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MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY by Kanye West

BrianRox89

New Student
Nov 18, 2019
6
16
:syngates:Yo Family! This months #AOTM is very special to me because I believe that you will learn so much from this album. MBDTF by the eccentric Kanye West is a clinic on songwriting, arrangement, dynamic, the eclectic, performance, and mixing.

I don’t expect all of you to be thrilled about this rec but this album and this artist has elongated my bands career by inspiring us to create when it felt like we had no more to say.

I have to be honest, hearing someone shred or play a rad riff on the guitar no longer inspires me to pick up mine. Over the last decade I have made it my life’s work to go through the YouTube rabbit hole to source new techniques, equipment, and beyond. I’ve done this to help create the world’s greatest guitar school. I also use these techniques and tricks in solos and I feel that it gives me an edge so, win win.

Today, what compels me to write music and play the guitar, is when I hear someone make music sound like nothing I’ve ever heard before. And to do it with master craftsmanship is the icing.

Kanye delivers on all fronts with this heavy hitter. Dark Fantasy opens this brilliant body of work with a beautifully arranged pop gospel that has so much depth in tone and texture. Then we settle in with a classic R&B guitar theme with Gorgeous and we are off

So I spent a lot of time in deliberation with @Jamie London trying to decide between this one and his album Ye. If you are inspired by this first record, please check out Ye. It might not be his best album ever but Ghost Town is my fav track he’s ever written and the dynamic throughout the entire record is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed.

So give em a listen and lemme know what you think.

All my love,

SYN
:syngates:
APPLE Fantasy
APPLE Ye

SPOTIFY Fantasy
SPOTIFY Ye

YOUTUBE Fantasy
YOUTUBE Ye

"Refresh the page and restart the memory. Respark the soul and rebuild the energy" I love it, I'm all about that
 
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Ed Seith

Supreme Galactic Overlord
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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Okay, so I listened to this in the car today, which made me feel very much like Michael Bolton. No, not that Michael Bolton... This one.


    Anyway, @Jamie London was right, I *do* like this a lot more than the other one I listened to. There was a lot to like, but I can't go song by song, because I listened in the car, so I'll just hit pros and cons:

    PROS: Melodies, arrangements, orchestration, guest performances, production, soundstage. There are so many beautiful things and wild sounds on here, that I GET IT.

    CONS: Kanye. His voice is annoying, his rhyming meter is unappealing to me, his "lyrics" make Ivan Moody (Five Finger Prostate Punch) seem like an elderly Rhodes scholar by comparison. Granted, a 50+ year old suburban white dude is not the target audience here, but his boasts and subject matter are just SO CRINGE. I was embarrassed listening to it.

    Overall, I'd love to hear an album where he produces and co-writes the music, but a good singer/rapper and lyricist writes the words. But I'm old and marginally out of touch. In the end, I'm glad I gave it a shot, but I doubt I'd ever listen to it again.
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    iridecently

    Hot Topic Tourer
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  • Jun 5, 2020
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    Ok hi I am back with many thoughts and feelings. Production and all that is obviously jawdroppingly amazing, so I am not gonna focus on that too much.

    Dark Fantasy - Kicking off an album with Nicki Minaj reading an altered version of a Roald Dahl poem is one hell of a way to kick things off, and thematically is a fun wink to the whole dark fantasy thing. Then it just goes back and forth this beautiful gospel arrangement into an old school hip hop vibe (I am gonna assume that's RZA's work) which sounds kinda nuts when you write it down, but it just works super well. Great opening track that let's you know exactly what you are in for.

    Gorgeous - The riff is fantastic and the guitar tone is matched by the distorted vocals which I thought was a really cool choice. Also on a more meta-scale, the contrast with the preceding and following track make this song stand out. Also I am just a sucker for Wu Tang, so gotta love Raekwon's verse on here.

    POWER - This song just screams Kanye to me. It's over the top with great hooks and probably one of my favourite ones on the album. Also 21st Century Schizoid Man is a banger in it's own right and just works in this weird superhero anthem-ish song.

    All Of The Lights - Not a super stand out song to me, nevertheless the whole drum & bass vibe with the horns (with Rihanna singing the song's hook) is always fun to listen to. Also the list of people doing backing vocals on this track is lowkey insane. Probably one of the more approachable songs on the album (and Kanye's career).

    Monster - So I love this song, a lot. Like a lot lot. I remember the music video for this coming out and that is just a wild ride on it's own (enough so that it got taken off of Youtube). Like Gorgeous this song really contrasts with what came before it and marks kind of a shift towards a more dark tone for the rest of the album. The song starts with Bon Iver, followed by Rick Ross, Kanye himself, Jay-Z and finally Nicki Minaj. Supposedly Kanye almost didn't release the song because he thought everybody would just listen to Minaj's verse, which was definitely true in my case. Either way, I just love the whole vibe and theme of the song and I could listen to this on repeat

    So Appalled - This song also features a laundry list of artists, including RZA which is always a great move in my book. Plus I think Jay-Z and Kanye just always is a winning combo, and this is no exception. It continues the whole dark vibe from Monster, and the marching drum reminds me of POWER and All Of The Lights. It's also more minimalistic than the last few songs which also continues after this song.

    Devil In A New Dress - I love the funky guitar riff and the solo in this song, but that's also kind of all I have to say about it.

    Runaway - The beginning of the song is just super creepy and then transitions into this amazing beat. I love how the piano changes into a more electronic sound but stays with the rest of the song. The lyrics really reflect what the general opinion on Kanye was back then (with the whole Taylor Swift thing happening...) and the chorus just kind of tops that all off. Not my favourite song on the album, but the chorus is just super hard to get out of your head.

    Hell Of A Life - The lyrics I am not super into, but the beat and riff of this song I really love it. Also a little Black Sabbath reference is always good in my book. Also it provides a bit of a break from the dark sound that's been lingering since Monster.

    Blame Game - Back to the dark(er) sound we go. I love the prominent piano and strings on this track. The vocals start out really clear with John Legend, then Kanye takes over and all sorts of distorted vocals pop in and out which I thought was interesting.

    Lost In The World - The song starts with autotuned vocals from Bon Iver which reminds me of Kanye's earlier work (Heartless, anyone?). I love how this song just build and builds and builds with the drums and then transitions perfectly into the final song

    Who Will Survive In America - The continued backing track from Lost In The World does an amazing job at supporting Gil Scott-Heron’s words. While this song is musically not as dark as some songs have been, the lyrics definitely paint a bleak picture and really round off the album thematically. Really it asks the question, what the hell is the purpose of all this? And does it even matter?


    TL;DR: I really enjoyed this album and listening to it front to back for the first time in a long while. If people are still on the fence about listening to it, I'd definitely say give it a shot because there is a lot of interesting stuff happening here.
    Thanks @Syn Gates for the great album pick and can't wait for the next one :geek:
     

    Chris Johnston

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Currently about half way through the album - I'm really enjoying so far it as I'm consciously separating the art from the artist - the person however... yeezus christ 😂 As we say in Scottish lingo, Kanye is a fanny (it means something else in Scottish)

    In all seriousness though, I love rap/hiphop and I'm loving this album so far. I can't wait to give a final update once I'm finnished 🤟
     

    Chris Johnston

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Okay, so I listened to this in the car today, which made me feel very much like Michael Bolton. No, not that Michael Bolton... This one.


    Anyway, @Jamie London was right, I *do* like this a lot more than the other one I listened to. There was a lot to like, but I can't go song by song, because I listened in the car, so I'll just hit pros and cons:

    PROS: Melodies, arrangements, orchestration, guest performances, production, soundstage. There are so many beautiful things and wild sounds on here, that I GET IT.

    CONS: Kanye. His voice is annoying, his rhyming meter is unappealing to me, his "lyrics" make Ivan Moody (Five Finger Prostate Punch) seem like an elderly Rhodes scholar by comparison. Granted, a 50+ year old suburban white dude is not the target audience here, but his boasts and subject matter are just SO CRINGE. I was embarrassed listening to it.

    Overall, I'd love to hear an album where he produces and co-writes the music, but a good singer/rapper and lyricist writes the words. But I'm old and marginally out of touch. In the end, I'm glad I gave it a shot, but I doubt I'd ever listen to it again.
    'Cons: Kayne.' Absolutely dying over here 😂😂
     

    Jamie London

    GYNNER
    Staff member
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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Alright, first and foremost disclaimer: I’m a massive Kanye fan. That being said, I feel as if I’m pretty balanced and unbiased with my thoughts and opinions on the old boy and his art, so there won’t be any dishonest fluff here lol.

    I think MBDTF is a beautifully crafted album overall. The song writing is phenomenal, the production is killer (especially for 2010), there’s some great features here, and it’s a very grandiose, theatrical album over all. It’s so cohesive that to me, it’s always felt like a concept album, even though it’s not. It’s just flows so well sonically and thematically that it feels as if one one big story is being told (and I think that the “All of the Lights Interlude” adds to that as well). This is something that Kanye has been hit or miss on ever since. TLOP and Donda, for instance, both can feel jarring and incohesive at times.

    i normally don’t go track by track on these, but I’ll quickly go through some of my favorites. “Dark Fantasy” is one of my favorite songs off of the album if not my favorite. It’s literally the perfect album opener. It’s catchy and driving, and really gives off that grandiose vibe instantly. “Gorgeous” is great, and anytime that Kanye and Kid Cudi are rockin together on a track this is usually the case. “All of the Lights (Interlude)” & “All of the Lights” are musical brilliance in my opinion. The interlude alone is such an unbelievably, soul touching musical moment. And this is not surprising when you take into consideration the inclusion of Elton John on piano and as one of the many great back up vocalists on the these tracks.

    “Monster” just slaps. It was actually the first song that I heard off the album thanks to one of my best friends, Marty, who was eagerly awaiting this albums release. He showed me this track and then the rest of the album and from then on, I was hooked. “Runaway” is legendary and the amount of love this song gets is definitely warranted. It’s not my very favorite from the album but I get it. “Blame Game” is another track that musically is next level, but the last minute and a half or so can be a little jarring for a first time listener 😂

    MBDTF is a piece of work that could never be replicated. Something very special was captured here and Kanye was smart enough to realize that. He never tried to sequel it or follow it up with something similar. He never chased what this album was. He knew that it was its own beast and had to be kept that way. So much so, that his next album (not counting the Jay-Z collab album that is “Watch the Throne”), YEEZUS, which is my personal favorite Ye album, went in the totally opposite direction. It’s gritty, it’s uncomfortable, it’s heavy, it’s stripped back, and at times messy. These are all reasons why I love it so much, and all ways that it differs from its predecessor so drastically. MBDTF will forever stand in its own little section of musical history, and while it’s not my favorite Kanye album, it definitely deserves the love it gets.

    And Syn is right, everyone should also give “Ghost Town” a listen. Check out all of “Ye” for that matter. It’s a short listen at 23 min but it’s a wild ride. “Ghost Town” is unbelievable and was also my favorite Kanye track up until the album “Donda” was released, which included the song “Moon”. THAT is now my favorite Kanye track.

    If I had to do a top 5 list for Kanye albums (not counting collab albums or eps) it’s would be:

    1. Yeezus
    2. Ye
    3. Donda
    4. MBDTF (3 & 4 are interchangeable depending on the day and mood)
    5. The Life of Pablo

    I think that’s all I’ve got! Haha It’s been so much fun reading everyone else’s various thoughts on this one! Keep ‘em coming fam! 🤌🤘
     
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    William B.

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    I haven't been listening to too much Hip-Hop lately, occasionally I'll run into a few songs.
    It was a nice listen, kind of took the edge off of me some. The whole day I was really calm and quiet.
    I got to hear it again maybe tomorrow, I remember hearing some cool guitar stuff and cool sounds. Also I like how he says he's "the shit" often, I got to learn some of that " believe in yourself " stuff.
    There were many parts I would have liked he expanded on but that's just me.
    One song had a cool vocal layered part, can't remember right now, might have been another album cause I binged some after hearing this one.
    The only song I heard unintentionally off the album was "All of the Lights", it's really nice.
    At the end of one song I heard some arpeggios that reminded me of a song from "The Stage" album
    I like Hip Hop/RnB songs with features or a duo/group, gives songs additional sides/range something like that
    Been asked or was me asking who's your favorite rappers and didn't know what to say. I would put Kanye in a Legendary category
    I think he started as a Producer and rapped over his own production, possibly he's foremost a Producer
    First heard Kanye when College Dropout came out, sometime later I got into guitar and my listening habits gradually changed

    Wasn't expecting another AOTM but it's a nice surprise :D

    \../,
     
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    Dtower360

    New Student
    Feb 9, 2022
    2
    5
    :syngates:Yo Family! This months #AOTM is very special to me because I believe that you will learn so much from this album. MBDTF by the eccentric Kanye West is a clinic on songwriting, arrangement, dynamic, the eclectic, performance, and mixing.

    I don’t expect all of you to be thrilled about this rec but this album and this artist has elongated my bands career by inspiring us to create when it felt like we had no more to say.

    I have to be honest, hearing someone shred or play a rad riff on the guitar no longer inspires me to pick up mine. Over the last decade I have made it my life’s work to go through the YouTube rabbit hole to source new techniques, equipment, and beyond. I’ve done this to help create the world’s greatest guitar school. I also use these techniques and tricks in solos and I feel that it gives me an edge so, win win.

    Today, what compels me to write music and play the guitar, is when I hear someone make music sound like nothing I’ve ever heard before. And to do it with master craftsmanship is the icing.

    Kanye delivers on all fronts with this heavy hitter. Dark Fantasy opens this brilliant body of work with a beautifully arranged pop gospel that has so much depth in tone and texture. Then we settle in with a classic R&B guitar theme with Gorgeous and we are off

    So I spent a lot of time in deliberation with @Jamie London trying to decide between this one and his album Ye. If you are inspired by this first record, please check out Ye. It might not be his best album ever but Ghost Town is my fav track he’s ever written and the dynamic throughout the entire record is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed.

    So give em a listen and lemme know what you think.

    All my love,

    SYN
    :syngates:
    APPLE Fantasy
    APPLE Ye

    SPOTIFY Fantasy
    SPOTIFY Ye

    YOUTUBE Fantasy
    YOUTUBE Ye
    In my experience it’s always good to branch out musically no matter what genre or style of music. To be informed on modern styles is always important, but it doesn’t mean sacrificing the quality of craftsmanship and art. As both a huge metal fan and a huge fan of Kanye I think it’s important to approach his music from the lense of Something akin to a film director. What Kanye does in twisted fantasy, as well as in his follow up albums yeezus (as a metalhead this was instantly my favorite as I was getting into ye) and the life of Pablo, is direct the album from a crafted perspective (choosing the perfect features, producers, transitional pieces), a sonic perspective (his own production, his honesty in songs like runaway and lost in the world) and most importantly for me an artful perspective (there’s a definite story that travels through the songs on twisted fantasy). If anyone is interested in why this album is genuinely so great or just wants to have a better understanding of high level rap music like this the dissect podcast has two amazing seasons on both My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus. I highly recommend checking them out as they’ve definitely come in handy in my own production for things ranging from metal, jazz, blues, and even country.
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    Dtower360

    New Student
    Feb 9, 2022
    2
    5
    In my experience it’s always good to branch out musically no matter what genre or style of music. To be informed on modern styles is always important, but it doesn’t mean sacrificing the quality of craftsmanship and art. As both a huge metal fan and a huge fan of Kanye I think it’s important to approach his music from the lense of Something akin to a film director. What Kanye does in twisted fantasy, as well as in his follow up albums yeezus (as a metalhead this was instantly my favorite as I was getting into ye) and the life of Pablo, is direct the album from a crafted perspective (choosing the perfect features, producers, transitional pieces), a sonic perspective (his own production, his honesty in songs like runaway and lost in the world) and most importantly for me an artful perspective (there’s a definite story that travels through the songs on twisted fantasy). If anyone is interested in why this album is genuinely so great or just wants to have a better understanding of high level rap music like this the dissect podcast has two amazing seasons on both My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus. I highly recommend checking them out as they’ve definitely come in handy in my own production for things ranging from metal, jazz, blues, and even country.
    Also if anyone wants to know more I’ll always be ready for a conversation on this album. It’s one of my personal favorites and has been for years.
     

    Matt Wildcat

    The Fierce Deity
    Staff member
    Legend+
  • Nov 11, 2019
    376
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    ESSAY INCOMING :ROFLMAO: Alright, alright... So, I'm super fuckin late to this as per usual (you expect different from me? LOL). But I promised I'd listen, and listen I did. And I have a confession.

    I may have judged Kanye a bit harshly and a bit unfairly in the past.
    For so long I have put off listening to his stuff just because I assumed it wouldn't be my thing. Never been much of a rap person, aside from a few guilty pleasures I found in a game or two (this is relevant later, I promise), so I just stuck to the shit I liked. But I will say, I was actually pleasantly surprised when I went thru this album. It might not be one that goes on my everyday playlist, at least for now, but I think I will definitely return to give this a few more listens.

    Now, I haven't gone too far into the lyrics. I feel like I'd be here for a bit if I did. I will say that from the stuff I did pick up on, there's some parts that thematically it might not entirely be my thing. But that's okay! I still got a lot of enjoyment out of the tracks regardless.



    So now, I shall go thru a few tracks I especially enjoyed to give my thoughts, as well as some general, overall notes.

    General notes - Most tracks have a background of orchestra/choir, which makes it sound like the kinda shit you'd play in a big hall or even a church. I think Syn described one of the tracks like pop/gospel, which holds up imo. But the classic rap/R&B beats on top and the vocals, effects and samples give it that really interesting spin that to me, seems like what everyone associates with Kanye. I think I see why people are so attracted to and enjoy his music, but also why it's so love or hate. There are some REALLY creative uses of sounds and samples, especially with how they're turned into their own instruments or percussion, but also some that I find a bit repetitive, which honestly, I think does balance it out a bit. There is a LOT to take in, I think that the repetitive background themes actually allow for more creativity with other sounds without completely overwhelming the listener.

    DARK FANTASY - Okay, the autotuned chorus in the background of the intro is a vibe, and the introduction of different voices is done in a really cool way. This is a recurring theme in this album, which I talk about in my general notes. I really dig the melody and chords. Then the samples come in, and this is more what I was expecting tbh when I first saw this album. Sudden switch to piano is a bit jarring with that sudden pause, but somehow it works, and flows back into the rap. I'll give him credit, the way the lyrics flow too is good, and this is all across the album. There's a lot of sounds I'm hearing in the background like the twinkling-like chimes. The next transition works so much better, and the mix of the orchestra/vocals is really nice. Maybe I'm nitpicking, but it bothers me that I can hear the sample looping so much, but I'm a perfectionist and tbh I think it's a stylistic choice, so I'll leave it be. Maybe that's the whole point, drags you back into the song because it kinda jarrs you? See my point above in general notes. Love the ending.

    POWER - Okay, I already know this song. And I already love it. It was in Saints Row The Third, I got the game on Christmas of 2012 (which means I've actually been an A7x fan longer than I thought, but that's another story.) and this was essentially the main theme. I still remember skydiving onto the penthouse with this in the background, and it was an experience.... what a game. ANYWAY! The backing vocals are beautiful. The various effects and panning added to them as the song progresses is a really cool way to build up to different sections. The progression is seriously catchy, and also the message in some of the lyrics (chorus particularly) is honestly quite powerful, if you'll excuse the wordplay. This is a perfect example of my point in general notes about a repetitive background allowing room for all kinds of cool effects. Having just the vocals, (some) drums and piano around 3mins in is beautiful. THAT SYNTH SOLO. UGH. I love that section so much, that and the last minute of the track. The maniacal laughing fits so well. On a side note, one of the playlists of this album only had the short version of this, and I was about to complain it wasn't long enough and I must've imagined the solo bit. LOL.

    ALL OF THE LIGHTS - I am delighted that this keeps the intro from the interlude. I love the piano following the violin's notes rather than just being the chords. Hello brass section, hi Rhianna! That drum beat is... really, really cool, but also reminds me of the bongos when you play music from an SD card on a DSI/3DS. If you know, you know. I really love the chorus to this song. I think Kanye and Rhianna's voices work really well together and for this track. Bridge was also really cool. The build up with the first chorus after that into the last section was nice. Very catchy track.
    Also, that music vid is VERY COLOURFUL, OW MY EYEBALLS. LOL.

    MONSTER - Well, those vocal effects are very fitting! I think the mostly (somewhat?) stripped back feel of this song in compared to those previous (though lets be real, the pounding synths in the back really give some power), puts more emphasis on the lyrics. That lion/tigers roar as a riser was AWESOME. The theming around them is honestly cool too, at least the bits I picked up on, referencing all kinds of popular monsters like vampires, mummies (well, there's mentions of pharaohs and shit), zombies, all that lot. Though I may have missed a lot of the context. Around the 5min mark when there's some vocal-like sounds that are unintelligible, they're both really spooky but work well. To me, it fits the theme. Monsters making noises that almost sound like humans but aren't quite human, are easily the scariest thing (often done in horror games, I may add). Might be taking things too literally and missing more of the song's meaning, but yknow. I said I didn't go too deep into the lyrics.

    RUNAWAY - There's something really haunting about the individual piano notes before the drum machine comes in with the bassy synth. This one has a lot more of an RnB feel to it, reminds me of a few songs I used to listen to when I was younger. In comes the rap! I actually really enjoyed this one. Not as intense as the others, but very nice.

    HELL OF A LIFE - Lowkey thought my headphones broke. That is an aggressive saw wave synth (I think?? please correct if I'm wrong, very rusty here). That chorus? bit at around 0:55, that melody instantly made me think of Sabbath's Iron Man. Intentional? It's strange to hear with this style and the very, VERY different lyrics. That breakdown with the "lights on" section was different. That ending minute or so reminded me, weirdly enough, of Banjo Kazooie with the percussion (big surprise. But it did.) Breathing is spooky

    BLAME GAME - This track is similar to Devil in a New Dress in the sense it feels like an old vintage track with Kanye's signature spin on it. I wondered if he created that part of the tracks too or if it's a really creative use of samples? Anyway! Something I notice in these tracks (especially here) is that there's a really interesting juxtaposition between the lyrical themes and tones and then the music that backs it up. The music mostly sounds really beautiful, soothing, classical even. But then the lyrics are the complete opposite, nothing like you'd expect. Lots of panning, distortion, filter effects. I noticed a lot of reversed crash cymbals used as risers, a trick I absolutely love to both use and hear. I... have no comments on the lyrics towards the end. As I stated above, not really my thing. But glad he had a great birthday LOL

    LOST IN THE WORLD - Hi autotune! Hearing it applied so heavy and then layered with harmonies is really weird, sounds like a crazy glitch, but it's cool! I like how it's used as it's own instrument, like the choirs were before. Hell, this is a big thing in this song it seems, with all kinds of vocal samples coming into play for this purpose, but it also occurs in the other tracks too. The two sets of overlapping vocal sets in the 2nd chorus confused me for a moment.


    Jesus, that was long. If you made it thru this rambling essay, I applaud you. I hope you got something interesting from my thoughts, even if it's that I talk too much and probably have no idea what I'm talking about., TLDR - I liked the album a lot more than I thought, I was wrong about you Kanye, I'm sorry :ROFLMAO: Cheers for a truly creative and eye-opening AOTM, @Syn Gates!
    🤘💀🤘