#10: 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' by Kanye West
Kanye jumped from crazy to disgusting to egotistical to genius in a matter of months in 2010, releasing a ridiculously anticipated fourth record with the correct amount of bombast at the tail end of November. 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' is a record full of superb samples, spot-on guest spots, heavyweight hooks and a whole host of lyrical rumination, telling the tale of Kanye and his Beautiful Dark Twisted mind...
Nicki Minaj kicks off 'Dark Fantasy' with a British accent introduction before Kanye's (possible) magnum opus kicks into gear. Nicki makes a monstrous turn on 'Monster' later in the record, almost upstaging Kanye in the process. But Mr West's ego charges his way through the heart of the record, even with a number of guests making their voices, beats and presence known, balancing themselves precariously within an album teetering dangerously close to the brink of implosion.
A 35 minute video, 'Runaway', cemented Kanye as the man of the musical moment, taking hip-hop into artistic territory with the addition of ballet and cinematography. And said track, 'Runaway', turns a simple piano plink into a weaving, diving epic 9 minute musing on fame, ego and the self. 'Blame Game' features the silken-voiced John Legend and a riffing Chris Rock take on the end of a relationship, and Kanye manages to turn Bon Iver into masterfully headbopping hip-hop on 'Lost in the Woods'. Poet and spoken word artist extraordinaire Gil Scott-Heron finishes the main bulk of the record, turning Kanye from an egotistical monster into the peerless and paramount producer and artist of 2010.