Kanye was omnipresent in 2008. His feature on Estelle’s “American Boy,” proved to be an international success. He brought his auto-tune stylings to Jeezy’s Grammy-nominated single “Put On” and T.I.’s iconic posse-cut “Swagga Like Us,” debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
SONGS RELEASED BEFORE THE ALBUM
In one week, he went from assisting 88-Keys on "Stay Up! (Viagra)" to premiering “Love Lockdown,” the first single off 808s & Heartbreak, at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. Wearing a grey blazer emblazoned with a red heart (similar to the 808s album cover), he premiered a single that immediately was recognized as a drastic departure from his previous sound. “Love Lockdown” features minimalist production characterized by the Roland TR-808 drum machine, multiple synths, keyboards, and tribal drums.
The public grew skeptical of his coming album—and that he planned to record the entire project with auto-tune. Despite this, “Love Lockdown” debuted at No. 3 on the Hot 100 and became his fourth Platinum single, selling over three million copies. When finished, 88.3 percent of Kanye’s performance on 808s & Heartbreak utilized auto-tune.