Through The Wire: A Timeline of The Meteoric Rise of Kanye West, Part Two – By Cameron Heffernan

In part two, we examine My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and take a look at everything leading up to, Yeezus.


Senior Year and Graduation 2010 – 2013, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Beyond:

This is the end. The end of everything you ever knew about hip hop or rap music. Any of it. It’s all gone. All your little knowledge nuggets were munched up and pooped out in the most beautiful, dark and twisted hip hop record, since, well… never.

I may be using hyperbole in this situation, but then again, who doesn’t these days?

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, was dropped on your head from the heavens on-high in 2010. After a years retreat in Hawaii, Kanye had recruited anyone from Rick Ross to Elton John to record, hooks, rhymes and anything the rap-musical-genius-god could finagle out of the music industry. Much like his earlier albums, where he’d feature young, up and coming artists, or ones we just forgot about, one that stands out is Pusha-T, who shines on the tracks, like “So Appalled” and “Runaway”, which was turned into a 30 minute film, featuring Pusha and Kanye. As a matter of fact, you can check that out here.

“Runaway”, although the atypical single form the album, is definitely the stand out track of it all. It describes Kanye, and maybe some others out there, to perfection. With a chorus of “let’s have a toast to the douche bags, let’s have a toast to the assholes, let’s have a toast to the scum bags- everyone of them that I know, let’s have a toast to the jerk offs, that’ll never take work off… Baby I got a plan; runaway fast as you can,” and lyrics that admit that some of us could “have me a good girl, but still be addicted to them hood rats,” and how we always find something wrong, with everything. It’s a track that speaks loud to everything that’s true and wrong with society. All from the guy who said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” on live television.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy isn’t the greatest album of all time. But it definitely is amongst the ranks. It’s not like any hip hop album before, it doesn’t depend on a “summer jam”, which was “Runaway” if anything,  but if you listen to that on high, you probably aren’t picking up any of the “fine hunnies”, anywhere. The song is essentially admitting I’m an asshole who is physically unable to not cheat on you or anything else that could be considered awful in the relationship realm. There are undertones towards how Kanye thinks every white person may be out to get him, and that “the man” is out there somewhere, looking to put a black man down. With tracks like “Runaway” and “Blame Game” it’s very much about loss and letting go. 808’s and Heartbreaks tried this and failed miserably, there was no letting go, just a petulant child that was pissed that he didn’t get what he wants.’Fantasy’ is a more adult Kanye, a refined and even more Avant-garde Kanye.

Then, 2011 rolled along and Watch The Throne was released. Not so much the artistic endeavors of Kanye’s past. He now had reached beyond-superstardom. You know those Kobe System commercials? The one where Richard Branson asks Kobe where you go after you’ve reached the top? And Kobe responds with you go higher, or some shit. Well, Kanye was at that level at this point. Really, you can sum up the album with the video for its first single, “Otis”. Just two kids, Jay-Z and Kanye, living the American Dream. Oh sorry, WTT, is both god-child Kanye and rap-legend/mogul, Jay-Z.

Here’s the video, enjoy:

After WTT, Kanye yet again returned to the lab in 2012. This time getting back to his producing roots he put together a “summer mixtape” for his record label G.O.O.D Music.

2012 though wasn’t about Kanye and his music. 2012, was about ‘Kimye’.

West began dating Kim Kardashian, of home made porn fame, and also her family’s television show on E! Entertainment, in April 2012. Officially becoming number two in the power-couple power rankings – behind Jay-Z and Beyoncé, and ahead of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – ‘Kimye’ became all that TMZ, MTV, shit any media outlet – including this one – could talk about. It was and still is engulfing. Then the baby Jesus happened. December 2012, Kanye, yet again, had another one bust through the packaging.

So by 2012’s end, Kanye had a super baby on the way – the perfect combination of music and television legend, all in one, his “dream girl”  (I personally consider Kardashian awful, but to each their own.) and he had finally stopped looking up to big brother (Jay-Z) and was now on the same level as big brother.

Yeezus and The Future 2013 – ? 

Kanye has evolved from self-conscious and outspoken back-pack rapper to hip hop’s version of Prince. He’s, in a way mysterious – as he disappears form the limelight after each album; granted the paparazzi and tabloids attempt to put him there anyways. Thus, why he recorded Yeezus in France. A place that has pretty harsh laws against paparazzi and tabloids invading anyone’s privacy.

Of course recently there’s been rumors that Kanye has been cheating on Kim while she’s pregnant. Allegations came out that he’s been having an affair with model, Leyla Ghobadi. Which by any stretch of the imagination is very believable. Not to sound mean, but let’s face it, he doesn’t seem like the most faithful – just listen to his music, most of MBDTW is about banging multiple partners at once. “Runaway” is literally about how all he does is fuck up and think with his penis and to whomever he’s with at the time is better of to just, “Runaway”.

Even if Kanye is unfaithful to Kim, it’s no real surprise.

At least he’s been faithful to the people that make him the god-complex having megalomaniac he is today. He’s kept it real with the fans for the entirety of his career. He’s never sold out to his record label, he’s had full control over his music since the beginning and he’s produced nothing but perfection – aside from 808’s and Heartbreaks.

Kanye has been the embodiment of what most of us would like to be. A millionaire who has no worries about anything at all. This takes me back to the cheating thing. You know that child will get the best treatment no matter whether its parents are together or not. Because it’s fucking parents are Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Yes, adultery is awful. Kanye can get away with it though. He is truly free; he is the American dream. Nonetheless it’s a dream that somewhere deep within the remnants of our reptilian brain lies that Dark Twisted Fantasy.

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