With an astonishing 21 Grammy Awards and overall 124 awards from a possible 387 nominations, this shouldn’t come as much of a shock that Kanye West is already a Hip Hop Legend.
West’s fourth album ’808s & Heartbreak’ has been crowned one of the most groundbreaking albums of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
Since its off-putting inception in 2008, the album has circled around to being a revered body of work. Now, Rolling Stone is among those to retrace their steps with West’s fourth studio album, naming it one of their “40 Most Groundbreaking Albums of All Time.” The magazine now credits Yeezy’s emotional opus with proving a blueprint for his hip-hop successors.
“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,” West’s entry reads. “However, over time it served as a new template for up-and-comers in hip-hop and R&B.”
The album peaked at the No. 1 spot on both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album charts.
An excerpt of the review reads:
“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.”
Some other albums on Rolling Stone’s Most Groundbreaking Albums of All-Time list include Mary J. Blige’s ‘What’s The 411?,’ Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic,’ Public Enemy’s ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back,’ Run-DMC’s self-titled album and Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller.’