Dark Fantasy

Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Charted: 60
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Songfacts®:

  • This is the opening track from Kanye West's fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The song finds West musing on the relentless pursuit of hedonistic and lecherous pleasures, rhyming, "The plan was to drink until the pain was over, but what’s worse, the pain or the hangover?"
  • The song is introduced by a narrative by New York MC Nicky Minaj, in which she reworks in an English accent a poem by Roald Dahl that itself revisits the classic fairy tale Cinderella.
  • This contains samples of "In High Places" by English multi-instrumentalist composer Mike Oldfield.
  • Justin Vernon of Bon Iver features on the song. The indie-folk singer also appears on the Dark Twisted Fantasy tracks, "Lost In The World" and "Monster."
  • Harlem native Teyana Taylor also appears on this song. She is a singer, choreographer and actress who also happens to be the niece of hip hop super producer Pharrell Williams.
  • During a 2013 interview with the New York Times, West was asked about his decision to interrupt Taylor Swift during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. He replied that he had "no regrets," adding that he felt peer pressured to apologize. He then explained that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was "my long, backhanded apology. You know how people give a backhanded compliment? It was a backhanded apology. It was like, all these raps, all these sonic acrobatics. I was like: 'Let me show you guys what I can do, and please accept me back. You want to have me on your shelves.'"

    West went on to admit that only about 80 percent of Dark Fantasy was what he wanted to give, and the remaining 20 percent was fulfilling a perception. "I don't have some type of romantic relationship with the public," he said. "I'm like, the anti-celebrity, and my music comes from a place of being anti. That was the album where I gave people what they wanted. I don't think that at that point, with my relationship with the public and with skeptical buyers, that I could've done 'Black Skinhead.'"

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