We all know that Rolling Stone holds very little clout when it comes to Hip-Hop culture (tbh), so you can take them naming Yeezy’s 2008 808s & Heartbreak as “most groundbreaking” with a grain of salt. Some may agree, others may strongly disagree.
Framing Ye’s fourth studio LP amongst musical legends such as Frank Sinatra, Babatunde Olatunji, Bob Dylan, James Brown, The Velvet Underground, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson and The Beatles is a huge compliment in itself.
Then there are Ye’s peers, like Run D.M.C.’s self-titled album, Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Mary J. Blige’s What’s The 411? which all come in pretty high up the list.
For Kanye’s 808s & Hearbreak, Rolling Stone had this to say about “the most groundbreaking album of all time”
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.
What are your thoughts on RS’s list. Agree? Disagree? Sound off with your opinions down below.