Thursday, August 18, 2022

Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreaks (2008)

Like it or not, this is a revolutionary album for American hip-hop. It introduced auto-tune to the mainstream, and even though its use of auto-tune was initially panned, it went on to define an era for at least the next ten years or so. It's fair to say this hip-hop style even went international. You can hear auto-tuned rap in China and Korea, even. With this global appeal, it's unlikely to ever fully go away. Auto-tune will remain in the arsenal of the hip-hop artist.

But what of this album's sound in particular? Well, this is Kanye West at the height of feeling himself. This was Kanye's moment. As West himself put it, "Jay-Z had his moment, I had my moment, and now Drake is having his moment. Rap is not an old man's game." He's right about that. When that statement was made on the radio show The Breakfast Club, Drake was the hottest hip-hop star in the world, and now already he is considered passé. What's next remains to be determined.

I like this album a lot, and I think it deserves respect. Put your name on it.

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