By: DeMarco Harvard ’12, Photo Editor
In Kanye West’s new album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, listeners see possibly the pinnacle of West’s abilities as a hip-hop artist in the 21st century. Very few albums represent modern rap as well as West’s “Fantasy”, which reveals to listeners not only what West thinks, but what he orders the listener to think, too.
One of the strongest elements in the album is West’s ability to transcend all genres. In songs such as “Dark Fantasy,” “All of the Lights,” “Runaway,” and “Blame Game,” he makes use of a wide variety of musical styles to strengthen his points and overall theme for the album.
The album not only shows listeners what West is capable of as a musician, but it also gives some clarity for the Chicago-born rapper. West acknowledges that the world thinks of him both positively and negatively. He embraces all praise and criticism and reflects this with a creative new slew of both self-deprecating and self-glorifying lyrics.
This is best shown in his song “Power.” West makes no effort to hide his own arrogance, with lines such as, “Now I embody every characteristic of the egotistic.” He states this in such a way that demands the listener accept who he is, for better or worse. West’s embracing of this attitude is possibly one of the strong points of the album and even the rapper’s career. This shows his unwillingness to hide who he is through his music, even if it means the rest of the world hates him.
Though this album is a testament to West’s creativity, it does falter at times. Throughout the album, West recruits the help of other talented musicians, such as Elton John, John Legend, Alicia Keys and Kid Cudi. However, West makes little use of the talent offered to him, giving some of the artists listed above less than a verse to express their own creativity along with his. It almost seems like the only reason West even asked for their help was to slap their names onto the album. Overall, it feels like a bad afterthought.
However, whatever one thinks of West, listeners cannot deny that this album definitely features some of his best work, possibly some of the best seen in modern hip-hop. Through his effective delivery and fluency of lyrics, West leaves a mark that almost forces listeners to love and enjoy.