Replay: 808s and Heartbreaks


Am currently trapped in the throes of a serious 808s & Heartbreaks addiction. I mean, it’s not Kanye’s BEST, but it’s far from the worst. There are a couple of songs on here that for the LIFE of me I can’t quit. They include “Paranoid” (if you haven’t seen the creepy video featuring a silent Rihanna, get thee hence!) and this here passive-aggressive anthem, “RoboCop.”

Main reason I like this album? A creative and unabashed use of AutoTune, which I think enhances Kanye’s vision for the record as a collection of detached, sad android hymns. Released after the death of his mother, 808s doesn’t feature overt references to his loss, but is tinged with an unmistakeable sense of nihilism. The prominent single, “Love Lockdown,” is all driving doomy beats. You remember that video, too? People did not get it. Not like I actually got it or anything, but it was obvious to us all that Kanye was working through some issues.

selectism-kanye-west-808-heartbreak-album-3

Anyway, “RoboCop” is in many ways the happiest track on 808s. Set in a major key, buoyed by a furiously high string section, and sung with a smile in his voice. But it’s a seriously bitter song. My fave part is his catty bit at the end: “Oh you’re kidding me / Haha that was a good one / Your first good one in awhile / You need to stop it now.” He’s eviscerating some high-maintenance girl who asks him too many questions. Like “Paranoid” and most of the other tracks on the album, “RoboCop” is pretty much about how Kanye wants to be left the fuck alone by stupid bitches. Give it a try – if not for the experimental musicianship, then for the delicious xuntiness. Whole album is worth a revisit. I see you, 2008!

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One thought on “Replay: 808s and Heartbreaks

  1. Pingback: Black Celebrity and The Price of Fame: Case Studies | pop mitzvah!

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