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Average User Score: 9.0Nov 4, 2012Hip-Hop relies on innovation - constant progression is essential for its vitality. This single characteristic makes it one of the mostHip-Hop relies on innovation - constant progression is essential for its vitality. This single characteristic makes it one of the most interesting of the new genres that the late 20th century has spawned. Just look at how much it has changed throughout the years - the 70's (Disco, comedy influences), the 80's (Jazz/Rock/Soul influences, rich storytelling), the 90's (hard-nosed, often political lyricism, heavy drums, post-Jazz influences) and... and... then it stopped. The 2000's are often regarded as the decade of downfall for Hip-Hop, and, although that's not entirely true, there is some validity behind the argument - the progression throughout the decade was not as evident. Sure, there were the stars (Eminem, 50 Cent, Ludacris), but, overall, only two major forces in mainstream Hip-Hop showcased that progression in style that had become so rare - Outkast and Kanye West. Kanye was always changing - from the soul-influences of "College Dropout" to the melancholic electronic R&B of "808s & Heartbreak". This album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy", shows Kanye at his strongest - both lyrically and musically. Each song is entirely distinct and perfected to the highest degree . The 90's Gangsta Rap inspired (yet so seemingly modern) "Dark Fantasy", the Rock-influenced "Gorgeous" and, the album's centerpiece, "Runaway" - all these tracks fully showcase Kanye's thirst for progression and perfection, two aspects that are very rarely combined in perfection. Is it the best Hip-Hop album of all time? No. There is no best album. Is it the best produced Hip-Hop album of all time? Perhaps - it's definitely up there with "The Chronic" and "Stankonia". Is it a great album that's worthy of your attention? Definitely.
Average User Score: 9.1Nov 4, 2012This is a very important album. Not many artists have the ability to blend commercial appeal and artistic vision - early Eminem, most 90'sThis is a very important album. Not many artists have the ability to blend commercial appeal and artistic vision - early Eminem, most 90's rappers, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Nas (to a degree). Otherwise, most great hip-hop stays underground and under-appreciated. Kendrick is one of the few new rappers who has managed to break this barrier, with "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City" - a phenomenal album that sounds amazingly cohesive and tells a story that puts most concept albums to shame. Not only does Kendrick manage to make his music sound great, he also addresses numerous moral issues and gives some much-needed insight into the black communities inside the USA, showing us the corruption of the system that surrounds these young folk and exposing their mentality. His storytelling, rich with imagery, manages to create a link between the two parallels of society that too often stay separated. The album contains great humor, raw emotion, clever wordplay, rich production and, most importantly, soul. I urge everyone to go out and support Kendrick Lamar, along with the rest of Black Hippy (his hip-hop group). 10/10… Expand