Despite boasting one of music's most consistent and storied discographies, Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is largely considered to be his magnum opus. At once dark, haunting, captivating, triumphant, and wistful, the album emerged in the wake of Donda West's passing, as well as his publicized split from then-girlfriend Amber Rose. You can hear the trauma embedded in the music; the tortured artist personified. And while it's easy to wax poetic about the thematic depth of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, the project also features some of Kanye's finest musical developments.
"Runaway," for example, may very well be one of hip-hop's most daring lead singles. With an extended intro, singsong vocals, and claustrophobic instrumental, Kanye celebrates his self-destructive behavior with the prowess of an artist in their prime. The ostensibly simple lyrics mask a wealth of painful honesty, as West sings lines like "see, I could have me a good girl and still be addicted to them hoodrat and I just blame everything on you, at least you know that's what I'm good at." In many ways, "Runaway" marks the transition between the "old Kanye" and the current one - more importantly, however, it's a damn fine piece of music.
Never was much of a romantic
I could never take the intimacy
And I know I did damage
Cause the look in your eyes is killing me