Today is the ten year anniversary of Kanye West’s fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. MBDTF is arguably one of the greatest, if not the greatest hip hop album of all time.
Kanye West’s public perception going into making the album was very fragile. Even the President was sending shots his way. But in 2009, Kanye went to Hawaii to begin recording alongside other musical masterminds.
West unleashed his creativity with the rhymes and production of the album. West was very personal throughout the entire album while being as cocky and arrogant as ever. That contrast is most evident in songs like “Blame Game ft John Legend” and “Devil in a New Dress ft Rick Ross.” “Power” is another example, where he acknowledges how the media and life, in general, took the joy away from him; West says in the song, “Reality is catching up with me, taking my inner child I’m fighting for custody’. It was also stated that Power took over 5,000 man-hours to create. The attention to detail along with the complexity Kanye delivered is next level. Kanye even managed to slip in a message to his wife Kim Kardashian in “Lost in The World”, who was just a mere “crush” ten years ago.
Kanye West was able to get some of the best musicians to help create the album. Jay Z, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Charlie Wilson. Elton John, Raekwon, Rick Ross, Bon Iver, Pusha T, and Nicki Minaj, to name a few. I like to compare the album to Avengers: Endgame. The immense amount of different characters that were involved is challenging to incorporate. Still, Kanye managed to pull it off while staying the focus instead of relying heavily on the others to bring energy to the album. The complexity West delivered in his visuals for Runaway and All of the Lights are amazing as well, let alone the 34-minute short film he directed and starred in to go along with the album.
In conclusion, Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of the most influential albums ever. It changed the way artists go about doing their projects. It changed the culture and challenged the culture in fashion, production, promo, design, message, etc. West’s impact from this album will be felt for many more decades to come.