Billboard Names Kanye’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” Album of the Decade!

Billboard Names Kanye’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” Album of the Decade!

The Billboard staff have named their top 100 albums of the 2010s. There are 20 albums here which can be loosely described as hip hop.

Here are the highlights.

1. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

2. Beyoncé, Lemonade (2016)

3. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange (2012)

5. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly (2016)

7. Rihanna, Anti (2016)

11. Beyoncé, Beyoncé (2013)

13. Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy (2018)

15. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city (2012)

16. Drake, Take Care (2011)

22. SZA, Ctrl (2017)

24. Jay-Z & Kanye West, Watch the Throne (2011)

35. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap (2013)

36. D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah (2014)

40. Future, DS2 (2015)

45. Drake, Nothing Was the Same (2013)

48. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN. (2017)

52. Anderson .Paak, Malibu (2016)

53. Jay-Z, 4:44 (2017)

54. Tyler, the Creator, IGOR (2019)

59. Pusha T, Daytona (2018)

62. Kanye West, Yeezus (2013)

67. Rae Sremmurd, Sremmlife (2015)

70. Mac Miller, Swimming (2018)

76. Lil Uzi Vert, Luv Is Rage 2 (2017)

83. Travis Scott, Astroworld (2018)

84. Rihanna, Loud (2010)

85. J. Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014)

89. Childish Gambino, “Awaken, My Love!” (2016)

94. Nipsey Hussle, Victory Lap (2018)


Notable Hip Hop Absentees

  • Gangstarr – One of the Best Yet
  • Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
  • Freddie Gibbs – Piñata
  • Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana
  • A$AP Rocky: Long. Live. A$AP
  • Pusha T – Daytona
  • A Tribe Called Quest: We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  • Vince Staples: Summertime ‘06
  • Earl Sweatshirt: Some Rap Songs
  • Dave – Psychodrama
  • Maxo Kream – Brandon Banks
  • Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
  • Rhapsody – Eve

I’m sure there are others not mentioned as well.

Billboard Reviews

kanye mdbtf

1. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

After three albums of radio-embraced, critically acclaimed rap, one deeply introspective detour and a VMAs mic grab seen ’round the Internet, no one knew what to expect when Kanye West dropped his fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, in late 2010. As it turns out, the mercurial West had matured (in sound, at least) from innovative hitmaker to expansive, Kubrickian sonic auteur. From the self-loathing minimalist odyssey of “Runaway” to the martial call-to-arms of “All of the Lights” (stuffed with guest stars ranging from Rihanna to Elton John) to the intoxicating, stomping menace of “Monster” (complete with a ferocious star-making verse from Nicki Minaj) to the breath-stopping bleakness of “Lost In the World,” MBDTF is the sound of an artist — using the studio as a palette — grappling with his contradictions, unhappiness and the carnal diversions he turns to as an all-too-brief balm for the uncertain soul.

And while ‘Ye’s MAGA love might make some erstwhile Yeezus freaks loath to preach its dark gospel moving forward, the truth is, MBDTF‘s spiraling hopelessness feels more relatable now than when it dropped in the bright-eyed Obama era. These days, Kanye is both the prophet and the victim of that oppressive worldview, with this album serving as his Book of Revelation. As we enter the 2020s, it’s hard to say where Kanye is headed, but one thing is for sure: At the outset of this decade, he set the bar by which all 2010s albums – rap, pop, alternative, you name it – would be measured. — J. Lynch


5. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly (2016)

“What do you want your legacy to be at the end of the day?” Kendrick Lamar asks in his 2015 Billboard cover story. It’s a complicated question for any artist, any person, for that matter. Then, consider that the Compton native asks it just two months before the release of his first album as a bonafide superstar — any direction Lamar took on To Pimp a Butterfly would go through the ringer of public scrutiny. So, rather than taking just one, he decided to hit every angle on the compass. In September 2014, he dropped the album’s rollicking lead single, “i,” which samples The Isley Brothers’ “That Lady” and douses itself in self-love and funky joy. Five months later, he doubled back, deeming himself “the biggest hypocrite of 2015” in the vicious, rugged “The Blacker the Berry,” in which he rattles off one racial stereotype after the next, grappling instead with self-hatred this time.

Across To Pimp a Butterfly’s other 14 tracks, Lamar elegantly bounces across the corners of the human psyche at will — “u” wails into its boundless depths, rasping “loving you is complicated” repeatedly, with each additional utterance more bleak and hopeless than the one before it; “How Much a Dollar Cost” delves into humanity and compassion, or lack thereof; “Mortal Man” dissects the concept of loyalty, asking his fans “Do you really believe in me to do this?” He seemingly asks 2Pac the same in the album’s final moments, taking audio from a 1994 interview with the late hip-hop legend and reframing it as his own conversation. Following the reading of one final spoken-word verse that succinctly summarizes the album, Lamar asks, “What’s your perspective on that?” Blaring horns and backing vocals reach a peak all at once, then vanish as the conversation goes one-sided. The third empty, desperate “Pac?!” rings out, disappearing into the void a moment later, leaving the listener scrambling to press the replay button to dig deeper for clues. — J.G.

You can read the full Billboard Top 100 list here.

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