The release of Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, one of the most hotly-anticipated albums of the year. The 13-track LP completes something of a comeback narrative for West that began with the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards (when he was ostracized for crashing the stage during a Taylor Swift acceptance speech and went underground for a while) and was built up over the course of the past year with some key live performances, the "G.O.O.D. Friday" download series and the recently-released short film "Runaway." In fact, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is so dense and full of gems that it's necessary to take each song and break it down to its bare elements. This time around, we take a look at the references on "Devil in a New Dress."
Phenomenally talented professional basketball player who began his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers and recently came under heavy fire from the media for signing with the Miami Heat so he could play with friends Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. West and James are quite similar, in the sense that they are both supernaturally talented and come under heavy fire from the media.
Biblical evil. CEO of Hell. Author of all lies.
The Magic Hour
West is probably referring to the period just before sundown that photographers love because the natural light is the most ideal. It is less likely that he is talking about "The Magic Hour," the disastrous, short-lived late night talk show hosted by NBA legend Magic Johnson.
Rapper on Diddy's Bad Boy label who scored big at the end of the '90s with the single "Feel So Good" and a high profile guest spot on Biggie Smalls' "Mo Money Mo Problems." Retired from hip-hop shortly after the turn of the century to become a minister, only to come back a few years later.
Current Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group and former head of Island Def Jam. Incredibly influential in hip-hop circles. Helped popularize the concept of 360 deals with artists. Often referred to by rappers as "The Check Writer" because of the number of huge albums he has bankrolled and because he is ridiculously rich.
Menswear division of French fashion label Christian Dior. "Homme" is the French word for "man." Popular among musicians. Innovators of both suits and skin care products for men.
Auto parts chain founded in Philadelphia in 1921.
Soul and R&B singer from Philadelphia who had big hits with "Close the Door," "Turn Off the Lights" and "Love T.K.O." (among dozens of others). Staggeringly smooth voice. Involved in a car accident in 1982 that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Passed away earlier this year.
Iconic rapper who began his career with the Digital Underground, rose to fame as a solo artist and was tragically gunned down in 1996 just as his career was peaking. Released the first double album in the history of hip-hop. Because he constantly recorded vocal tracks in fear of dying young, Tupac has continuously released new music since his death. Underrated actor. Author of some of the greatest rhymes in hip-hop history (including the duration of "Brenda's Got a Baby").