By Brandon Niro
Kanye West has always been a source of controversy in the media.
From his rambles on George W. Bush, to his infamous on-stage interruption of Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs, Kanye has always been portrayed as a villain, and it is a role he has seemed to embrace on numerous occasions.
Following the mixed reception garnered by 808s & Heartbreak, many believed that West’s creativity and desire to constantly change his sound were leading to his decline as a hip-hop artist. However, with the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, there is no controversy: Kanye has produced a masterpiece that combines the best of hip-hop, R&B, pop and rock to create a revolutionary sound that is incapable of duplication by any other artist. Kanye has reinvented hip-hop, leaving the remainder of the competition in the dust, and forcing them to play by the rules he has created.
The album as a whole allows the audience to take a peek into the mind of Kanye West, who evidently is deeply troubled, maniacal and twisted on levels almost incomprehensible to the average listener. On tracks like “Runaway” and “Lost in the World,” he exposes his vulnerability and even questions his past “douche bag” behavior.
With the help of collaborations from John Legend, Bon Iver and even Elton John, he reveals himself by examining his conscience and trying to shed the “jerk-off” image he has embodied for so long.
Yet, along with these confessional tracks and other emotional ballads such as “Blame Game,” he also showcases his emcee prowess throughout the album, almost elevating himself to a heroic status, particularly in the triumphant, epic single, “Power.”
Overall, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has reached a pinnacle that few artists have achieved before or can hope to achieve in the future.
Kanye has changed the rules of hip-hop and created his own, challenging others to get on his level musically. Kanye has dared to go where no other artist has gone before, combining the very best elements of several genres to produce a sound that is truly masterful and unique. It is safe to say that Kanye has officially shed his villain persona, regaining the iconic status he achieved early in his career.
You would be foolish not to purchase this album, which is arguably one of the best albums in any genre during the past decade.