|Original Art for “My Dark and Twisted Fantasy”|
It is funny how music can dictate a person’s mood and actions. One of the things that really gets me excited about my trips to NYC is the music. I am not saying that I never get to hear new music in Syracuse, but it is just not the same. The radio stations are not up to par. I wont even mention the lack of a Latino Station here. Sure, you can look it up and see that Syracuse does have one, but it is 3 days a week with limited hours. Not to offend those who work hard to keep Nosotros Radio Inc up and running, but that is not enough.
My expectations on how things should be are consistently not met while living here. I think that there is a level of complacency, apathy, and pure mediocrity that fosters the type of thinking that people of color are simply satisfied with the status quo that is Syracuse living. It is sad that Rochester has a better handle on the Latino culture considering that Syracuse is a place you will likely hear more about in the national media.
So just think about how a person like me can even find any type of comfort when it comes to new music. I am fortunate that these college students usually have their fingers on the pulse of the entertainment industry so when there is a dance party or anything related to that, I will hear the music I may be missing. But, lets be real, I am not going to hear everything and sometimes I need to lose myself in music.
This is where Kanye West comes in. It is rare to hear an album like My Dark and Twisted Fantasy. Too many times there are artists (if you can call them that) that drop albums that are just rushed or the production is lackluster. You can hear 1or 2 songs that are radio worthy and then the rest ends up buried behind the rest of the song on the iTunes playlist. Yeezy’s latest gave me that escape that I needed. I feel like he kicked open what this Winter’s music will be like.
It just so happened that listening to My Dark and Twisted Fantasy coincided with my Thanksgiving trip. Those hours driving to see family was spent listening to what Kanye has to offer. I feel that this is a more mature artist we are dealing with. I was already a fan of his single “Runaway”; I even considered that to be my anthem actually. Then I loved the short film as well, which pretty much has all the music you will hear on this album….but it still does not prepare you for the sheer artistry of it all.
Let us take away songs like, Runaway, Power, and Monster, since they have all been out before this album dropped. In fact, let’s just say those three songs may not even be the best songs on this album. I would submit to you that Hell of a Life, Gorgeous, Devil in a New Dress, So Appalled, and Blame Game could all be playing right now as his latest single. I remember thinking that nothing could really compare to Nas: Illamtic or Wu-Tang Clan: Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers), but this may have matched those classics.
Look, I do not write about an album if I really wasn’t feeling it. I know that some people view Kanye as the asshole who did something very wrong to Taylor Swift (and if you ask me, I think should thank him for giving her a boost in record sales) or they view him as the man who offended George W. Bush by saying he doesn’t like white people. In either case, he is an artist who has taken his craft to another level…again.
This is why I need to continue to do what I do with all the honesty and brash that makes me who I am. I find a certain amount of freedom in this incarnation of his music that I am able to focus on what I want to do…