The best-of-the-decade lists are already piling up, leaving contrarians in shambles. As many might have expected, Kanye West's towering opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has been securing several number one placements, a testament to its staying power. Today, the project celebrates its ninth birthday, one that deserves to be celebrated with an honorary Throwback placement. And while there's no shortage of potential candidates, something continuously calls me back to the sloppy and brutally honest "Hell Of A Life."
Perhaps the polar opposite of Jesus Is King, "Hell Of A Life" brilliantly covered thematic ground "I Love It" only wished it could. Reflecting on a hedonistic odyssey of lust and tormented emotions, Kanye's lyrics conjure an Alice In Wonderland-esque voyage in which Alice turned out to be a pornstar. Lyrically, Kanye is at the height of his pen game, with his bars here second only to "Devil In A New Dress." The "runaway slaves" section is layered commentary the likes of which from today's Ye seems far removed, his writing equally biting, reflective, and satirical. In many ways, "Hell Of A Life" stands as one of the thematic cornerstones of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and one of the most revealing of his career.
Tell me what I gotta do to be that guy
Said her price go down, she ever fuck a black guy
Or do anal, or do a gangbang
It’s kinda crazy that’s all considered the same thing
Well I guess a lotta n***s do gang bang
And if we run trains, we all in the same gang
Runaway slaves all on a chain gang
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang