I once described the opening chords to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as if angels were singing from the heavens, that the music made me feel like I was a part of something more. Something otherworldly. People laughed at my description and poked fun at my hyperbole. That was over two years ago, yet I still feel the exact same way as when I first listened to this album and wrote that review. I feel like my senses are heightened, I feel like I am listening to magic being melted into my ears when I listen to this work of art. There is no other way for me to describe the feeling I get when I listen to the album other than it being one of the paramount moments of my life each time I listen to it.
I remember so vividly car rides blasting “Power” as loud as my speakers could go, singing along until my lungs were bursting and my throat was raw from how loud I had gotten, trying to drown out the music. I just have this feeling forever implanted on my mind of the wind, the cold wind to be specific, whipping my face like an icy whip, as I sped down Indian School going nearly double the speed limit and not caring in the slightest.
My favorite song on the entire album most certainty is “All of the Lights Interlude.” The most magical interlude I have ever heard or ever cared enough to learn the name of. The strings and horns blend wonderfully and the serenity and peace that is implanted onto my being when hearing it is unlike any thing else. I could listen to it on repeat for days. And I have. Not for days. But that song on repeat about 4 or 5 times is not an uncommon occurrence for me.
I can go on about how each and every song on this album reminds me of a time in my life. But I don’t want to take away from the fact that not only is this album so intertwined with my life, the music is legitimately one of a kind and the emotion that Kanye West pours into this album is simply unfounded. His growth in his music has been astronomical and beautiful to watch. From College Dropout where West was a rebellious youth, up until 808’s and Heartbreaks where he embraces his sadness and angst with the world. West seemed to have gone through every emotion possible. Until My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
This was his most grandiose attempt at alerting the world to his genius. He has some of the music’s most famous people guest appear on the album including Rhianna, Elton John, Jay Z, and the RZA. He has unique samples ranging from Apex Twin to King Crimson that helps prove his growth. Young Yeezy would never have even thought of using those samples eight years ago. All of those things are essential, but what really is astounding is that his raps hit home stronger with the most feeling has ever intertwined into his music. “What’s worse, the pain or the hangover?” he belts to the world. Old Kanye never would have been able to make such an acute observation. He has combined his cocky attitude, angst and genius, all into this album and brought knowledge of an extensive life style into play. “I treat cash the way the government treats AIDS, I won’t be satisfied ‘till all my ****** get it, get it?” As condescending as this statement is, it shows West’s growth in social issues as well as his biting wit.
Maybe the greatest accomplishment Yeezy achieves though is in “Runaway.” The chorus hauntingly states, “Lets have a toast for the douche bags,” as West refers to himself. He is finally embracing his persona of having a huge ego and he admits people may not approve of the way he acts. So he asks for forgiveness which is the hardest thing to do for a lot of people, especially West, who has made himself appear better than everyone in his presence in the media. But the death of his mother affected West more than it was thought and his reflection on life is very apparent on this album.
Music is such an intricate part of my life. I need music to go to sleep, I need it to do homework and basically in anything in my life, I need something playing in my ears, vibrating my ear drums and invoking feelings that can only be felt from melodies and rhythms. When I heard My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, my musical listening peeked. Nothing had ever made me feel like I do when I listen to it, and nothing ever will again. I remember when we had a 1-year anniversary listening session for the album: 10 dudes in a living room singing along to the entire album from start to finish. It never got weird. Not once. Because that’s how important this album is for me, for my friends and for this entire generation that grew up with Yeezy. He peeked at the most perfect time with the most perfect album and it spoke to all of us in every walk of life that we each had. There was no chance for us to be awkward because the music was so good at bringing us all together under one roof. Kanye West is the face of music for this generation. Whether people like it or not, his discography spans some of the most important moments of the past eight years and he speaks to everything from break up to doing drugs, attempting to connect to every person he can. He understands us better than we know ourselves and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is what he uses as proof.
I slaved away for two days to think of the perfect way to describe what this album meant to me and how it makes me feel. In the end, I can say all of these pretty compliments about it and analyze it to death and even try and show all of my personal experiences that go along with it but those things don’t do it justice. The only way to truly appreciate the beauty that West created is to listen. Listen and absorb the tranquility and poise that radiates from this work of the gods. For once, words can’t even begin to describe what is truly the album of the millennium.