Inside Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: ‘So Appalled’

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 “So Appalled.”

Spaulding
Manufacturer of sports balls, including the official balls of the NBA. Established in 1876 in Springfield, Massachusetts by baseball manager Albert Spaulding, they created a number of innovations for modern baseball, including glove design and tapered bats.

Donald Trump
Famous real estate mogul and television personality notable for his impossible hair, his catch phrase “You’re fired” and his associations with Wrestlemania 23 (where he backed Bobby Lashley in a hair-versus-hair match with Vince McMahon and Umaga).

Prada
High end Italian fashion label founded by Mario Prada in 1913. Known best for their handbags and leather goods.

“Champagne wishes”
Part of television host Robin Leach’s catch phrase on the syndicated television show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” He used to sign off every episode hoping the viewing audience had “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”

“The Dark Knight”
Game-changing 2008 Batman movie directed by Christopher Nolan. In the song, Jay-Z quotes a key line from the film: “Die and be a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain.”

Ferrari Testarossa
Iconic Italian sports car. The name translates to “red head.” Very fast.

Hammer
Former chart-topping rapper famous for innovative dance moves. Famously burned out but managed to make a pretty solid recovery as a television producer. When he heard Jay-Z’s reference to him on this track, Hammer dropped a response song called “Better Run Run” that accused Jigga of selling his soul to the devil.

Ralph David Abernathy
Civil rights hero and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Abernathy lead the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Poor People’s Campaign following King’s death.

Noah’s Ark
Biblical story wherein God asked Noah to build an ark (with extremely specific measurements) that he was supposed to fill with two of every animal in existence (even the water fowl) so that something could survive the great flood.

Matt Leinart
Former USC quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner, NFL journeyman and womanizer. The reference to Leinart is paired up with the great line “I got a Trojan in my pocket.”

Tiger Woods
Golfer. Icon. Professional apologist.