On this day sixteen years ago, Hip-hop received Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, marking the fifth installment to his already critically-acclaimed laundry list of magnum opus work and potential classics.
The album debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200 and released four massive hits “Power”, “Monster”, and “Runaway”, and the international hit “All OF The Lights”. Three years following its initial release, West attained RIAA Platinum, accounting over one million copies sold nationwide.
Apart from these, critics nominated it “Best Record of 2010” through numerous polls and year-end lists, citing it a “glorious culmination” of West's previous four albums, specifically described as “the luxurious soul of 2004's The College Dropout, the symphonic pom of Late Registration, the gloss of 2007's Graduation, and the emotionally exhausted electro of 2008's 808s & Heartbreak” as written on Entertainment Weekly.
In terms of the record's essence, West anchors upon introspective lyrics depicting a man reflecting on a life fueled by hedonism and fame, not excluding the particular burdens entailing said lifestyle. West also makes clever use of these themes mashing them with uncanny principles hidden underneath the lines, an evident feature even on the album's opening track “Dark Fantasy”, when West sings “The plan was to drink until the pain over/ But what's worse, the pain or the hangover?”
The maximal, rock-sampled song “Hell of a Life”, features West storytelling matrimony to a porn star, weaving in lines like, “no more drugs for me, p—sy and religion is all I need”, ironically coming off as a “noble pursuit”, as described by critic Ryan Dombal's review, “The song blurs the line between fantasy and reality, sex and romance, love and religion, until no lines exist at all. It's a zonked nirvana with demons underneath; a fragile state that can't help but break apart on the very next song.”
This uncanny and yet strangely justifying upon an initial play-through. With brilliant lyrics anchored upon tremendous passion bleeding through each line, it comes as no surprise West's fifth album was such a hit.
By Jods Arboleda for RAPStation.com