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Sample: King Crimson “21st Century Schizoid Man” (1969)
Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Producer: S1 / Kanye West / Jeff Bhasker
Label: Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella
If My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy didn’t work out as a title for Kanye West’s wildly moody and eclectic fifth album, then "21st Century Schizoid Man" might have made for a good alternative. It certainly would have fit. Of course, he would have had to shell out more cash to prog rock titans King Crimson—not that that’s anything to Kanye, one of few people to get sample clearances from Michael Jackson and Elton John. “21st Century Schizoid Man” is of course the song that producer S1 (the basic track was already built when West, who’s said to have added “polish,” got to it) sampled most prominently on MBDTF’s lead single, “Power.” Much like MBDTF as a whole, Crimson’s signature track is twisted and disjointed as can be, yet somehow makes perfect sense.