Music Reviews
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

(Def Jam) Rating - 8/10

Kanye West lives in his own made-up Planet Blingatron where his solid gold castle houses champagne wishes and thirty white bitches (I mean, this shit is ridiculous) wearing diamond-encrusted bikinis and a team of tiny elves who wash his balls in Cristal every ten minutes. Kanye West has had an elective laryngectomy to replace his entire voice box with an auto-tuner he controls with his motherfucking BRAIN. Kanye West’s rhymes drop like flaming truth-missiles exploding into the stratosphere so his minions can breathe in his magic power-dust. Kanye West stares and routinely falls into the reflection bouncing off the pool of Courvoisier in his bedroom while spurning the drunken nymphs that dance around him. Kanye West just took a shit in your goddamn mouth and you LOVE IT. KANYE.

Kanye West made a new album, and a beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy it is. In fact, the entire album comes off as an hour’s worth of inter-century anthems, based off inner city tantrums. And Kanye West GETS IT. It’s not that Kanye West doesn’t have a sense of humor. KANYE WEST HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR, OKAY? But Kanye West is also highly sensitive, and he is sick of your bullshit (he’s already choked a South Park writer with a fish stick). Ultimately, Kanye West just doesn’t think it’s funny anymore -- try different jokes.

Kanye West’s Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a sprawling, ambitious, orchestral fuck-you of an album, and he wants you to know it. Critics have given it universal acclaim, but it’s hard to see the minions lapping up every lyric with anything but brainwashed adulation. When Kanye West says he’s pimpin’ Mount Olympus, you better start looking to the heavens. If you don’t like it, you can kiss the ring, his whole ass, and/or his asshole. Some have seen this tour-de-force as a massive, self-aware apology for past wrongs, or at worst a tongue-in-cheek reaction to media attention. But I’m not buying it. I’m not saying he’s not self-aware. He knows he’s a 21st-century schizoid man, that he’s trippin’ off the power, that reality is catching up with him. The entire album (as evidenced by this review alone) is purely autobiographical, but the apologies are backhanded, the self-reflections petulant. Kanye West knows he’s completely batshit, but nobody else is allowed to point that out. What becomes painfully obvious after even a not-so-careful listen is that this record is meant to stonewall all criticism from here on out.

Does Kanye West need to apologize? No, of course not. There’s no question that he’s a superstar -- a supernova -- and he deserves the title. Fantasy is utterly satisfying, but at times almost comical in its overwrought, bombastic MORE COWBELL bravado. As a whole, the record is a brilliant display of Kanye’s range and influences, an opus of dirty hip-hop laid over haunting classically-inspired melodies. There is powerful undulation from the sample-heavy nostalgia of Dark Fantasy, to the world-beat infused, heavy and self-referential Power, to the overly-cameoed (but oh so addictive) Monster, to the tear-stained Runaway. Definitely his most ambitious record to date, but maybe not his best. I for one could deal without the undercurrent: Kanye’s overwhelming need to prove himself. A little editing would have gone a long way to bring the vainglory down a notch, away from the ridiculous and squarely into the revolutionary. On the other hand, who am I -- who is ANYONE -- to criticize the greatest artist of our generation? Pussy and religion is all he needs. I mean, that's just science. Kanye West.