This week’s throwback LP features artist many of us may know; some for his music and others for his wild antics. The producer, rapper, and fashion designer that is Kanye West celebrated his 39th birthday yesterday.
One of the most eccentric and innovative rappers of our time dropped one of the most groundbreaking albums in hip-hop with 808s & Heartbreak in 2008. In my opinion, if you don’t think Kanye is a genius, you probably never heard most of his music.
808’s is extremely far left of his previous three projects of that time, which was reminiscent of soulful sample integrating Kanye and his impressive raps. There is barely any rapping here. You may hear this project and wonder what inspired such a unique sounding LP. Well, Kanye’s mother passed away shortly before he started working on this album, and I’m sure other personal issues had arisen. 808s & Heartbreak is his response to all of this tragedy in his life, and of course out came an album that sounds like nothing he has ever done before.
I remember vividly when Kanye premiered his single “Love Lockdown” on the VMA’s, and all I could remember was how weird it was to me. I was not aware of what was happening in Kanye’s life, mostly because I only indulge in his music, but this sound was just off-putting at first. Then, the album drops.
This project requires a LOT of time for it to grow on you, if at all. Kanye’s use of autotune, dark synths, and classic Kanye-esque drum patterns creates this portrait that no one has ever heard before, and no one would have expected this from Kanye at all. The more I listened to the project and even today, the more I fell in love with it. This, right behind My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is probably Kanye’s best project to date. And the fact that Kanye produced the entire LP himself (like he usually does) makes me much more appreciative.
I asked for this LP on vinyl for Christmas when I also received my record player, only because of how legendary and groundbreaking this project was. If you are an ‘old’ Kanye fan, you may not like this project. If you are a ‘new’ Kanye fan, you may appreciate it, but still not like it.
Either way, give the project a spin below via Spotfiy: