This Sunday, one of the most influential, celebrated albums of the last decade – one we placed at No. 1 on our list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 2010s – turns 10. Released on Nov. 22, 2010, Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy arrived to almost instantaneous acclaim, earning rave reviews from critics floored by West's quantum leap in ambition. One of the only snubs came from the Grammys, who inexplicably failed to nominate the opus for album of the year -- although it did win the best rap album category in 2012.
Happily, Billboard was quick to appreciate West's wild achievement, awarding it five stars (out of five) in a review in the Dec. 4, 2010 issue. "West has expanded his sonic palate," Mariel Concepcion wrote of Kanye's fifth for Billboard. "He pushes his sound a few steps farther past hip-hop, R&B and pop by telling a story about his hopes, faults and brash beliefs." She also concluded the set was "possibly the best album of the year."
It was a commercial hit, too, debuting atop the Billboard 200 on Dec. 11, 2010 and producing four top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 -- the highest of those being a No. 12 peak for "Runaway." At the time, that single was widely interpreted as West's tacit acknowledgment of being kinda-sorta a jerk for his infamous interruption of Taylor Swift's 2009 VMAs acceptance speech, which was followed by a months-long media hiatus during which West finalized this bleak, frenzied masterpiece.