reaching supergroup: Kanye West and the G.O.O.D. Ass All-Stars. Just as Raekwon adds some lyrical grit over a mean sample in "Gorgeous," his Wu-brethren the RZA does the same in "So Appalled"; Rihanna excels with "All of the Lights," performing a role manufactured specifically to accentuate her talents; Jay-Z is in top form in "So Appalled" ("I went from the favorite to the most hated, but would you rather be underpaid or overrated"); Pusha T comes hard in "Runaway"; and Nicki Minaj consumes much of "Monster," clowning over the track as the young vocalist toasts her way though one of her strongest verses to date. (Culture Bully)

An extensive list of established producers contributed their signature sounds to the Fantasy.

The most important contributors, however, are the producers. West enlisted mentor No I.D., Jeff Bhasker, Mike Dean, RZA and Ken Lewis to ensure this would be one of his greatest, most ambitious works of art yet, and they did just that. (Mostly Junk Food)

Symbolic One, producer of the album's lead single "Power", recently spoke with SOHH about his role in bringing Fantasy to life.

"I'm working with Kanye on the album," S1 told SOHH. "He's pretty much finishing that up so I've been working real close with him on that. And then also, he has a bunch of other artists and projects that he's working on for his G.O.O.D. Music roster, [and] other outside projects and he wants me to be a part of that as well. I've been working really close with him on that, working with Pusha T on his album stuff, Musiq Soulchild and then eight joints with Talib Kweli for his next album. And then, you never know, hopefully Jay-Z and Beyonce stuff. You just never know where you're going to go." (SOHH)

Most critics agree that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is an outstanding return from an artist who prides himself on pushing the envelope and getting out his dreams - no matter how dark they may be.

There is no question that this album is a game changer. It's Kanye West's greatest work and not only does it prove that his name deserves to be in any greatest-of-all-time discussions, but it changes the way we have these conversations. Do the greatest rappers need to possess the flow of Rakim or the fury of Chuck D? In just over 30 years hip-hop has progressed from street corners to stadiums and while it has lost much of the rawness and joy of its earliest incarnations, it has become a worldwide cultural force, creating jobs, changing lives, and projecting urban realities to millions of people. Kanye West's music and persona may not always ring true of the original concept of hip-hop, but he is the exemplary model of what it has become and where it is headed. (Consequence of Sound)
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a classic in its own right - just as College Dropout is - comparisons between the two can only be made in terms of its subject matter rather than which is better. Kanye's fifth album is the amalgamation of six years of tantrums, tears, liasions, lyrical growth and musical expansion, resulting in his a beautiful nightmare which will be remembered for years to come.(Soul Culture)

To purchase My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, just click here.

Preview tracks from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy below:

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