On Kanye West's Bitter, Bone-Chilling 808s & Heartbreak

Call it post-graduate depression

Are we having fun yet?
Roc-a-fella/Def Jam
Are we having fun yet?

So, yeah, 808s & Heartbreak can be queasy and even morally indefensible sometimes. But that puerile sentiment also gives it its force. Intentionally or not, Kanye has tapped into a mood here that transcends whatever his personal troubles might be. With winter looming and economic futures looking scarier every day, the icy throb and barely contained rage capture the ambient dread bleeding into everyday life from all sides. Like that crowd in Singapore, we might not understand exactly what Kanye's trying to say, but, unlike them, we get the idea. This is a work borne of depression, and in the coming Great Depression, we'll need it.

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