What GVSU listens to, No. 2: Kanye West

Courtesy Photo / Google Images
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Courtesy Photo / Google Images Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Kelsey Mezack

After an entire year of layering controversies, tormenting Taylor Swift and George Bush and destroying his public image, what could Kanye West do to cause even more of an uproar? Create the perfect album. And as much as it pains most of us to say, he came pretty damn close.

“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” combines Kanye’s token arrogance and his undying perseverance to achieve top-dog status. Although Kanye’s genius shines though on this album, it would be nothing without the seemingly mish-mashed list of guest artists. Jay-Z, West’s collaborator on the album, Kid Cudi, John Legend, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon each make appearances.

The album begins as a fairytale unveiled by Nicki Minaj, a frequent contributor to the album. She sets the stage, capturing and throwing us into a foreign land of Kanye’s control. The first three songs, “Dark Fantasy,” “Gorgeous” and “Power,” start to unfold Kanye’s stories of twisted fantasy and his not-too-positive feelings of fame and stardom. Plain and simple, they are beautiful with basic beats paired perfectly with rich lyrics and just the right amount of dark wackiness.

For just a short while in “Runaway,” Kanye brings himself down from the heavenly cloud he hoists himself up on and admits that he might not actually be as perfect as he seems. The song’s simple, fresh taste reveals part of Kanye’s more self-destructive nature, making a listener feel for his misery.

His pain is writhingly relatable; he raps, “I always find somethin’ wrong/You been puttin’ up with my (explitive) just way too long/I’m so gifted at findin’ what I don’t like the most … “

“Monster,” the leading track of the album, pokes fun at all of Kanye’s “haters.” His child-like mind creates an outlet for all the talk that’s been bringing him down. Nicki Minaj stuns during her verse and single-handedly peaks the album. She changes from complete insanity to pretty, pretty princess multiple times, further illustrating the double life of the limelight. The entire track is filled to the brim with mind-blowing rage. In a fury, Jay-Z raps, “Everybody wanna know what my Achilles heel is/LOVE I don’t get enough of it/all I get is these vampires and blood suckers.”

The only minor infraction is Chris Rock’s attempt at comedic relief in “Blame Game,” which just ends strangely and uncomfortably, completely in contrast to the rest of the song.

The album ends with the sampled Bon Iver song “Lost in the world,” which blends into an outro spoken by Gil Scott-Heron, reiterating a common theme of the album, “Who Will Survive In America.”

Kanye West doesn’t just create futile music, useless except for partying. He pumps emotion and explodes his innermost thoughts onto his canvas. “My Beautiful and Dark Twisted Fantasy” is proof that Kanye West has and will continue to change the genre of Hip Hop as we know it. Welcome back, Kanye.