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Old 12-10-2010, 04:56 AM   #168
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Default Re: Hip-Hop music thread



Dark Fantasy: The album begins with Nicki Minaj setting the tone in a British accent. The premise being that the listener is about to be launched into the world of Kanye West's fantasy. After the introduction, the chorus "Can we get much higher?" is sung. Then comes the banging beat and Kanye's introduction "I used to fantasize about this back in Chicago". This songs goes from setting a eerie tone to a hard core rap song. The mix goes together very well. The best is one of the best in the album. Lyrics introduce the confident West and the tone of the album. One of the strongest songs on the album 10/10

Gorgeous: Accompanied with a sing song smooth beat and a mesmerizing chorus from Kid Cudi, Kanye flies on this track. Rips off 3 beats that are all lyrically solid. Interesting choice to make his voice sound a little muffled as if coming from a speaker. I didn't like that at 1st but it has grown on me. Raekwon spits the last verse and usually I am not a fan of Raekwon(ever since he sagged the song Royal Flush in the middle, maybe it was because he was sandwiched between two incredible verse from Big Boi and Andre 3000). Another rapper could have been a better choice than Raekwon, but he is serviceable. Plus Kanye drops the famous "It's like that y'all" line, which I have still yet to trace to the origin. 9.5/10

Power: Powerful song that grabs the listener from the very beginning with the vocals of something like an opera in the background added to a rhythmic clapping. Creating a truly memorable beat. Kanye drops several memorable lines beginning with "Im living im the 21st century, doing something mean to it". Kanye has made several references to his desire to be the voice of the generation and the greatest artist ever regardless of genre. This song defines the boisterous brashness of that aim. The song turns dark in the end when Kanye talks about a beautiful death and the "power to let power go". It is an odd change in tone but goes back to the several references to, "No one man should have all that power". The song really hits its stride at the beginnign of the 3rd verse, when one of the beat lines is dropped(I love when tracks do this). Kanye flows beautifully at that moment. The somewhat abrupt mood change takes a bit away from the song. 9/10

All of the Lights(Interlude): Not really a song, just some piano and a mood change

All of the Lights: The album takes a step away from the boldness of the 1st three songs. This is the most pop sounding one of the entire album. Rihanna spews her pop sounding lyrics, Kanye delivers nothing memorable in this song. Then there is the odd segment where the beat completely changes and Rihanna starts to semi-rap. Pretty poor song overall 3/10

Monster: Before I picked up the album I heard the most about this track. People raved about it. It has an all-star line-up and a time of 7 minutes. The beat does not grab you nor is it very memorable for a song with the amount of the star power. Kanye's hook is catchy and mixes with the beat well. His verse starts strong but gets weaker as it goes, the strongest verses start strong and end strong. There are overall too many moments in the song where the flow just stops. The beat handcuffs Kanye from reaching his full stride. Jay-Z's verse is a dreadful mess. Never flows, never gets out of the box. Begins weak with a random naming of mythical monsters(no rhyme) and never recovers. Jay Z was obviously uncomfortable in this song. Nicki Minaj finishes off the song strongly. Her verse is decent in length and she covers up the beats' shortcomings with a change in tone. I don't listen to her much but in this track she creates a very Slick Rick like vibe, not sure if that's intended or not. Overall not the song I expected but it is ok 6/10

So Appalled: A version of Monster, but with a more bleak tone. The idea of this song is "Fuckin ridiculous" as each featured rapper states a couple times with their own dialect. This song has strong lyrics from some lesser known rappers like Prynce Cy Hi. The poor man's version of Monster but technically better than monster. It is more of a pure rap song. The tone is different because of the beat but the idea is the same. The beat is slow toned and does not allow any of the rappers to stand out. It may have been better if one of the rappers was allowed to flex their speed, may have spiced up the song a bit. 7/10

Devil in a Dress: One of my favorites of the album. It will not get popular praise or accolades but it is a personal favorite of mine. The beat is a bit of a throwback. It sounds like something Kanye would have come up with in the early part of the 2000s. Reminds me of "All I got is you" by Ghostface Killer which is a classic song. The song is an important mood change. It shifts the album from self-centered to love-centered. The song creates a bittersweet feel and creates the idea of a lover who is untouchable. Kanye describes a lover who is above himself. Devil in a new dress refers to his lover turning from a sweet girl to a "devil", selfish and vile. Kanye makes some good play on words. There is a long pause before Rick Ross takes over and delivers one of his better verses. 10/10

Runaway:This song is the cornerstone of the album. It was the most advertised and the most popular. It is a lengthy 9:08 beginning with the simple sound of the piano. The beat comes in after about 40 seconds. The beat is amazing and mesmerizing. Creates a dark and eerie tone. Kanye begins the vocals with the heartfelt hook "and I always find ya, I always find something wrong". The song is a self-criticism, doing a complete 360 from the boisterous confident man that we were introduced to in the 1st 3 songs. In a heartfelt message Kanye tells his love to runaway from him. The beat and the hook are powerful. The first line of the first verse is a little weaker and the "toast to the douchebags" part is a little corny but the wackiness is lost in the beat. Kanye does a decent job singing and adds to the song. Pusha T delivers a mediocre verse that fits but is ultimately forgotten. It would be better without him because it takes the focus off of Kanye, who is supposed to be the main focus of the song, its all about Kanye and his self-criticism. The song ends with 2 minutes of pure auto-tune which is odd. I am not sure what it means, I guess that it is about his identity being lost and the autotune covers up his voice. Not a song that the listener forgets 9/10

Hell of a Life: A weird change from Runaway to this song. It reverts the album back to a confident tone. The beat is interesting because it gives the impression that Kanye is losing his mind after the Runaway episode. The beat is the only good thing about the track though, the lyrics are silly and do not flow at all. The song does not fit in the mold of the album, it makes even less sense when you consider the songs upcoming. The "Fuck with the lights on" line said with the drop is the most revolting part of the album. It sounds like the listener is thrown into a Plies/Gucci Mane album for a second. 2/10

Blame Game: John Legend shines on this track and Kanye provides song nice lines. The tone of the song is sad and is about two lovers blaming each other for the dissolving of their relationship. Discusses the hardships of relationships, a complete change from the last song. Kanye produces an angry tone throughout, angry at the love that had abandoned him. He reminisces and wonders what happened. Kanye cannot shake his obsession with sexual imagery, he cites his "dick game" as the main reason that she should not leave him. Legend's hook continues to set the feeling of the song. The last 2:30 of the song is dedicated to a Chris Rock skit. Rock delivers some devilishly funny lines like "I never been in this part of pussytown before". The discussion is so absurd that it works. The beat does not go away. While Rock rambles about "re-upholstering the pussy" and the woman continues to say "Yeezy taught me" the beat continues and it is implied that Kanye is listening to this conversation. And even though Rock is spewing absurd lines you do not forget the overall tone and in an odd way the skit at the end is sad as well as funny. 8/10

Lost in the World: This song takes several listens to grow on the listener. Maybe it is because it plays during the most powerful part of the long music video, but this song is pleasant listen. It begins with an autotuned voice singing on its own. The fast paced beat comes in swiftly. Kanye's lone verse in short but contains sick flow while stating several paradoxes that describe his love for the love of his life. Not a whole lot of substance but this song is amazing if you watch the music video for the album. This songs plays as Kanye runs after the phoenix that he loves(you gotta watch it). 9/10

Who Will Survive in America: A clunky, weird and absurd end to the album. The beat continues from the previous song and an unnamed voice discussed America(not even the theme of the album, random). He mentions several metaphors that describe America as a bastard and freedom as a rapist. More sexual imagery that is barely believable and a serious stretch(I mean the bubbling, bubbling in the mother country's crotch? cmon now). Very weak end to the album. Have no idea how this song made the cut. 0/10

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Overall the album is an ambitions endeavor that succeeds. The ending song nearly ruins it, but if you can get past that and remember the good it is a solid album. One thing about Kanye is that he is not afraid to try new things. It is a different album and a strong addition to the hip-hop world. Kanye is making hip-hop more artistic. One comment I saw made an interesting observation, "Tupac made hip-hop controversial, Biggie made it poetry, Jay Z made it a lifestyle, Eminem made it diverse and mainstream and Kanye is now making it art".

Top 5 lines of the album:

1.
Quote:
"Is hip hop just a euphemism for a new religion, the soul music of the slaves that the youth is mising?" 2:04 into Gorgeous
2.
Quote:
"They say I was the abomination of Obama's nation, well that's a pretty bad way to start a conversation" 2:47 into Power
3.
Quote:
"If we die in each other arms we'll get laid in the afterlife" 2:13 into Lost in the World
4.
Quote:
"Your my stress and your my masseuse" 2:03 into Lost in the World
5.
Quote:
"Too many Urkles on your team that's why you're Winslow" 2:31 into Dark Fantasy
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