Can we get much higher?


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One of the most brass, influential, and vibrant figures of our lifetime, released his most ambitious and career-defining, fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, (MBDTF) seven years ago today. This highly acclaimed, 13 track masterpiece, epitomized Kanye West’s return to stardom, following his impromptu stage crash, at the 2009 Video Music Awards (VMA). Most of the recording took place in a Hawaii studio, where West exiled himself and invited a number of artists to record for the album. Guest appearances included Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, John Legend and more. West admitted to writing every verse down on this album, something he did not do on his first four albums. He felt his life and career were dependent on the success of this album.

The Fantasy Timeline

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The world’s first introduction to the album was its lead single, Power. West launched GOOD Fridays, a weekly free music giveaway, to support the release of MBDTF. GOOD Fridays lasted for 15 weeks.

Yeezy’s debuted the album’s second single with a stunning performance to close the 2010 VMAs, something he is renowned for in the award show’s history. The 21- time Grammy award winner, was styled in his Fantasy signature, Phillip Lim red suit, surrounded by ballerinas, when he performed ‘Runaway’, with now GOOD Music Label President, Pusha T. The song was what he called “a toast ode to the docuhebags.”

 

Let’s not forget the 35-minute short-film of the same name featuring fashion model, Selita Ebanks.

 One month before the album’s release, the College Dropout rapper, revealed the cover art on twitter, only to have it banned in certain stores because of its provocative output.

“Banned in the USA!!!” West exclaimed. “They don’t want me chilling on the couch with my phoenix. In the 70s, album covers had actual nudity. It’s so funny that people forget that. Everything has been so commercialized now.”

As a result, the album was packaged with five different covers, all paintings done by visual artist, George Condo.

The Release

On November 22, 2010, Kanye West presented his beautiful dark twisted fantasy to the world. The album’s biggest hit, ‘All of the Light’ earned West a triple- platinum plaque and two Grammy Awards at the 54th Grammy Awards. Many were critical of the album’s exclusion on the album of the year category, calling it a snub. He lead the nominees with seven at the 2012 Grammys, after the release of Watch the Throne in August of 2011.

The Legacy

This chef-d’oeuvre is West’s third studio album to land in Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all-time. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy epitomized the Kanye everyone has grown to know. Whether one loves him or hate him, one can never deny his unequivocal consistency to challenge the mundaneness of society with his art. This attribute puts him in a category where he stands alone, at the peak on the Mount Rushmore of Kanyes; although it is debatable as to which Kanye holds that title. He would think so. Happy anniversary to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; simply an enigmatic classic.