My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the fifth studio album by Grammy-winning producer, writer and performer Kanye West, released November 22, 2010 on Roc-A-Fella Records.
Kanye West’s new album is a complete departure from his most recent work, especially the auto-tuned singing on “808s & Heartbreak“. West handles a lot of the production duties, but outside production work is also contributed by Jeff Bhasker, RZA, Ken Lewis, No I.D., and Mike Dean, among others.
“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” includes Nikki Minaj, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on the smash street single “Monster” and Pusha T on “Runaway” which received the Best New Music stamp from Pitchfork. Other guests include Kid Cudi and Raekwon and contributing producers include RZA of Wu-Tang Clan, Pete Rock, and Q-Tip. The album was recorded in Honolulu, Hawaii and at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
Upon its release, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy received universal acclaim from music critics, earning praise for its varied musical style, opulent production quality, and West’s dichotomic lyrical themes.
This is one of the most anticipated CDs in a long time, and it did not disappoint. Kanye is at his best when either criticizing or praising himself. The production on this album is top notch & musically Kanye has top himself. Instead of sticking to the same formula, he’s take rap/hip hop to a different direction & a new level. We highly recommended this album to fans of Hip hop and even those not so much a fan of the rap game.
Ten, twenty years from now. People will look back at this album and thank Kanye for making such a masterpiece. Toast for the douchebags!
The artwork (a portrait by George Condo) shows West being straddled by an armless winged female (a phoenix). Both characters are depicted nude. The artwork follows along the apparent theme of the album, as well as West’s music film “Runaway”.
The album was released in CD and Deluxe CD edition (with the “Runaway” short film as a bonus disc), with appearances by Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, and Nicki Minaj, who also released her debut album “Pink Friday” on the same day.
The first single “Power” was officially released on July 1 on iTunes. It features Dwele and is co-produced by Kanye West and S1. The official remix features Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz.
“Runaway”, the second single, was officially released to the iTunes Store on October 4, 2010. Kanye West’s 35 minute movie for his “Runaway” single was released on October 23. It featured all the tracks from the album, except “Monster” and “So Appalled”.
On October 23, 2010 , “Monster” was released as the third single. The song was originally released on August 27, 2010 as part of West’s music program “GOOD Friday”. The song was performed at Jay-Z’s and Eminem’s “Home and Home” concert on September 14, 2010 along with Nicki Minaj.
The fourth single from the album will be “All of the Lights“.
Fully five of the 11 songs were part of Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Fridays scheme, another three leaked months ahead of the album’s release, and “Dark Fantasy” was included in Kanye’s recent short film. But does it matter? Maybe Kanye’s done the impossible and crafted an album so good that we’ll pay for it even when he gives it away for free.
In short, the album is brilliant. The rhymes are clever, the music is rich, the emotions are raw and the themes are dark. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy will be an interesting experiment in an age of dwindling album sales ostensibly due to piracy. If Kanye can move 800,000 units in his first week despite having given the album away, the power of good music will be proven and artists will have no one to blame but themselves.
Released November 22, 2010
Recorded 2008–2010m (Diamond Head, Hawaii)
Genre Hip hop
Label Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
Producers Kanye West (also exec.), Jay-Z (also exec.), L.A. Reid (also exec.), Kyambo Joshua (also exec.), Gee Robertson (also exec.), Bink, DJ Frank E, Emile, Jeff Bhasker, Lex Luger, Mike Caren, Mike Dean, No I.D., RZA, S1