Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

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My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the fifth studio album by American rapper and producer Kanye West. It was released by Def Jam Recordings and Roc-A-Fella Records on November 22, 2010, following a period of public controversy for West. Retreating to a self-imposed exile in Hawaii in 2009, he recorded the album at Honolulu’s Avex Studio in a communal environment involving numerous contributing musicians. Additional recording sessions took place at Glenwood Place Studios in Burbank, California, and at Electric Lady Studios and Platinum Sound Studios in New York City.

The album was produced primarily by West, alongside a variety of high-profile producers such as Mike Dean, No I.D., Jeff Bhasker, RZA, S1, Bink, and DJ Frank E. Critical commentaries note the resulting music’s maximalist aesthetic and opulent production style that utilizes various elements from West’s previous work, including soul, pop, baroque, electro, and symphonic sounds, as well as progressive rock influences. Thematically, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy explores West’s status as a celebrity, consumer culture, race, and the idealism of the American Dream. Guest vocalists on the album include Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Bon Iver, Jay-Z, Pusha T, Rick Ross, Kid Cudi, John Legend, Elton John, and Raekwon.

To help market the album, West released free songs through his weekly GOOD Fridays series and four singles – “Power”, “Runaway”, “Monster”, and “All of the Lights” – all of which were top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. West also released a musical short film, Runaway (2010), set to music from the album. In its first week of release, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and sold 496,000 copies, eventually registering three million units for a triple platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It has also been played at least one billion times through the music streaming service Spotify.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was an immediate and widespread critical success, and was named the best album of 2010 in many publications’ year-end lists, including the annual Pazz & Jop poll of American critics nationwide. The album also won Best Rap Album at the 2012 Grammy Awards but was not nominated for Album of the Year, which was viewed as a “snub” by several media outlets. The album’s hit single “All of the Lights” won Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Widely considered West’s best album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has ranked in several professionally curated lists as the best album of the 2010s and among the greatest of all time according to NME and Rolling Stone. George Condo’s accompanying artwork – illustrating West being straddled by an armless winged female (resembling a mythological figure) – has been ranked among the greatest album covers.

Source: Wikipedia

Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license

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