Lost in the World (Feat. Bon Iver) / Who Will Survive in America - Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010, Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam)
This album blew me away. Not in the ‘holy shit this is life-changing’ way, but in the ‘Kanye actually lived up to all the hype he created for himself’ way. Yeah, it’s grandiose, but he pulls it off. A lot more than ever before, he starts experimenting with the music, and taking things in really interesting, and at times inspired musical directions. And then there’s the lyrics. Yes, they can be very egotistical; but they can also be fast, witty, thought-provoking, and at times even quite insecure and doubting. In Gorgeous he’s asserting his place as a rap genius and humourously hitting back at the South Park writers (fish sticks, anyone?), but the album can then suddenly dive into something a lot darker, such as a quite unsettling exploration of domestic abuse on Blame Game. Which leads to the most impressive thing about My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy— the album really takes you on a journey, truly fulfilling its promise of taking you through Kanye’s “beautiful dark twisted fantasy”. Best rapper in the world at the moment? Judging by this album, maybe. Just don’t tell him I said so.