Kanye West
808s & Heartbreak
10 Year Anniversary

Words By Ellice Ellis
Design By Albert Guillermo
& Palette Agency

Release Date: November 24, 2008
Label: Roc-A-Fella Records

After the release of his 2007 album Graduation, Kanye West’s world was flipped on its head. One month shy of the release of his third studio album, Kanye’s mother, Donda West, died due to complications from cosmetic surgery. Months later, Kanye and his fiance, Alexis Phifer, broke off their engagement, sending him into a world of further heartbreak. His fourth album would no longer be called Good Ass Job and would embody the melancholy haze the rapper was experiencing. Instead, he titled fourth studio album 808s & Heartbreak.

In the midst of this, Kanye was coming off a string of career highs. His overwhelmingly optimistic singles "Stronger" and "Good Life" topped the charts. He destroyed 50 Cent in a same-release-day feud and had sold almost one million copies of Graduation in America its first week of release. Kanye had proved his backpack raps, skits, and soul beats could sell in a time where hip-hop was more focused on street cred and the styles of rappers like Eminem, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, and Rick Ross.