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Let's discuss the first track "Dark Fantasy" on the new Kanye album.
It really sets the stage for the entire album, an intro of spoken word by Nicki Minaj in her comical british voice done in a fairy tale mock up. This is quickly followed up by a choir backed by strings and a piano, singing accompanied by a sample from Mike Oldfield's "In High Places".
This really sets the bar right here, we're being told by Kanye that what we're about to hear is on another level, framed by the question "Can we get much higher?"
This goes on for half a minute before the song breaks into the main beat. The production on this song was handled by Kanye West, RZA and No I.D.
Right away, RZA's influence on this beat is noticeable. Those familiar with his lifetime work will notice his signature sparse, very stripped down sound. Beyond the sped up sample of "In High Places" in the background backed by strings and a hard bass, there isn't much to the beat itself. The flow of the song is great though, and the way it crescendos from beat to chorus (which is the choir singing just backed up by the piano) is done masterfully. RZA's influence I think is a great thing here, it helps focus Kanye's sound, which sometimes can sound over produced, and put a greater emphasis on the star himself and his voice/lyrics.
The lyrics themselves are on point, Kanye West's usual arrogance comes through;
"You ain't got no f------ Yeezy in your Serato? Stupid...But what the hell do I know, I'm just a Chi-Town n---- with a Nas flow"
Comparing himself to one of the greatest rappers of all time, along with calling out DJ's for not carrying his tracks in one line? Yeah arrogance is here, and it's to stay. It makes for great personality, and personally this is my favourite line of the song.
His signature humour is here too
"Too many urkels on your team/that's why your wins' low"
We also get the deeper side of Kanye, the more philosophical side of him.
"Hey teacher teacher tell me how do you respond to students/And refresh the page/and restart the memory/respark the soul and rebuild the energy/we stopped the ignorance, we killed the enemy/sorry for the nights, but demons still visit me/the plan was, to drink until the pain over/but what's worse? the pain or the hangover?"
As the song wraps up, we have Kanye's messianic complex on display through the bridge, which displays a cryptic almost prophetic grouping of lines, repeated by Bon Iver, and just as you think the song ends, the piano keys hit again, followed by the choir, as if to remind you that what you're about to experience is something special, and with that the grandiose entrance ends. You have now entered Kanye's Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Edited by Awyer on 11/30/2010 11:58 AM PST
I refuse to listen to Kanye West's music. to me he's just an uppity rapper that's famous cause he told off the (at the time) President of the United States on national TV.
Kanye West was famous before that....and you're really doing yourself a disservice by not listening to his music. It's amazing.
To say he's just famous for telling Bush off probably means you don't know much about him and what it took to get here. Who here knows that back in 03, he was in a near fatal car accident, which permanently disfigured his face (notice his puffy cheeks, especially lower down near his mouth). He rapped "Through the Wire" with his mouth wired shut, and that was the song that first made him really big in the hip-hop community.
Also, this is the Kanye I know, and the Kanye I've come to love, respect and admire;
Him rapping with his mother back in 03 when he was just putting together his first album.
Crummy apartment but then again he did say
"But I ain't even gonna act holier-than-thou/cuz I went to Jacob with 25 thou/before I had a house and I'd do it again"
Jacob being Jacob the Jeweler for the uninformed.
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