808s & Heartbreak Impact on Hip Hip.


808s & Heartbreak, the album that started the wave of new hip hop. This album is the stepping stone of the new emotional rap that some of the biggest rappers like Drake, Kid Cudi, J. Cole, and many more.

This new way of singing and storytelling in hip hop made its way from this album. Kanye West wasn’t the first rapper to spill his emotions on song, many rappers like 2 PAC and Biggie used their raps to show their emotions through their songs. Biggie’s famous song “Suicidal Thoughts”, and many of 2 Pac songs, show that these artists knew how to fill the song with their own emotion, but Kanye West did something so unique. 808s & Heartbreak was one of first albums in the mainstream media that used this singing type of sound.

The history of this album starts after the death of his mother Donda West in Nov. 10, 2007 due to complications from cosmetic surgery involving abdominoplasty and breast reduction. Not only this but his breakup with his ex fiancée Alexis Phifer was right after his mother death. This album was a way Kanye West was able to handle his grief and come to terms with everything that happened during that that time.

Singing has now been in hip hop for a good minute and it’s look like it’s going to stay that way because many new artists like Chance the Rapper and etc. are using this singing platform. In Drake’s Project,”So Far Gone”, he went on record to say that Kanye West was one of his biggest influence in his sound.

Singing and rapping isn’t the only thing that Kanye West has had an influence on, one of the most used kicks now in the hip hop game is the 808. The 808 is used in most common songs in hip hop, all the way to Drake’s to your Lil Uzi Vert’s. The 808 has been a staple in the game even though it’s a simple beat. The way Kanye used this 808s is something that helped bread some of the most popular producers like Metro Boomin (Wants Some More?), Zaytoven, Boi-1da, and many more people have been able use this type of 808s & Heartbreak type of sound. It is a very easy to remake because the 808s Machine is such a basic and very simple drum machine compared to others.

Auto-tune became very popular in the era of T-Pain and Lil Wayne. Kanye was able to use that auto tune to help improve his craft during this album, which made his singing very nice to the ears. He wasn’t ashamed to say he used auto tune because he knows he can’t sing but he wanted people to know he used auto tune to help improve his project. One of Kanye protégés Travis Scott has used the 808s and auto tune to new levels that Kanye West put the foundation for.

Kanye West birthed a whole new era of artists that you don’t need only bar for bar but are able to craft and master a song, that takes artist to a whole new level of song making.

Special Thanks to Hot New Hip Hop for the inspriation.


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