[LP] KANYE WEST unleashed a MONSTER that should be maxing ALL OF THE LIGHTS on everybody’s equalizer

i did that time and spent that bread, i’m heading home, i’m almost there

♫ Kanye West – Monster (Ft. JAY-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver)

I’ve never really liked Kanye West. By that I mean both his music and him as a person. Neither really appealed to me and all his stunts from ’09 only confirmed the feeling. There were certainly a lot of laughs had at his expense. Then something very interesting happened. He disappeared. No new music. No new scandals. Nothing. When news surfaced of his self-imposed exile in Hawaii where he was working on a new direction for both his music and his public persona, I was intrigued. When he started releasing a free track every week with his GOOD Friday project, I was impressed. However, when I heard first single “Power” I was disappointed. It seemed he wasn’t going to be bringing anything special to the table. Then I heard “Monster” (above) and was blown away. We all were, but for me it was a tangible moment. The moment when I realized that I may be underestimating Kanye West. Before long I was watching his stunning 35 minute mini-film and album-teaser Runaway (below) and soon after found myself addicted to the rousing “All Of The Lights” (below) and it’s fantastic arrangements. At this point I was officially stoked to hear the album.

♫ Kanye West – All Of The Lights

Finally sinking my ears into My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy it quickly became clear that Kanye West is a contradiction. In so many ways he just shouldn’t work. He is too much of this, or not enough of this, or says too much of that. It’s what makes him such an irresistible public figure. He is simultaneously ridiculous, entertaining, and somehow kinda fresh. And that is exactly what Fantasy is. Nicki Minaj introducing opening track “Dark Fantasy” with a Roald Dahl quote in a British accent shouldn’t work, but it does. Jay-Z saying that his only weakness is “looooove!” on “Monster” shouldn’t work, but it does. The near 4 minute instrumental outro to “Runaway” shouldn’t work, but it so does. The “fuck with the lights on” breakdown in the middle of “Hell Of A Life” shouldn’t work, but it does (and he has a good point). The Chris Rock skit at the end of “Blame Game” shouldn’t work (I hate rap album skits), but it really does. The list goes on. Kanye’s experiment with minimalism on 2008’s 808s and Heartbreak (recorded in 2 weeks!) has been followed up with an experiment in maximalism and the result is undeniable. Well, one could deny it, a lot of Kanye haters are. But that’s a shame, cause they will miss out on a damn good album. There is no better time to open your mind to Kanye West.

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11 replies
  1. shaan
    shaan says:

    I never really liked Kanye, but this album is actually good. The beats are fantastic and the album as a whole is well-produced. However, Kanye is outshined by all of his guest musicians, his lyrics are mediocre at best, and even though the songs are loosly connected by a theme running in the experimental beats, his horrible lyrics kill it.

  2. Brandon @ TBE
    Brandon @ TBE says:

    Interesting. While I agree that Kanye is often overshadowed by his guests, I didn’t feel that way here. I actually like a lot of his lyrics and his take on the world that runs a little deeper than drugs, money, and bitches. But still, I can totally understand why you would feel that way.

  3. freda
    freda says:

    this is album is so motherrffucckking sick. so overplayed, i love it. nicki minajs verse in this is by far the best, but pink friday was such a let down :( sad timess.. anyway, get on Christian Dior Denim Flow, cheers brandon you absolute BABE. xxx

  4. Sleepy head
    Sleepy head says:

    I love how you bring up kanye haters at the end, its ironic because you were one before your epiphany. welcome to good music.

    It’s also contradicting that he compares his own life to a heavenly phoenix that dropped out the sky that nobody understands (crash in beginning -kanyes through the wire crash) His ego is out of control, I was reaffirmed by an interview he said the short film was tarantino level…

  5. shaan
    shaan says:

    haha really? he thinks hes as good as tarantino? hahahah

    I would love to see kanye write a 10 minute dialogue scene between four females and then shoot the scene in one continuous camera shot

  6. Brandon @ TBE
    Brandon @ TBE says:

    Haha, thanks Sleepy head. It’s good to be here. I still can’t get into his early stuff (“Jesus Walks,” Really? Does he?) but I’m so down with this album!

    Oh yeah, his ego is bonkers, but that’s often what it takes to fuel genius. Michael Jordan is supposedly one of the biggest assholes on the planet. I have a soft spot for Kanye cause at least half his posturing is clearly fueled by his insecurity.

  7. freda
    freda says:

    i totally agree, agression is her forte – uplifting music is so shit, romans revenge is the best track on it, and even that is pretty weirddddd

  8. JoshB
    JoshB says:

    I’ll admit to being a Kanye hater day one. His first album was so full of itself, it was the type of thing you’d play ironically to laugh at the absurdity of the man.

    I still believe Kanye to be batshit crazy, but the new album has a type of ambitious genius about it that shows a lot of brilliance in the man’s madness. Lyrically the album still stumbles a lot, but it may be some of the best music I’ve heard this year.

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