My Beautiful Dark Twisted Retail Fantasy About Kanye West (and Trent Reznor)

"Moving Units" has many connotations, including this crappy dance-punk band and selling mad records, but herein is an album that moved Radio-Active Records' Mike Ramirez and County Grind to have an effusive discussion about it.

The setup:
No shocker that Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was a top-seller at Radio-Active Records (so was Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine reissue). In addition to Rolling Stone, Spin, and Pitchfork all proclaiming that this album is, like, awesome, the album is actually, like, awesome.

Was Ramirez impressed? Read on.

Here's a good place to start: who is a more polarizing figure, Kanye West or Trent Reznor?

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Mike Ramirez: Haha,

that's a tie. Reznor re-invented himself as the king of the marketing geeks.

He was able to stay relevant through the means of research, social media, viral marketing and linking up with new up and coming indie rock bands that would expand his worth in the marketplace.

Kanye has just dug such a hole for himself that it amazes me how he has so much support from different communities.

But then again, he has marketed himself wisely.

Reznor's been pissing off a lot of people all along.

Yeah, he's had a mouth since day one. But in the world of hip-hop, you do not complain, bitch or cry.

R. Kelly did that on his joint tour with Jay-Z, and he got booted.

In the words of A League Of Their Own, "there's no crying in hip-hop."

Don't get me wrong, from being in music retail for over 10 years, I understand why he appeals to people and how he is marketable.

I just can't stand artists who complain, especially rappers.

Ice Cube doesn't complain.

Rakim doesn't complain.

Really what he needs is his ass handed to him in a fight. Then I'm sure all of his bickering will cease.

And then he'll make a gospel record like Mase.

So did you play the record in the store, in spite of your feelings about him?

I did.

People ate it up. Sold out in a few days.

Everyone's asking for the vinyl version which will be available at the end of December, right before Christmas.

Many publications have called My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album of the year

(I actually liked 808s & Heartbreak better than this one).

Album of the year. Ok. Moving on.

So is there any scenario that you can fathom that you can listen to this music and not be reminded of all the BS?

Are there songs you wish you could enjoy if not for the Kanye circus?

Unfortunately, I'm stubborn in that aspect. But I could get into "All Of The Lights."

But I'm sure this guy realizes that he is both loved and loathed.

That's the key to his success.

Same with Reznor, I guess.

Kanye's one of the few guys left who cares about making albums. Especially within hip-hop.

Yeah, except for R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" series, which is light years ahead of Mr. West. He's got his own image problems too, though.


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