My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
is Hip Hop
messiah Kanye West
's fifth album, released on 22 November 2010. The album was initially planned as a continuation of his College Trilogy (The College Dropout, Late Registration
, and Graduation
) to be named Good-Ass Job
, but the concept was eventually discarded.
What then this album ended up becoming was something unlike any released. It became the most critically acclaimed album since <insert heavily popular, critically acclaimed album of your choice here>. Every single media outlet put it as the number one album of the year, with individual songs like "All of the Lights", "Runaway", "Power", and "Monster" taking equally high positions in song rankings.
The album was recorded across 2009 and 2010 primarily at Avex Recording Studio in Honolulu, where Kanye block-booked the three session rooms indefinitely and worked practically around the clock, with additional sessions at Electric Lady Studios and Platinum Sound Recording in New York and Glenwood Place Studios in Burbank, with the help of a Serial Escalation Long List
of rappers, producers, singers, engineers, and session musicians (more than 90!).
- All-Star Cast: Just look at all the people featured on "All of the Lights"! We've got Alicia Keys, John Legend, The-Dream, Drake, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Elton John, Ryan Leslie, Charlie Wilson, Tony Williams, Elly Jackson, Alvin Fields, Ken Lewis, and Rihanna here, though only Rihanna and Kid Cudi are credited as featured artists in the official single release.
- And the rest of album is like this, with guest verses from a multitude of rappers. Including The Rza, Raekwon, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Pusha T, Cy Hi da Prynce, and Swizz Beatz.
- Badass Boast: Cy Hi da Prynce claims in 'So Apalled' that 'if God had an iPod, I'd be on his playlist'.
- Book Ends: The album begins and ends with instances of Spoken Word In Music, similarly to Kanye's debut "The College Dropout". They are also two thematically important questions asked by other performers, "Can we get much higher?" and "Who will survive in America?".
- "Gorgeous" begins and ends with Kid Cudi's verse.
- Concept Album: Considered to be this with unifying themes of the nature of celebrity, intense introspection and Self-Deprecation, and primal emotions.
- Creator Breakdown
- Heel Realization: "Runaway".
- Ignored Epiphany: In "Runaway", Kanye protests his own proclivity for this.
- Loudness War: A really bad case. Nearly every song gets clipped.
- A saving grace is that the video clips on youtube (for example) don't have this loudness issue, as such they sound and look fantastic.
- Record Producer: Dozens.
- Self-Deprecation: All over the place.
- Shout-Out: Again, all over the place.
- Siamese Twin Songs: "Lost in the World" and "Who Will Survive In America", which are connected by the same beat.
- What Could Have Been: As is the case with the development process for most rap albums, rumors circulated that Kanye had a variety of guest artists to choose from in making the album. A wide variety of guest artists, including Soulja Boy (who Kanye had previously offered beats to) and Waka Flocka Flame (one of Gucci Mane's pals who's best described as a cross between Soulja Boy and Lil Jon). Much to the relief of some longtime Kanye fans, these two names never resurfaced. Madlib, the famous experimental, jazzy hip hop producer, was another name frequently mentioned. Who knows whether it would have fit with Kanye's style or not; but it would have been fascinating, no matter what.