Why you need to listen to 808s

Before I spend mad time on the Award Tour, I think I’m ready to talk about 808s and Heartbreak. Just breifly though, cuz I’m still not sure exactly what to think about it and Brandon over at No Trivia is goin crazy breakin it down for the masses. I’ve been reading his thoughts on it and gave the album another listen after giving it the cold shoulder the first time around. So check out what Brandon has to say cuz he knows what hes talkin about, even if you disagree with his interpretations. I’m gonna try to keep this quick(er) and simple.

Many people I talk to say exactly what I thought the first time I heard the album. “Fuck Kanye, he’s an arrogant asshole, this album sucks and I refuse to give it one more second of my time!” I can’t argue with the fact that this album is not so hot from a musical perspective. And I can’t argue with the fact that he is an arrogant asshole. That’s what this album is about!

He knows he is an arrogant asshole, and he doesn’t give a shit about it except when he hates it. He hates the fame. But he loves hiding behind it when shit gets ugly. But once he hides behind the fame he struggles to come ‘home’ and be himself again. Instead of having the best of both worlds he’s left with the worst of both.

This album deals with his breakup, but when you really listen you can hear what is really causing his heartbreak. In the song ‘Pinocchio Story’ Kanye compares himself to the wooden character. He cries “I ask you tonight, what does it feel like….to have a real life? I just wanna be a real boy!” He continues saying Pinocchio lied and that’s what kept him from becoming a real boy. And “I tell the truth, and I keep runnin. Its like I’m lookin for somethin out there trying to find something, I turn on the TV, and see me, and see nothin”. He isn’t simply asking why — if Pinnochio’s lies kept him from becoming a real boy, and Kanye tells the truth — is he not able to lead a normal life. He also provides an answer saying “I keep runnin”. He blames himself. He knows hes not the person he wants to be and he isnt blaming anyone.

The album is chock full of deep, meaningful, and just plain sad language. One thing I think I like about it is how he actually isn’t trying too hard to be depressed or artsy or different. This album is sincerely depressed and different, and I’m still contemplating ‘artsy’ (but I’m leaning towards yes). One element of his language that makes me beleive he isn’t reaching too far for eccentricity is the fact that he still says dumb kanye shit like “miss is so fly, crash lands in my room”. That might be clever for a rap album, but not this album. But he’s not trying to avoid being Kanye on this album. Word up!

A few songs are about his breakup, but when you get to the core of those songs even, you can hear how it all goes back to his fame being a vice. Yeah that’s a good way to put it…a vice. Just like an alchy…he knows his vice (fame) is a problem. He knows it is causing him to be an asshole and a snob. And he wishes that he wasn’t so stuck in it and could be himself again…the man he strived to be his whole life before falling victim. And maybe he fuckin loves the fame, but he knows its wrong and knows its stopping him from being who he wants to be. And he knows its the fame that makes him apathetic towards his attitude.

Basically this album sums up his life ever since he became a star. He knows everything hiphop fans think they know. “He’s a cocky dickhead.” Everyone I talk to nowadays still says it as if they just came up with it on their own. No shit hes a cocky asshole…thanks for letting me know! Oh and thanks for letting him know, because he never knew. NOT!!!!!!!! He fuckin knows exactly who he is, be it real or fake.

In 808s the little bit of  ‘real’ Kanye that is left inside him is crying out for help…one last desperate attempt to save himself. And it is loud and clear. We (well at least I) hear you. And even though the fame-stricken kanye that we know tries to be heard a few times on this album, the real Kanye is louder. And that is something we never heard before from him. Expect great things from Kanyes next album. Just imagine the feeling, the devotion, the passion, and the truthfulness of 808s, paired with only the good production tricks he learned from this recent ‘experiment’, all projected on a true hiphop album. Would that shut you hardcore hiphop heads up?

PS. I didn’t even begin to talk about the musical aspect of the album. That is for another day, because I do feel there is something to be discussed there.


December 13, 2008 - Posted by | thoughts, Uncategorized

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