Acknowledgements Seven Virtues of Yeezus, Pop Christ Portrait of the Monster as a Young Masterpiece The Narcissistic Personality of Our Time Five Uneasy Pieces Art as Atonement University as Universe: The College Dropout A (Very) Brief Aside Re: 808s & Heartbreaks MBDTF Dark Fantasy Gorgeous POWER (sic transit gloria Kanye) All of the Lights Monster So Appalled Devil in a New Dress Runaway Hell of a Life Blame Game Lost in the World The Yeezus Singularity: A Religion of the Self
A beautifully written exploration of Kanye's landmark 2010 album, and his wider work - positioning West as the most compelling American artist of recent years.
Kirk Walker Graves is a writer from Tennessee at work on his first novel. A graduate of Princeton University, he lives with his wife and son in Nashville.
In Graves' book, he not only breaks down each track on the record,
but he also effectively lays out the context of the album's
release, explaining why Kanye is deserving of an investigative book
like this one (and hopefully soon, others), and what about Mr. West
makes him the biggest and most off-putting rock star on the planet.
-- Dan Buyanovsky * Revolt TV *
Kanye West is the millennial generation incarnate, or at least that's what Kirk Walker Graves would have us all think. Throughout the 150 or so pages of this book, Graves unpacks the enigma that is Kanye West's personality and art. This book isn't so much about the musical qualities of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as it is about how Kanye's ego and public persona can be used to explain modern 20-somethings. Graves finds meaning in West's music that I never would have picked out on my own. His fandom is clear, but he never steps into hyperbole in his praise of the music. Though, at times, it feels like his discussion of this album can get a bit too academic, I appreciate the thought that he has put into his analysis of Kanye's work. This book is some serious next-level music criticism-I never realized how much Kanye's Gucci line meant to my life before this guy told me about it. -- Alex Gilvarry * SLUG Magazine *
West may be divisive enough to not win over his detractors, but Graves' mix of fanboy marvel and critical detachment is persuasive enough to convince even detractors to give My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy a close listen. At the end of its 132 pages, Graves makes a convincing argument that this four-year-old deserves a spot in the 33 1/3 series. But perhaps more important, he does something that great criticism should do: he makes you want to listen to the album. -- Sean McCarthy * PopMatters *
Kanye West's fifth album is only a few years old, but that didn't stop Kirk Walker Graves from writing a book proclaiming it an instant classic that perfectly captures the spirit of its era. Graves unpacks the cultural meaning and significance of West's famous ego and chaotic public persona, and examines the music both in the context of the rapper's brilliant body of work, and how it fits into the social media era. * Buzzfeed *