Project Deserted Island: The Album

That’s right people, the triumphant return of “Totally Biased”. To get things started off on the right foot, Travis undertakes a new project highlighting his personal favorites. The aptly titled “Project Deserted Island” takes a look at what things Travis would take if he was… ya know… confined to a deserted island.

At work recently, I stumbled upon the idea of a new article series that would be refreshing, interesting, and keep people entertained. The result is Project Deserted Island. Essentially, every day for the next week I will highlight something different, whether it be food, a television show, a movie, or whatever else my crazy mind comes up with, that I would bring with me to a deserted island. And what better place to start than with my favorite album.

Music is one of my favorite things in the entire world. I scour music blogs at least once every single day, and my iPhone has more albums than contacts, apps, and text messages combined. Without the ability to listen to music, I would be driven past the point of insanity.

I tossed around this question in my head for hours on end, and although there were some other albums that came close [Nas’ “Illmatic”, Notorious B.I.G’s “Ready to Die”, and Jay-Z’s “Black Album”], this one eeked out a victory in the end.

Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

If you aren’t a rap fan, there’s a very solid chance that you would agree with President Barack Obama, and view Kanye West as a “jackass”. If you are a rap fan, let’s be honest, you probably still feel this way. I’m no exception either, as I don’t necessarily like the person Kanye West is, I think he is often misunderstood, and comes off more brazen than he wants to.

That being said, Kanye West remains one of the best rap producers of the last 20 years, and when all is said and done, he will most likely find himself on the Mount Rushmore of Rapper/Producers.

It has been rumored that West purposely used nudity in his cover album, in hopes that when the cover art was banned, it would drive interest in the album. As I said before, he’s a genius.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy [MBDTF] was the absolute perfect blend of every single aspect of West’s personality and production skills that rap fans fell in love with. Deep and emotional verses like those found on “College Dropout”, West’s first album, litter the entire album, and electro beats and mixes similar to “808’s and Heartbreaks”, West’s fourth and most daring project, are what drive MBDTF from basic rap album to an instant classic.

The symphonies found on the opening track “Dark Fantasy” are incredible, and as soon as you start to get into it, it totally drops out from underneath you, and the soul and bass filled melody kicks in. The lyrics set the scene for what you are about to expect, which essentially is ‘Ye at his finest, rapping about the demons of being famous, and self destruction.

The plan was, to drink until the pain’s over,
but what’s worse, the pain or the hangover?

Tracks like “Devil In a New Dress” offer up images of religion, sexuality, and urban culture. “Power” features a handful of samples, with an excellent chorus, and West tearing up verses like only he can. The album itself is an interesting mash of bravado, insecurities, power, politics, religion, sexuality, and communication. It is West’s ability to express himself so well on records, and so poorly off of them, that make MBDTF such a gripping and revolutionary album.

The best track on the entire album, and my favorite song of all time is “Runaway”, a grimy, piano driven track that West bares his soul on. West and his G.O.O.D. music companion Pusha T rap about women, and the struggles that come with balancing fame, and a romantic life. In the best eight bars that Kanye has ever rapped, he speaks an entire book with only 49 words.

Never was much of a romantic
I could never take the intimacy
And I know it did damage
‘Cause the look in your eyes is killing me

I guess you were at an advantage
‘Cause you could blame me for everything
And I don’t know how I’ma manage
If one day you just up and leave

Talking about MBDTF can not be complete without talking about the total and utter applause it was given by the music community, and the thorn that often find itself in Kanye’s side, the Grammy selection committee.

Rolling Stone awarded the album an extremely rare 10 out of 10, Entertainment Weekly added an “A” rating, Spin Magazine tossed in a 9 out of 10, and Pitchfork Media, perhaps the most brutal music critic in today’s media lauded the album with a perfect 10 out of 10.

Apparently winning Rolling Stone’s Album of the Year gets no headway with old, cranky Grammy committee members…

Metacritic, an extremely popular website that calls itself “the entertainment scorecard”, takes every major review from popular magazines, newspapers and websites, and composites them all into a solid score out of 100 awarded MBDTF a 94, which ranks it in the category of “universal acclaim”.

West was awarded without having a nomination in the Grammy’s Album of the Year category, which found itself littered with albums by the Foo Fighters, Rihanna, and Bruno Mars. That’s a joke right? We’re going to let Lady Gaga and Adele duke it out in a fight filled with a bunch of garbage nominations? Alrighty then.

West was handed a few “booby prizes” like a nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and a victory for Best Rap Song, which was won with “All of The Lights”, regarded by many as the albums most commercial track. In my opinion, the real reason that West’s album wasn’t given consideration was because of the committee’s failure to recognize rap and hip-hop as legitimate genres of music, which in itself, is extremely sad. I listen to plenty of different albums, even if I mainly stick with hip-hop, and the along with J. Cole’s “Sideline Story”, “MBDTF” is the realest album I have ever heard in my life, and bares more of the artists soul than any rap album in the last 20 years.

But hey, lets keep flooding the radio with Adele’s songs about her ex-boyfriend. I’m not making that up. The entire album is about one relationship. One aspect of her life. Don’t get me wrong, Adele’s “21” has underrated production, and I don’t think I need to address her voice, because it is that of angels. That being said, I’d rather cut my wrists than bring it to my deserted island.

What, you thought I was going to insult Gaga? No way. That crazy bitch writes some incredible music.

2 Responses to “Project Deserted Island: The Album”
  1. Drew Pensky says:

    If this is your supposed favorite song of all time, then why are your lyrics to runaway wrong? I guess you knew another vantage. try again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: