808s & Heartbreak turned a new leaf. Mixed with his feelings of grief, his likings to auto-tune, and the Roland TR-808 drum machine, the album was crafted in three weeks. In fact, he told The Guardian back in 2008 that he called the 808s effect he used on the album "heartbreak.” “It sounds distorted and electronic, and just the sound of it represents where I'm at,” Kanye said.

Months before the album’s release, fans unknowingly got a taste of 808s on Young Jeezy's single “Put On.” “I lost the only girl in the world that knows me best,” Kanye rapped with his voice coated and distorted with auto-tune.

In late September 2008, Kanye announced that the album, which was birthed out of Jay-Z’s Blueprint III studio sessions, would drop sooner than the expected December 16 date. On his blog “I changed my album to November something, 'cause I finished the album and I felt like it.”