Written by Taylor Rivers and Victoria Ercolao
Kanye West makes himself very easy to hate. Whether it’s stealing the stage from Taylor Swift (he was right), or simply ranting in an acceptance speech about his greatness, he has definitely secured his spot as the industry’s biggest “douchebag”. In the past decade, West has released extremely innovative and daring albums, which have often been overlooked by the same people who felt bad for “innocent” Taylor Swift. Sure, it wasn’t the most respectful thing to do, but what we are trying to say is, get over it. Dismissing West as an artist identifies that the line between artistry and personal lives has been blurred beyond recovery. In the case of his latest album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, credit needs to be given where credit’s due.
From the opening track, “Dark Fantasy”, featuring a haunting introduction from Nicki Minaj, to the closing track entitled “Who Will Survive in America”, which includes snippets of Gil Scott-Heron’s famous speech, the album is exceptional. In the last 24 hours alone, it has become one of just seven albums to ever get a 5 star rating from Rolling Stone, and one of eleven to ever get a perfect 10.0 from Pitchfork Media, sharing the spotlight with greats like Radiohead and Bob Dylan. Ratings aside, the album is a flawless display of West’s ability to adapt to changes in music, while maintaining a sound that is recognizable by any fan. Besides Minaj, the album includes collaborations with Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Raekwon, Rihanna, John Legend, Bon Iver, Pusha T, and many others.
The album is packed with musical accomplishments, and the lyrics are written with meaning and extreme care. The hit single “Power” catches the attention of listeners with its African vibe, while “Monster” displays the lyrical talents of rap moguls Minaj and Jay-Z. The 9-minute track “Runaway” displays West’s artistry at its finest, and when he toasts to “the jerk-offs, who will never take work off” you better know that he is talking about himself. In true Kanye fashion, he had something to prove here, and he definitely proved it. The album is immaculately tuned by West, packed with combinations of synths, horns, voice-alterations, choirs, guitars and pianos.
When it comes to rating the 70-minute masterpiece, it seems as if the only score acceptable is one that reflects perfection. The album is an accomplishment by any standard, and will go down in history as West’s finest. Setting records within hours of it release only indicates a beginning of an amazing year for Kanye West. 5/5
I also award a perfect 5 stars to an artist who is deserving of it. To me, West’s album is nothing short of brilliant in every beautiful, dark, and twisted way. The harmonious sounds of the violin and piano featured in the interlude to “All of the Lights”, my personal favourite, is just one example of the ingenuity present throughout the album. 5/5
Anyone who appreciates hip-hop will understand that Kanye West has produced one of his best albums to date. It is one of our personal favorites, and we hope that you listen to the album in its entirety before painting Kanye West with the same brush that your grandmother would.
Listen to a track from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: All of the Lights