The Soundtrack of My Life

the music that keeps me going…

Yeezy Taught Me! A continuation…

on November 15, 2010

A previous post titled “Big Brother vs. Little Brother” addressed Kanye’s rise so far up to his 5th album release and compared his freshman-senior year studio albums with the one and only Young Hov. if you missed that post click here.  Now that the 5th album has leaked, my homie @milesfan79 is back to sum up his thoughts about Mr. West. Consider this an album review as well. I’ll chime in as I see necessary…


Where do I begin?? I’m still in sort of awe of the album after listening to it for the last week (yea I’ve had it a week lol).  Three months ago I left you’ll with the question:

So who would you say had/has better career when comparing the two?   Can we expect Kanye’s new album to be the next Blueprint?

I will answer those questions later.

So lets explore My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy shall we. From a production stand point MBDTF is damn near flawless.  The sample selections are creative and soulful; and his incorporation of live instrumentals was perfect.  The best thing about this album is Kanye focused on “Quality and not Quantity”. I was a lil skeptical when I say the tracklist and saw it was only 11 tracks (plus 2 interludes), but that just comes from habit of artist giving us quantity instead of quality lately.  Its kind of sad we now expect a cd to have 16+ tracks and frown/complain when we see cd’s with 10 or 11 tracks.  We are so used to it, that we all forget some of the GREATEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME had 10 or less tracks: Thriller had 9 tracks and Illmatic had 10 tracks.  These days 97% of albums not have 15 or more tracks, with most of the songs being “fillers” to satisfy our desire for “quantity over quality”.  Kanye was able to restore my belief in “quality over quantity” in the hip-hop game and at no point did I want to skip a track, I can listen to the cd begin to end with no skips.

I also like the fact that he did not rush songs, most time we hear songs and they cut off 10 seconds after the last verse.  Kanye chose to “let it ride” on most of the tracks, I commend him for having foresight to not cut songs short.  Most times when you hear a 7-minute song you can’t wait for it to over but Kanye was able to keep me wanting more even after 5 or 6 minutes (pause if necessary lol)

His feature selection and usage was very well thought out and impressive; lately a lot of artists have feature heavy projects, so feature heavy you sometimes stop and ask yourself “who’s album is this again?”  There were 12 artist featured on this album but you could barely tell, at no point did I not forget it was Kanye album.  Kanye allowed the featured artist to compliment the songs rather than carry them for him.

Another impressive thing about this album is the fact that its taps into your emotions with out you knowing (No its not a “emo” album a la 808 & heartbreaks).  Being a psych major I look at it from a psych/emotional perspective and most song resonates with different emotion/feeling (stay with me I’ll explain) that we all experience and can relate to.  The most explicit example was with “Blame Game”, Kanye was able capture the essences and emotions of any past relationship in 7 minutes and 50 seconds with out making you getting too sad or too mad.

Not to spoil it for those that have not heard it, but picture a previous relationship and all the good and bad emotions you experience when thinking about that relationship: meeting them, digging them, loving them, lusting them, loving them more, arguments, suspected cheating/foul play, being on the verge of break up but still fighting to try to make it work, its ultimate demise/breakup and finally moving on. Well “blame game” explores and taps all those emotions in 7minutes and 50 seconds and you enjoy every second of it with an added bonus at the end lol. The other songs can resonate with certain feelings/emotions:

Hell of a life=debauchery/lust/recklessness

Devil in a new dress=infatuation

Power=power/invincibility/triumph

The only negative thing (but not really) I can say that sort of took away from the album was the fact some of the songs were released early as “GOOD Friday” tracks and all the songs were heard in the “Runaway” video.  But that not really a negative, b/c good music is good music regardless of its timing.  I think we all still want that “shock and awe” factor that we used to get from albums back in the day, but technology (internet leaks, hip-hop blogs, etc) does not allow for those surprises “wow” moments we used to get anymore.

Overall I give MBDTF a solid A+, it is damn near flawless, very smart production, has lots of replay value and there is nothing else like it at the moment.

Reecie’s Note: I agree with this grade. well maybe just an A. I am not sure about the plus. What can I say I’m a pretty hard grader. lol

**Will this be this generation’s “Blueprint”??**

That is a difficult question answer at the moment, b/c we can look back at status of Blueprint over the last 9 years, whereas we are just the beginning of MBDTF.

However, for sake of argument/debate, I’ll say: yes and no and maybe.

I say Yes b/c I believe this album will be Kanye’s blueprint, the album that ultimately secures his status in the hip-hop game.  Like I touched on in previous debate Blueprint secured Jay-Z in the game, as this will do for Kanye.  Think of events (his mother’s death, previous “disappointing” album, Taylor Swift debaucle) leading up to this album that had us all questioning, “Does Kanye still have it??” “what can is he going do next?” So not only did he prove he still has it, he proves he is the best at it.

I say No, b/c Blueprint laid a blueprint (pun intended) for artists to follow/model themselves after, MBTDF is so new/refreshing to the game that it possibly could not be used as model for other artist.  I don’t think anyone in the game right now has the ability to recreate the formula without being so obvious.  So MBDTF is not the hip-hop game’s blueprint, if anything I think it will be hip-hop’s “Thriller” bc the fact that it has opens new boundaries that not just anyone can explore and it will make artist think more outside the box for direction but not on same exact path as MBDTF.

It maybe this generation’s BP for the fact that it will possibly be the most referenced album for the next decade.  In the 2000s when debating/talking/comparing hip-hop BP was referenced in 99.9% of the time.  Like BP I think for 2010 and beyond when having those same debates MBDTF may be be brought up as well.

Is MBDTF better than BP??

Yes and no

When judging the two with a hip-hop microscope/on hip-hop scale, BP beats out MBDTF but not by much.  Also BP has sentimental value in the hip-hop game for the fact of the timing of its release on 9/11.  This album help the hip-hop game and the nation get thru a gloomy uncertain and confusing time.  WE were all dealing with the 9/11 tragedy but Blueprint provided an escape from the daily images of 9/11 and for that fact alone I feel MBDTF is not better.

However when judging on an overall musical scale without the hip-hop label, yes it is better than and trumps BP musically.  No matter how you look at it BP is strictly a hip-hop album.  MBDTF is not just a hip-hop album, it is an album with hip-hop elements.  I would not put MBDTF in the hip-hop box alone; its so different it can’t just be labeled as a hip-hop in my opinion.  If I were riding in the car in my 80-year-old grandmother I would definitely not put in BP, however I would put MBDTF without thinking twice (with exception of 1 song, “hell of a life” lol)

Reecie’s Note: I wouldn’t play the Chris Rock skit on Blame Game around my grandmother either, just saying. lol I totally agree with this album being beyond hip hop. It is pretty musically masterful.

So overall Kanye is following the steps of his big brother Jay-z, they are comparable to Jordan and Kobe.  Jordan/Jay-Z will always be the greatest but Kobe/Kanye is just as great but just in different way and in a different generation.

What do you all think? is MBDTF the better album? is BP? are they totally incomparable that its not even necessary to dissect/compare? great on different levels? Let us know in the comments.


29 responses to “Yeezy Taught Me! A continuation…

  1. Reecie says:

    *edited for clarity*
    well I’ll comment on my own blog since I didn’t write this post. at this moment, I think MBDTF might be better than BP, for the fact that it transcends hip hop and is just great music period. I absolutely love BP and feel thats where Jay-Z really turned a corner in his career, but lets face it, Jay and Ye are two different types of artists. Ye is an all around artist: he’s into fashion, painting/drawing and you can tell he lives and breathes his creativity. his music reflects that–either for himself or when producing others. Jay is a rapper/business man that has managed world domination and remain somewhat likeable in the process. Two different paths, but I see Jay on the decline where Kanye really has nowhere to go but up, as long as his personality flaws don’t ruin it.

  2. LaBakir says:

    Good post…I’ll have to wait until I hear the entire album before posting a “real” comment

  3. (1) The deluxe edition, the actual legal version of the ablum has 18 tracks.
    (2) I really wish you would have waited until the album came out to post this. Reason being, free music is cool to preview, but not promote. I think about it this way, if one of you nigras purchase my book electronically and then gave it away, how would I feel. Pissed off.
    (3) Give the album some time, I think we’re a little hype right now because it’s all brand new stuff. BP is one of the greatest albums of all time because you could put it in today and still enjoy it. This album is far from perfect though. Speaking hip hop you gotta think about Ready To Die, All Eyez on Me, Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, The Score, The Blueprint, Tha Carter II, etc. There are just some hip hop/rap albums that this album can’t hold a flame to, or we won’t know that it can until time takes its course. Everybody lost their ish when they heard Late Registration, and now they’re ready to call this better than that?

    Need I remind you that Addiction is probably Kanye’s best song ever?

    I love this album, Kanye is my second favorite rapper of all time. But I still don’t think it speaks to people more than Late Registration. It represents his return to hip hop. It’s like Richard Pryor’s Here and Now, but That N*gger’s Crazy will always be his best album.

    Oh, and don’t sleep Kanye is a smart inidividual, his features are very Madonna’esque as they always have been. Ever notice Madonna only has men as dancers? It’s because she doesn’t want anyone seeing another woman and thinking they look better than her. Kanye ain’t never putting Weezy back on his album, or Eminem, or a hot 16 from Jay. Real talk, those Jay verses are some of the worst Jay i’ve ever heard in my life.

    And to prove this point, Nicki Minaj has the hardest verse on that album. You can tell cats sat in the studio like, “Wait that’s 16… aw go head just finish, we gonna cut Ross verse out.”

  4. JDot1911 says:

    I guess Im indifferent. This album highly disappointed me. I guess because half the album was released via GOOD Fridays, and the other songs were just “meh”. What I can understand is how do you leave “Lord, Lord, Lord”, “Take one for the Team”, and “The Joy” off the album….but you include “Lost in the World”, and “Who will survive in America”?? Hell, I even like the Runaway Love Remix #dontjudgeme.

  5. Reecie says:

    a few things: I am not promoting anyone to not purchase the album. and I will NOT put a link to his album for free on my blog. If people have it already fine, if not they can come back and comment after next week. its only 6 days away.

    second, I do what I want. I emphasized that its “leaked” so of course that suggests the actual album may vary. I agree that its probably hype of it being new, which is why I can’t say it’ll be my favorite album by Ye at all. I still think its great though.

    and third. Late Registration is my FAVORITE Kanye album as well, and I didn’t say MBDTF was better than it. I don’t think the author did either but thats how we roll. we listen to new music early.

  6. JDot1911 says:

    I meant, “Can’t understand”. lol

  7. Reecie, stop fronting. Those are excuses and clarification points. My comment addressed your post directly. (1) Of course, you’re not promoting that anyone purchase the album, you already told them it leaked. (2) Leaked doesn’t mean the acutal album may vary. In fact, it’s very rare that it differs, so a leak is a leak. (3) The author was heralding this album as the next BP, that’s just facts, even said it was better than BP.

    Le sigh. I didn’t mean to rile you up, cause i’m not arguing with you. I’m just stating my side on this topic. My review comes out on the 22nd.

  8. Reecie says:

    I don’t make excuses and neither do the people I support and allow to write on my site #spring01shit
    😛

    and actually leaks vary all the time, some end up not being legit at all. buuuuut, I researched the track listing and I know the version EYE have is accurate, with 13 tracks. We’ll have to wait and see about the deluxe version.

    did you read the original post? because this is “a continuation” thats the only reason BP is even on the table, you know being the 5th album comparison and all…

  9. @milesfan says:

    For the record if you google the album titles there are atleast 5-10 official review by music publication the most prominent being Rolling Stone magazine!!! So this review is not premature, a spoiler or promoting not buying the cd.

    The label sent out the whole cd to mags last week to be reviewed that’s how it leaked. Kanye himself via twitter has tweeted links to 3 of the reviews!!! So plz don’t bark at my “Lil Reecie”. This was written by myself and I asked if she could post it. So if you want to bark at anyone for reviewing it early plz bark at Rolling Stone and my self.

  10. @milesfan79 says:

    @well respected

    Ill adress your points since I am
    wrote the article

    1) I am not supporting the leak and unless you leave under a rock and don’t get on the internet there is no way you wouldn’t have known the album leaked. People on FB and twitter have been talkin abt it all week!!! Seeing how you are on this blog I see
    you have internet access but I seriously doubt anyone reading this article is finding out for the first time that the album just leaked! Even if so there are no links posted to d/l it.

    2)If you read the article you will see I only compared MBDTF to the BP in order to answer my previous question. Please read the wording, I said that its diffucult to say at this time but for debate sake I said yes, no and maybe. That is not definite “yes MBDTF is absolutly better that BP” please re-read! And no other hiphop albums were ever discussed in the article, so
    I don’t see how you thru other hiphop classic in your comment when I did not address them. Or any other kanye albums for that matter. I never said this was kanye’s greatest album of all time.

    3)Kanye himself as tweeted via his twitter account links to 2 well respected music outlets that have published reviews so this is far from the 1st review on the internet. Rolling Stone published the first review last week for the record maybe you should have a word with them and kanye since he supported it

  11. Reecie says:

    @ JDot, maybe the songs you mentioned will be bonus tracks. I don’t think I’ve heard the ones you named. I’ll have to check them out. the only GOOD Friday song I actually really paid attention to was “Looking for Trouble” honestly. I love that track. I didn’t like “Lord Lord Lord” because I don’t like Charlie Wilson. lol

  12. @milesfan79 says:

    Thes bonus track are goin to be:
    Power remix
    Chain too heavy
    Momma boyfriend

    So we have heard all of these songs, well if don’t read hiphop blogs you have never heard Momma Boyfriend, Ye preformed it a few months ago

  13. JDot1911 says:

    Damn, I love that damn song. Mos Def comes on that joint killing it.

    Yeah, go to his website he has all the GOOD Friday joints up. Jay is on The Joy going off too.

  14. I love Kanye, and I loved the album. Is it better than BP? I agree that its a little too premature to say that. We’ll have to wait at least a year before we can say it is definitively greater than BP. And even though I already have it, I have every intention of buying it.

  15. JDot1911 says:

    Damn, now I have to fight through these songs until Watch the Throne drops…which will probably be 2012

  16. Streetz says:

    Ok I will say this

    1) You cannot penalize an artist in this era for leaking tracks. if thats the case you’ll never get a true “classic” in the internet/hip hop blog era. Its the way the business is. Hell, BP was HEAVILY bootlegged in new york before 9/11!

    2) This album is deeper than rap. Bigger than genres. its like a audible art. Its like listening to the philharmonic, Duke Ellington, Cold Crush, and Bon Jovi at once. Ye wants to make hip hop a true music genre and platform and treats the music like a sophisticated artform, instead of the bastardized art that some take rap/hip hop to be.

    3) Ye lyrically has come a LONG way! His wordplay and poignant lyrics are getting better by the album. He murders it on gorgeous and another record i can’t think of right now, but the boy done stepped up

    4) Unlike Teflon Don, the features dont outshine the album itself. they are all complimentary. Dr Jay is wildin. Jays verse on so appaled and monster were top notch. “Dark Knight feeling, die and be a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a villian” Heath Ledger #DoubleEntendre. All of the lights, with 11+ features is beautiful and far from the clusterfuck I thought it would be!Elton John? Wow…

    5) I wasn’t all gushing over Late Registration like others. THought it was dope though. I will say that with this composition of songs, great music is great music whether you heard it 2 months ago or yesterday. This compilation will be considered a classic! Production wise, he’s hit that next level that the mythical Detox was suppose to do, but won’t because the Iotas will hit Centennial before it drops. I think this album is his best work overall and even if some call it second to LR, within itself it is a CLASSIC

    6) time will tell on BP vs MBDTF. I will say that Ye produced a lot on BP and his growth as a producer is seen throughout both albums. Kinda crazy

    7) ye is the best hip hop artist of this generation (2000-now)bar NONE (unless you want to be technical and include Em, then we ca have the lyricist vs hip hop artist vs rapper debate)

  17. Reecie says:

    @Streetz you touched on so many things!

    Teflon Don is EXACTLY what I thought of when I read G’s comment regarding a lot of features. That too was very melodic and “like a movie”. The fact that Kanye actually MADE a movie/long video to chronicle his songs/thought process/vision makes it that more masterful and shows his genius. I promise I’m not felating, but I dig his creativity.

    Also, the mention of Detox. GREAT point as well, especially since Dre is a producer and artist, like Kanye.

    I think being that our generation have seen music progress from 45s to mp3s its hard to process the musical experience. I know I personally am conflicted. I still go to the store and buy CDs for lots of artists–while many are strictly downloads only. how I approach each project depends on how I personally feel about the artist. you made a good point about BP being bootlegged in NYC. I was never really a hard copy bootleg kinda person (I still don’t like bootleg movies) so I didn’t consider that.

    I appreciate all the feedback given thus far! as more people check out the CD I am curious how they will feel about it. and of course only time will tell, but my reaction from a few days listen I feel very strongly about MBDTF.

  18. mcarroll4716 says:

    Album gets an A+ and is Kanye’s best work since Late Registration. I think this may be better than Late Registration when I consider the quality over quantity factor you mentioned.

    I don’t think this will be Kanye’s Blueprint though. Kanye’s last 3 albums have been albums that no other artist can re-create or replicate. He’s too original and too talented and creative. Artistically dude is in a space all by himself in terms of a hip-hop/pop artist being able to test boundaries and push the genre in an entirely new direction. Even Russell Simmons agrees.

    I’m a huge Kanye and Jay fan and I feel like we are in the midst of watching one living legend at the end of his career as well as one legend-in-the-making. Shyt, this album will probably solidify Kanye’s legendary status in hip-hop if he hasn’t already via his production credits and previous albums. But I believe that Kanye doesn’t want to be a hip-hop legend anymore but a musical legend. The first hip-hop artist to transcend the genre and be bigger than any one single genre. I think dude wants to be the black John Lennon to be honest. He wants that Grammy for best album too lol. Look at how he’s meshing different sounds together on his last few albums and created an entirely different type of hip-hop/hip-pop.

    Aside from that, Kanye’s “sound” has been powering hip-hop since the Blueprint dropped. Dude’s production has helped define an entire decade of hip-hop music like Dr. Dre’s did in the 90s. The best hip-hop albums of the decade (arguably) have had Kanye’s footprint….The Blueprint and Late Registration (even though he got snubbed for the Grammy). I know people might shake their heads at those two being arguably the best two albums of the last decade but even if you don’t agree with that you have to accept that aside from Dr. Dre, Kanye is the most sought-after producer in the game at this point. And on top of that, out of his first 5 albums AT LEAST 3 could be considered classics. All his albums by the way, have been dropped in the last decade. As much as those who love street-hop don’t want to admit or accept it, Kanye is next up. Only he and Lil Wayne have the level of artistry combined with hip-hop purist’s respect to move to the level of a Jay-Z. If Yeezy can carry himself outside the booth/studio like Jay-Z he’ll easily eclipse most of Jay’s musical accomplishments (except that 11 number one albums record perhaps lol).

    Another great post by the way.

  19. Reecie says:

    ^^ great comment. thanks for stopping by. read your feedback on the other post too. good points.

  20. BP says:

    Did someone say my name?!?! I joke, I kid. I have nothing of substance to add I just wanted to stop by and say good post Reecie, I love Kanye!!!

  21. MilanRouge says:

    Love the album. I’d agree with the A/A+ score. Great review, G! I kinda think comparing MBDTF to Blueprint is like comparing apples and oranges because they are both (musically) so different but I see WHY the comparison is made. I’m a hard Jay fan but I definitely think Ye solidified his place in hip-hop greats history with this one. I’m actually quite proud of him for this here. Ye sometimes gets on my FULL nerves with some of his antics but I actually do think MOST of it comes from a place of passion and is backed with good intentions (sometimes gone wrong). I really am pulling for him to continue to grow and excel. I can always appreciate good music. Kudos!

  22. CHeeKZ Money says:

    Man. Not to sound condescending but seems like people are giving out alot of credit without fact checking the history of music.
    1)If you think there can be another Beatles EVER, you need to study the Beatles. Can’t be done again, too much competition. Too much media. No point of even bringing up their name. Their cultural impact was historic. Influence the politics that ended the cold war, Kanye on a telethon can’t see that.
    2)Kanye’s music doesn’t transcend other genres, he samples other genres. Emo music has been around since the 90s. And its been used plenty in our culture before this album. This is a good album, but it won’t shift rap b/c its that not much different from what rap has been doing for the past 3 years, just more exciting. I love on the first track how it goes from a hardcore NY beat to a melodic sample. That dichotomy in sound is amazing.
    3)I don’t see Kanye’s influence spreading beyond his normal influence. This isn’t a guy whose music has grown or spread past his same fan base. Remember his rant about wanting less fans. He already has a larger than Urban market, he is the father of hipsters. Its a great legacy, but where is it going? You guys really bought that musical icon wolf ticket he was selling..
    4)A+ was over the top. The album has dies out at the end. Certain samples are more typical. His verses aren’t all there. He doesn’t live up to the hype of being all boom bap. And did I really need “Who will survive in America”. Too often a Kanye verse comes down to one good bar. He has verses that murder, but he still mis-rhymes words (I can’t get this word to rhyme like Eminem does, so I will just pronounce it wrong in the hope people will think its dope), uses his basic flow too often, and goes off topic to be a top five rapper. Good rapper, very original. But just not that great at actual rapping. And I don’t know how you can say he is that much of a better rapper than when Graduation dropped. He can’t string 60 good verses together. Not in Hov’s atmosphere
    5)Stop giving him credit for blueprint when there were 3 other producers who made that album. And Kanye isn’t a go to producer in music. JR Rotem has more hits this year than he does.
    6)and I don’t agree with not counting the Dynasty album as a Jay-z album. Its not the first Hov album to be full of a bunch of features. Esp considering your quality vs quantity arguement. There is enough quality on that album to count and it was the first time Hov was on a Kanye beat.

    I have alot more to say about Kanye West and this album, but I am going to get fired if I don’t finish these subpoenas.

  23. Reecie says:

    aww Cheekz. welcome. and yes you are being a little condescending. but welcome nonetheless. I appreciate dissenting views and you bring up a lot of points, that were not made by the author per se but a culmination of the commenters. I’d love to hear what your other thoughts are. you should join twitter! lol

  24. CHeeKZ Money says:

    @Reecie…

    its not my fault I am the greatest hip hop fan in the world. in the world Reecie. Not just the internet, the world.

    j/k. I like Streetz arguement about Kanye being one of the greatest artist in rap. Like Pac, great artist, not that great with the bars.

  25. Reecie says:

    I know you are. and after I typed my comment I remembered you live to disagree with Streetz so I won’t take it personally 😉 I always say Kanye is a better producer than rapper and I get a lil flack for it but in the regard for flow when comparing Jay always wins. I forget if you are a Jay lover or hater– or are you indifferent?

  26. Streetz says:

    lol…

    I still remember when I had to boycott all cheekz hip hop arguments and stop discussing hip hop on 3ways

  27. CHeeKZ Money says:

    I just got out of a heated arguement with my friends about who was a better Producer Kanye or Just Blaze.

    @Reecie. If you put me in a room full of Jay-z haters, I love Hov. If you put me in a room full of Hov lovers I will chop him down (only so much b/c he is still a great). Hov is one of the best artist to talk about b/c most hiphop fans worth their weight have heard every Hov album from start to finish so they have alot to say about him. Not many artist you can say that about. Kanye West is building that type of discussion pieces with his albums too.

    @Streetz. We agree on much more than we disagree. But the things we disagree about are so far apart. Nelly could be nice.. I’m telling you son. He just chose not to be and chase bucks.

  28. Kaine says:

    I wanna know waht is the deal with the RZA appearance. I was set up by Good friday’s. I’m listening to “So Appalled” killer joint…and RZA does that!!I thought he was gonna lace the closing..but..he only blessed us with keyboard action…So Dissapointed..appearance wise..

  29. TheMostInterestingManintheWorld says:

    I’m really upset with myself for missing this conversation. so much to say.

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