King L Reviews Kanye West’s ’808s & Heartbreak’

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Artist: Kanye West
Reviewer: King L
Rating: XL
Anniversary: 5-year

808s—that’s when Kanye was chillin’ with Autotune. “Love Lockdown,” that shit was raw as fuck. That’s what I’m trying to tell you—if Kanye hadn’t done those tracks? Kanye is the reason, to me, why motherfuckers like Future can still be possible. ‘Cause Future is Autotune, but Jay Z shut that shit down [with "Death Of Autotune"]. You gotta make the best of this shit. So that album, that was dope to me.

Music is like sex. Sex isn’t always gonna be the same. If you have sex with a female, the first time it might’ve been passionate, the best sex y’all had. You can’t expect that every time y’all have sex. So for me, I can’t just think, “Oh, [this is Kanye], this is gonna sound like this.” You want shit to switch up. ‘Cause when you get older, you look different. You won’t look the same your whole life. So it just showed the versatility in his craft.

How he felt on that album, he couldn’t rap about what he did on College Dropout. It’s different. [He was] grabbing another audience. You already got this audience from this previous set of albums. That new shit—he didn’t get weaker, he got deeper. It was like part two of his life. He grew. So I look at it like that.

The album kept air in the sails of the careers of artists like Future. Kanye’s also dope as fuck with his lyrics. It’s like a mismatched designer. Some people don’t mix and match designers; I mix and match designers. So it’s all about, I don’t care if they don’t think this shit is cool, it still can be cool. He’s not a follower. That album showed Kanye’s leadership. To me, I liked the Autotune shit. King L (as told to Dan Rys)