Kanye West’s ‘Fantasy’ Is ‘Beautiful’ Indeed

Can you feel it? In the air? No, not the excitement over Thursday's celebration of this nation's impending horrific takeover by ill-meaning and entitled foreigners from those who had been living here for centuries prior. I'm speaking of Kanye's West's magnum opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy! Unless you've been under a rock or been swallowed by Kanye's enormous ego or stumbling after being crippled by his numerous egregious public missteps, then you've already heard just how simply awesome this album is. I mean, you have, haven't you?

My joking aside, this review will be no different than all the others that have showered Kanye with accolade upon accolade. Well, yes it will. Here's the thing: it is entirely possible for me to dislike someone's persona based upon how they've presented themselves and completely love their work. You don't think that Mozart or Beethoven were loveable curmudgeons do you? No, I'm not trying to compare Kanye to those great composers, but in their time, they were much the subject of vitriol due to their assholic tendencies. I'm sure there will come a day when we will all look back upon this time and laugh at how much attention we all seem to pay to one man who is on one pole without a doubt one of the best producers of our time and also one of the most troubled, potentially misunderstood figures of this short century. With great talent comes much idiocy as relates to social graces and Kanye is not foreign to this fact.

Upon my first listen to Fantasy, I was relieved to know that the songs that kept me captivated during the 35-minute long short film for "Runaway" were present on the album. I was also happy to know that the majority of the tracks I liked from his "G.O.O.D. Friday" series made the album cut as well. I could totally do without "All of the Lights" featuring Rihanna sounding at best like a winded goat after performing a particularly arduous trek up the side of a mountain, but everything else was instantly liked, by my ears at least.

My absolute favorite tracks have got to be "Blame Game," one of the best tracks I have ever heard about heartache, fragiity and wanting to get completely homicidal towards someone who you wish would just come back just so you can belittle them; "Hell Of A Life" which manages to easily describe to anyone within earshot that rock music and hip hop do exist within the soul music genre; "Lost In The World" whose staccato drums lend an air of impending celebration laced with depression; and "Gorgeous" with Kid Cudi who I have been particularly concerned about and Raekwon who continues to serve as one of hip hop's most consistent wingmen. But then I also love the Gil Scott-Heron mashup "Who Will Survive In America" and "Power," whose video should have been longer than 1:43 in length, and "Devil In A New Dress" with my favorite horribly lyrical, snow-loving cherubim Rick Ross, and damn near every other song this album offers.

I'm not going to compare this album to any other Kanye albums that have come before it. It's pointless really. This album is not about judging it solely for its merit as music. This album exists for us to critique in the great expanse of the world that Kanye has sucked us into. Whether he's apologizing to Taylor Swift or George W. Bush--boo--or he's scaring Matt Lauer into treating him with the respect he feels he deserves on the Today Show, or he's being dissed by Quincy Jones, or he's associating himself with fashion and art's most elitist courtesans or vowing not to say much more then saying too much the very next day, we are all but useless winged creatures trapped in his expansive web. This album, with its varied collaborators such as Elton John, Charlie Wilson, Bon Iver and RZA is meant to place you as part of the action. That is not to say that future generations won't become enamored with this album, because they will. For those of us who are able to exist with this very moment and have the extreme emotions that this one vulnerable and poorly emotionally guarded man can evoke, we are all a part of his fantasy, albeit a dark and beautiful one.

Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy [Amazon][iTunes]

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7 Responses

  1. Absolutely brilliant album. People don't make music like this. He's the only person crazy enough to pull this off. I love it. Definitely in his top 3.

  2. Not gonna spend my hard earned loot on this joint. Usually I ride with 95% of Ill Mami's reviews but not this one. I dont try to over analyze music, I put in the CD player press play and see if anything causes me to nod my head or break into the Mary J Blige bob:-). Well I listened to snippets of this album on amazon and real talk not one and I mean not one track moved me. Not one song made we want to hit replay. I was hoping for some more rebel soldier type joints but found none. This album is in my opinion his absolute worse, I think the expectations got him and he strayed from what he does best. I wont give it one star because even an "off" kanye is better then half the shit out now a days, but this joint gets 2 stars at best. Some people are gonna love this twisted fantasy CD, but I am not a lemur following other lemurs' off some cliff:-)

  3. Never been the hugest 'Ye, although I LOVE "Late Registration" thororughly. I must say, I really never have to endure this "Fantasy" again. I tried, really tried to like it and to also see the big deal about this album. Loved Rae's 40secs on "Gorgeous". Nothing else grabbed me or made me want to hit replay. Perfect scores or close to perfect scores for this CD, I don't get it. To each his own....

  4. Love this cd from start to finish!! only complaint would be that a few tracks go on a little too long...

  5. I loved your review, EXCELLENT! Two-thumbs up for the album and the beautifully craft 35-minute video. This Kanye production is the whole-package and it is awesome!!

  6. this album is so incredibly soulful + sonically full!! there is not 1 wack rap verse on the entire album, in fact each verse on the album is stellar track for track..the backdrop of the production is so pleasing you temporarily feel sad when a track ends only to get musically turned out again when the next track starts.. bravo kanye!! thank u 4 a truly moving and mature hip hop album .. !!!!

  7. Love, Love, Love it...worth the wait and worth the hype...I'm a Ye fan, always has been and always will be....He did it big with this cd it's fantastic from beginning to end...I'm a 40y.o. single mother of 2 teenage sons 16 and 13. My 16 y.o. loves the ground Kanye walks on, digs his music and is a true fan...Kanye cd's are the one part of hip hop we can definitely that's hip hop...