My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Music Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Bleak, explicit messages overrun thoughtful hip-hop record.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 25 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

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

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byJac C. March 25, 2018
Teen, 15 years old Written byojas April 12, 2019

One of Kanyes Best Album to Date

This album is a complete masterpiece and deserves a listen even if you completely hate rap music. I feel like it is best suited for middle to high schoolers sim... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byLuke J November 26, 2012

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. 

Talk to your kids 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
  • Genre: Hip-hop
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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