It’s Thursday, which means we’re looking back at a classic album and what make’s it so good. This week we look at arguably Yeezys greatest work. Thomas Durkan talks us through Kanye’s return to form and reputation.
Author: Thomas Durkan (@tomdurks)
The year is 2010 and Kanye West is public enemy number 1 in the music world. Having interrupted Taylor Swifts winning moment at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards with the now infamous line ‘Yo Imma let you finish but…’ Mr. West plunged himself in to a whirlwind of media hate. Even President Obama took time out of his busy schedule to call him a ‘jackass.’ Despite the fact that his first four albums were critical and commercial successes, things were not looking good for Kanye after his latest controversy. In light of this Kanye took a self-imposed hiatus from music and went to Hawaii to pursue his desire in fashion. However what was to come would be more spectacular then any shirt or trousers he could stitch together.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy dropped on November 22 and with that Kanye once again proved himself right when he’s said ‘Make music so good people can’t hate on it.’ The album opens with Nicki Minaj setting the scene for the whole album with a retelling of a Roald Dahl poem, indicating the ongoing themes of decadence and self-indulgence.
Minaj is the first in a long list of star studded collaborators on the album, which also features the likes of Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Rihanna, Elton John, Fergie and Bon Iver to name a few. Not are not that many artists in the world that could bring together such a plethora of people to help out on an album. But that’s the kind of response that West elicits. He’s an artists artist, people will do anything to work with him and he gets the best out of them.
There is something for everyone in this album. Kanye manages to bring together the best elements from each of his first 4 albums together in parts for a magnificent sound. Whether its the soul of his debut ‘The College Dropout,’ the orchestral side of ‘Late Registration,’ The Arena filling ‘Graduation,’ or the deeper, more emotional ‘808s and Heartbreaks,’ you’ll find it somewhere in MBDTF. This all merges together to give West his most complete and powerful sound. Some would argue it is his masterpiece.
The album spawned four singles; ‘Power,’ ‘Runaway,’ ‘Monster,’ and ‘All of the Lights,’ with the former winning two Grammy awards for Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 54th Grammy Awards. However, even though the single faired well at the awards show, it was the Grammy’s perceived snub of the album that was highlighted at the event. Critics around the world had praised MBDTF and reportedly it was the best reviewed album in years, finishing top of the pile on many publications best albums of 2010 lists. Yet the Grammys failed to nominate it for Album of the Year. Some people, including Yeezy himself, have put this down to Kanye’s joint effort with Jay-Z on Watch the Throne being released in the same year. But it also showed that there are still underlying negative perceptions and maybe a lack of understanding in the music world when it comes to hip hop.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was exactly what Kanye West needed in 2010 a return to form and a revitalised reputation. And it was also exactly what music fans needed, a game changing phenomenon and a reminder that Kanye is probably the artists for which our generation will be remember, and for all the right reasons.
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