It’s not quite as preposterous as Short Stack gracing the cover of last month’s Rolling Stone, but it’s pretty darned close. In a review of Kanye West’s ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ for Channel V’s website, Short Stack bassist Andy Clemmensen (the one with the hair) stole entire excerpts from a review of the same album written by music journalist Craig Mathieson for Fairfax. Retribution? Clemmensen was promptly outed by Mathieson himself via the internet’s number one shame cauldron, the Mess and Noise forums.
Since the outing, other journalists have come forward, claiming partial ownership of Clemmensen’s review. Here’s the extent to which Clemmensen shamelessly stole from others:
Writes Clemmensen: “It’s eclectic but never off-hand. It’s hip-hop where every deviation serves the song’s texture, every boast contrasts with slyly lacerating self-appraisal…
And Mathieson: “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is eclectic but never offhand; it’s hip-hop where every deviation serves the song’s texture, every boast contrasts with slyly lacerating self-appraisal.
Clemmensen again: “With every album, Kanye West dips into another realm of music: College Dropout had sinful soul beats; Late Registration featured orchestral strings worthy of a philharmonic; Graduation boasted towering stadium style synths that tore down arenas; 808s & Heartbreak was stark, cold, and full of auto-tune.
An oddly familiar review posted on Brilliantlyblunt.com: “With every album, Kanye West dips into another realm of music. College Dropout had sinful soul beats, yet it took you to church even on a Friday. Late Registration featured orchestral strings worthy of a philharmonic. Graduation boasted towering stadium-style synths that tore down arenas. 808s & Heartbreak was stark, cold, and most of all-auto-tuned.
Clemmensen lifted “roughly a third” of a review written by Justin de la Cruz for Music OMH. De La Cruz posted the following examples on the Mess and Noise forums this morning:
“Andy: Kanye West has always been passionate. Some people only see him for his egotism, his angry outbursts, his need for the spotlight…
Me: Kanye West has always been passionate. Some people only see his egotism, his angry outbursts, his need for the spotlight and don’t realize it’s part of a bigger picture.
Andy: Musically, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a nice blend of Kanye’s older and newer styles. ‘Power’ compares to ‘Stronger’ with a catchy hook and overblown production. ‘All Of The Lights’ and ‘Lost In The World’ lean on electronica, with enough auto-tune to make T-Pain jealous. You can hear some of the older Kanye through the sped-up vocal samples on ‘Devil In A New Dress’ and through the explosive, polyrhythmic beat on ‘Monster’.
Me: Musically, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a nice blend of Kanye’s older and newer styles. Power compares to Stronger with a catchy hook and overblown production. All Of The Lights and Lost In The World lean on electronica, with enough autotune to make T-Pain jealous. But you can hear some of the older ‘Ye through the sped-up vocal samples on Devil In A New Dress and through the explosive, polyrhythmic beat on Monster.”
Don’t forget to rip off Pitchfork too, bro!
Pitchfork: “With “Runaway”, he rousingly highlights his own douchebaggery, turning it into a rallying cry for all humanity. Like many of his greatest songs, it’s funny, sad, and perversely relatable.
Clemmensen: “But my personal favourite is ‘Runaway’, where he rousingly highlights himself as a douchebag, turning it into a rallying cry for all humanity. Like many of his greatest songs, it’s funny, sad, and perversely relatable.
And so on and so forth. Google any line in Clemmensen’s article, which has since been removed by Channel V, and you’re bound to strike plagiarism gold. Fun little game for an idle Tuesday afternoon.
Clemmensen has since apologized “to any reviewers not quoted” via his Facebook page, blaming the plagiarism on his friend: “apologies to any reviewers not quoted. arriving home late from a month long promo tour and having the Kanye album review due the next day, I was exhausted, so i foolishly got my friend to do it for me. was unaware that it was plagirised but I accept full responsibility and would once again like to apologize to the journalists I have offended
Kanye West has always been passionate. Some people only see him for his egotism, his angry outbursts, his need for the spotlight and the FACT that Beyonce had one of the greatest videos of all time. But Muhammad Ali once said, “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.” This is exactly what Kanye has done with his latest creation My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
With every album, Kanye West dips into another realm of music: College Dropout had sinful soul beats; Late Registration featured orchestral strings worthy of a philharmonic; Graduation boasted towering stadium style synths that tore down arenas; 808s & Heartbreak was stark, cold, and full of auto-tune. Musically, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a nice blend of Kanye’s older and newer styles. ‘Power’ compares to ‘Stronger’ with a catchy hook and overblown production. ‘All Of The Lights’ and ‘Lost In The World’ lean on electronica, with enough auto-tune to make T-Pain jealous. You can hear some of the older Kanye through the sped-up vocal samples on ‘Devil In A New Dress’ and through the explosive, polyrhythmic beat on ‘Monster’. But my personal favourite is ‘Runaway’, where he rousingly highlights himself as a douchebag, turning it into a rallying cry for all humanity. Like many of his greatest songs, it’s funny, sad, and perversely relatable.
It’s in Kanye’s nature to be over the top. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a testament to this. Everything about this album is grander. It’s eclectic but never off-hand. It’s hip-hop where every deviation serves the song’s texture, every boast contrasts with slyly lacerating self-appraisal and every end leads to a beginning.
Possible my favourite Kanye album to date.

By Melissa Kenny