My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Common Sense Media says

Bleak, explicit messages overrun thoughtful hip-hop record.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The many dark, despairing messages in these songs present a particularly bleak view of the world.

Positive role models

With his colorful public life and dark music, West is a complex, complicated entertainer and certainly not a clear-cut role model.


References to domestic violence.


Several fairly graphic references to sexual situations. For example: "And my bitch in that new Phoebe Philo / So much head, I woke up to Sleepy Hollow."


Lots of use of language like "f--k" and the "N"-word.


References to products and famous people weave throughout the whole record.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lyrics about drinking and pills.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this album is chock full of adult content, including lots of profanity, graphic sexual references, and allusions to substance use. Perhaps just as troubling, the songs' overall tone is exceptionally depressing -- making the whole package too mature for even some older teens.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY is the fifth full-length album from hip-hop mogul Kanye West. Never one for lyrical brevity, West once again pours his heart out in these 13 long songs, many of which explore the pain and difficulty of his life. His scathing commentary on everyone and everything -- from his musical rivals to women -- is extremely bleak and punctuated by plenty of foul language, very graphic sexual descriptions, and mentions of substance use.

Is it any good?


West has the kind of rare talent that makes other music pale in comparison. His beats are unique among hip-hop productions, and the list of guest artists that he's recruited reads like a who's who of the rap, hip-hop, and R&B worlds: Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, John Legend, Kid Cudi, and Alicia Keys, to name a few. The end result is a record that haunts -- both in its dark lyrics and its achingly beautiful arrangements. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the album's dark tone. What is West saying about the nature of celebrity?

  • This album has been critically acclaimed; what's so unique about this particular record?

  • Do you think West does and says shocking things simply to get attention? Does his talent ever get lost in his attempts to shock?

Music details

Artist:Kanye West
Release date:November 22, 2010
Label:Def Jam
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byImSoRegal March 7, 2011

Beatiful is Right, Mr. West!

The language is nothing worse than what an average kid would hear at school. This is one of Kanye's best albums yet. LOVE IT

What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written byPulp Exorcist February 6, 2011
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written bySynchronicity January 21, 2011

Separate the art from the artist, or so I've heard...Beautiful, but dark and twisted; not for young ears

In just a year, Kanye went from "YO TAYLOR, I'M REALLY HAPPY FOR YOU, AND I'MMA LET YOU FINISH..." to "You've been putting up with my s**t for way too long..." Despite the fact that he should NEVER be considered a role model, his latest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, should be considered his masterpiece. It not only culminates the indie-hip-hop sensibilities of The College Dropout and Late Registration with the egoism of Graduation and the raw emotion of 808s and Heartbreak, it goes well beyond that, and into the realm of commercial success (close to a Platinum in sales terms as of yet) and critical acclaim (average score of 93 on Metacritic, with notoriously harsh reviewers like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone giving it 5 stars). But it's not just Kanye that makes the album great; it's the massive list of guests, like a private party for both elite rappers and up-and-comers. From Nicki Minaj and Kid Cudi to Jay-Z, The RZA and Raekwon, this is an endearing blend of old and new - and that's why some have called MBDTF "the Sgt. Pepper of rap records" and "this generation's Illmatic". Kids shouldn't listen to this, however. Sex is a rampant topic of discussion. If you've seen the original cover of the album, which shows a naked man being straddled by an equally naked angel, you could probably guess so. Blame Game, the most explicit track, has a graphic (albeit hilarious) voiceover of Chris Rock as a new lover for Kanye's woman; I can't even put a single quote from that song here...Other, slightly less explicit references are quite frequent. Language is very raw; F-bombs and n-words fly fast and hit hard, while other, milder profanities can be heard in spades. There are some tracks that talk of pill-popping, but nothing too serious in the drug department. Overall, though at times explicit and very demanding, this album will be cherished for generations to come. I also highly recommend watching Kanye's short film Runaway, which uses music from the album in a brilliant way. It can be found on the 'net or on the Deluxe Edition of the album.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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