Kanye West‘s emotionally charged album 808s & Heartbreak has made Rolling Stone‘s “The 40 Most Groundbreaking Albums of All Time” list. Conceived following a year of hardships, West departed from his rap approach to explore the use of vocals infused over new, raw electropop sound with digital production. While releases that followed gained their respective accolades, 808s is still cited as one of contemporary hip-hop and R&B’s most influential records, introducing a new style to the genre. Released in 2008, the album is also the list’s most recent feature. Check out what the folks at Rolling Stone had to say about it below, and see the full list here.
“Kanye West’s Auto-Tune-heavy, emotionally naked fourth album came after a brutal year during which his mother died and his engagement broke up, but the album’s cavernous sound and exposed-soul lyrics confused even those who had been aware of West’s recent trials. Its core aesthetic was like nothing in hip-hop: freshly butchered feelings enumerated in detail, but masked by digital processing; beds of spare synths used to balance a mix of singing and rapping. However, over time it served as a new template for up-and-comers in hip-hop and R&B. Drake cited West as his budding sound’s “most influential person” when he was hustling mixtapes, while artists like Future further tweaked the idea of using Auto-Tune as a way to convey emotions that evoke too much feeling when spoken of explicitly.”