Kanye West’s albums have all coincided with the period of my life when they were released. College Dropout was released my freshman year, Late Registration my junior year, Graduation dropped in the fall of 2007 when I completed my tenure at Morehouse College, 808’s and Heartbreak was when Timile and I had broken up and she left Atlanta to move back home to Virginia and try things out with her “what if” guy.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy arrived in stores November 22, 2010 which was my twenty-fifth birthday. I followed along with the “G.O.O.D. Friday” releases; but listening to the project as a complete body of work was a different experience. Timile was five months pregnant and her relationship with my family has me torn. Nonetheless, it was the two of us against the world while we took care of the heartbeat she was carrying. I was giving it a first spin while raking leaves and thinking to myself I couldn’t listen to this because it was so dark. I didn’t feel as if I was in the same place as this album because I’m anticipating the birth of my daughter. Less than six months from turning thirty I’m realizing that this album was exactly what twenty-five years old was…the beginning of my own beautiful dark twisted fantasy.
What makes an artist create such an outstanding piece of work? Pain and letting one’s agony become their muse and be their outlet. I guess that is what writing has become for me: my innermost thoughts being placed outward in which reading the words were me literally staring my angst face to face and sharing it with the world.
I think I feared the album because I unconsciously I didn’t want to accept that this was me or what was about to come. Twenty-five was a defining period in my life. I became a father and shortly after was forced to deal with things the laws of average suggest most don’t until they’re at least forty years older.
The song that always stood out to me was “The Blame Game.” Nearly three and a half years after Timile passed away I have had a few relationships. This song reminds me a lot of my dynamic with one person. People often refer to the laws of attraction in the manner that magnets work: opposites attract. The north pole is positive and is pulled by the negative south pole of another. If opposites attract then like poles push each other further back. That was us.
We really clicked. We had a lot in common. We were both the rare combination that was equally creative and logistical. It really was as if looking in the mirror at myself. The core of the reflection was the same but when I would lift my right hand up what I saw looking back was the left hand doing the same back at me.
Our disagreements often were the same thing over and over again. When it was all said and done we ultimately blamed each other for the problems we had with each other and nine out of ten times it was the accuser’s fault. I would say I didn’t like something and it would be taken to level ten when on that proverbial scale almost everything I say and do is at a three. No matter how many times I would try go circumvent this by saying “If you’re not sure what I mean then ask,” or whatever the first thing she’d do is defend herself-right-or-wrong-before trying to hear me out and see I’d be trying to articulate how I felt about something. She would go the passive aggressive route and not say anything until she is furious.
Yet whenever we’d go our separate ways we would be miserable. She would never admit this but I know it’s true. I know her. Nonetheless we’re in a different season, now. So just being friends some of the same problems would arise as if we were dating.
When it’s all said and done it was a love-hate relationship. Kanye’s first verse summed things up perfectly.
“On a bathroom wall I wrote
“I’d rather argue with you than to be with someone else” (else, else, else)
I took a piss and dismiss it like fuck it and went and found somebody else
Fuck arguing harvesting the feelings, I’d rather be by my fucking self
Till about 2 A.M. and I call back and I hang up and start to blame myself
It was both of our faults…