Doc Zeus will have you know he did not change.
Since I’ve only treated the Hipster Conspiracy To Ruin Music with nothing but the burning contempt that they so clearly deserve, Kanye’s ostensible 10.0 strikes me as mostly meaningless. A quick gander at the list of albums, Pitchfork have decided to come off the mountain top and bless with 10.0’s and you’ll find a veritable who’s who of album’s that don’t matter in any discernible manner (Radiohead and Wilco excepted) beyond a small subset of music fans that are trying to poison us all anyway. Since I’m sure the reasons for including “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” into the Pantheon are likely specious and shallow (I’m guessing it’s the cover art), I can’t imagine wasting any energy arguing whether or not the rating is legit.
Cleaning up the floor after spitting my most venomous bile on it (you happy now, Jeff?), I still find the record to be uniformly excellent. Although, I’m willing to admit that a large portion of what you will take out of this record might depend on who you are and who aspire to be as a person. In a way, I think this album serves as a Hip Hop Rorschach test for the direction that rap music is progressing towards. I imagine if one finds Kanye’s narcissistic navel-gazing to the be the Albert Pujols of hip hop’s cardinal sins than clearly this record is going to offer little to the soul.
However, I relate to Kanye’s slow dark path to his inevitable self-destruction more than most people will ever allow themselves too. While I found Kanye’s need to officiate award shows patently ridiculous along with the rest of the world, I understand the basic impulse to reduce these monuments to human vapidity to the basic sham that they are. It’s always been one of my highest aspirations to win an Oscar strictly so I could go on to stage and repeatedly thank ONLY myself for my obvious genius in my acceptance speech. I mean I have enough sense (or more accurately, I have enough sense and basic human deceny to not ruin a seventeen year old girl’s moment in the sun but I get why somebody like Kanye would feel the need to do it. Truly, I get it. That’s why “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” speaks to me. It speaks for the person who has no choice to live in the clouds because it seems like the more logical choice than living on Earth.