When done right, lists can be fun. We don’t really do them around these parts (outside of our Year End joints), but I see the appeal. In their new August issue, GQ decided to list off 21 of their “hands-down, most emphatically favorite” albums of the 2000’s.
Outkast’s Stankonia (#3), Ghostface’s Supreme Clientele (#10) Hov’s Blueprint (#12) and Dilla’s Donuts (#19) helped give hip hop some looks, but it was Kanye West who took the top spot.
What album did GQ run with? His College Dropout debut? Graduation? Nope… Gentlemen’s Quarterly chose My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
It could’ve been any one of the seven albums West released this century, as fascinating a catalog of celebrity, triumph, love, loss, terrible puns, pretty decent puns, that was ever fucking put together by a single artist. MBDTF was just the record where he talked about all those things at once—a portrait of a man seizing the spotlight, drowning in it, and then somehow finding a way to turn that harrowing experience into art. Anybody who wants to be famous or make music for a living—or do both at the same time—should be forced to listen to MBDTF first. The rest of us are free to enjoy it for the bloody, hard-won, titanic achievement that it is.
MBDTF is definitely an amazing album, one of Ye’s best, but I personally don’t have it as my #1 from the past 15 years.