The most hated yet beloved rapper-singer-producer Kanye West is back with a powerful mix of hip-hop and pop. His fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, combines rap beats with contemporary melodies in his inimitable boastful style.
The thirteen track album starts off with a choir and the heavily British accented voice of Young Money’s own Nicki Minaj, which is the first time in history that Kanye has worked with a female rapper. That first track “Dark Fantasy” is produced by The Rza of the legendary hip-hop group The Wu-Tang Clan, which adds edge to an otherwise tame album.
Another outstanding piece on the album is the star-studded “All Of The Lights.” Almost a modern day “We Are The World,” the track features vocals from artists including Rihanna, Alicia Keys, The Dream, Fergie, Ryan Leslie, Drake, and even Elton John. This song, planned as a third single, has everything it takes to top the charts — except its own video.
The album is a bold statement for not just hip-hop but music as a whole. What other artist has the guts to feature Rick Ross right after a stadium-rock guitar solo? What other artist has “rap” songs lasting over five minutes? It’s almost as if Kanye is mocking the critics with this album, freeing himself from the unwritten rules of modern music.