A Peak Behind The Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Album #36 : Kanye West — My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

James Beck


This record, as well as being pretty near perfect, is somehow nearly 11 years old. If it were a British boy it would be going to high school soon. It would also have a very bad attitude and awful potty mouth for someone so young. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is Kanye at his very best; it is a wonderous mix of Rapper Kanye, Producer Kanye and, his favourite, All About Kanye Kanye.

This week Kanye West released his tenth studio album, Donda. It has 27 tracks. That feels like too many tracks Kanye. But who I am to judge? Well, he may be the musical genius of a generation but he’s only written ten solo albums, whereas this is my thirty sixth album (review). So maybe I do know a thing or two about this subject (I don’t).

Whilst we might never know how Kanye produces his content, what form his labour of love takes, I am able to give you a little peak behind the curtain into my creative process. So, here goes…

To Do: Find out who is putting leaves in my diary (Photo by Renáta-Adrienn on Unsplash)


The album is picked out of the choosing tin. For a lot of the records, the first listen is in the gym on Friday morning. This gym sessions a varied experience. For example, Nirvana and N.W.A were great gym albums. Van Morrison, not so good. You might think Metallica would be a good gym album, but you’d be wrong. Metallica is a bad any time album. It is a bad album.

Saturday and Sunday:

Usually get caught up doing g something else and maybe manage to listen to the album once. Depending on the record, listening on a Sunday becomes an impossibility because I am often hungover. E.g. you’d think last Sunday’s 4-hour train journey would be the best time to listen and write but you are wrong because I had a banging headache.


Listen to the album a couple more times. Start to think “oh god what I am going to write about? I’ve done over thirty of these now and am struggling to think of new topics. I can’t write about running again, can I?”


Become obsessed with one song and begin to despise all others on the record. This week this is not helped by lying in bed until 1am on Monday with All of The Lights in my head. Just the chorus though, just the chorus over and over. (Oh great, now it is back in my head).


Panic begins to set in. My to-do list now reads “Pick-up inhaler, Kanye West, Phone Man Utd ticket office.” Do you think Kanye has a to-do list? He’s a pretty busy guy so… maybe? Wonder what it says: “write banger, storm awards ceremony stage, buy eggs.”

Kanye’s perfect eggs (Photo by 青 晨 on Unsplash)

Fortunately, the pressure of this usually leads to some good ideas and, if I haven’t already got one, a theme starts to emerge. (E.g. perhaps a super meta piece of writing about writing about albums? Is that something Kanye would do? Probably, he’s also quite full of himself).

The important thing is that Wednesday afternoons and evenings some actual writing usually gets done. I can’t speak for Kanye.


Tell myself I will proof-read and check for spelling and grammatical errors. I will inivitably forgot to do this.


Publish! Stick a load of stock photos with wacky captions in, publish and spread the good word. Oh, but first, pick a new album and start the process all over again.

This is where I get all my captions (Photo by Will Myers on Unsplash)

Thanks for reading — over the course of 2021, I’ll be reviewing 50(ish) of the greatest albums ever recorded. You can see the list here:

There is also a playlist featuring the best song from each album here.



James Beck

(n): Glasgow-based Stopfordian. See also; Books, Sport, Nonsense