Kanye West 808 and Heartbreaks
One of two really comprehensive rap albums that speak to me (young black man) about one of the biggest horrors one can endure: the death of your mother
To just give background, I come from a single parent home, but I'm last of the "it takes a village" era of children. Meaning I had aunts, grandfather, cousins and uncle who actually have morals and values vs cussing and getting drunk.
Growing up there were 3 great feelings: Victory (mainly in sports), two was being fresh (unfortunately its the only thing people glorify now) & three, the most important was being acknowledged by your parents (for me, mother) for winning. (Even though you still get love for loosing but....)
The death of my mother was the center of my world, its as if the sun burned out..and life just continues. Its only two rap artists, (it may be more but bare with me) that the deaths of their mother carried over into their music. The first, is one of my favorite rapper, Nas. His album Godson...we'll talk on that later.
But Mr.West, the entire process of his social destruction, his album, and everything that followed with the parts of his personal life that came to the light....was me.
I know I probably will never be able to thank him personally but maaaan....you have no idea. The more interesting thing about this album, much like Nas's God Son album, it doesn't make sense until you go through it. If you look up the most influential artists in history, someone came out with an album which was very emotional, it goes down as one of the most impressive albums recorded (he recorded it while looking at the person who the album was about) if you know then that's cool, but if you have no clue the artist was Marvin Gaye, the album was Here My Dear, it was to pay for his divorce. Well halfway through recording the album it got really emotional. At first, it made no sense to some, but some 10 - 20 plus years later its a classic.
To bring it back, some of the biggest problems I face is not what I've done, but what I haven't done and what I can't do.....Which makes "Street Lights" my favorite song. Its honest, apologetic, hopeful among so many emotions all in one song. The first verse, "Let me know..do I still got time to grow...things ain't always set in stone.." Its so honest and set in a different tone, much like a son would ask a mother. If I'm over your head, in some ways good, that means you haven't went through the pain in the song.
Its been said, its not about how you live, but what can you live with (yourself having done) and I'll admit that its a lot of things I haven't done that will be bittersweet when I do them cause I can't say mom..and when I get married and start a family, hearing my kids call my wife "mom" will sting a great deal as well but like all things in life bring them on..that's the only way to get over them