Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak
Kanye West has it all... so why isn't he happy?
Listening to Kanye West and his 4th album 808s & Heartbreak there are 3 things that are plainly obvious. The first thing you will notice that musically this album is really dark. Secondly and surprisingly, this is no hip hop album (surprising considering Kanye West is a hip Hop artist). Lastly his lyrics dwell a lot on the fact that life in Kanye world isn’t going the way he planned it even though he is where he always dreamed. He clearly knows he is missing something in his life. In the song “Welcome to Heartbreak’ he sings “Chased the good life my whole life long/Look back on my life and my life gone/Where did I go wrong?”. Good question Kanye!
To put this album in context and try and get into the head space that West was in when he recorded 808s, we have to look at his personal life. This is an easy thing to do because West is always in the headlines, often for the wrong reasons. In the year leading up to this one, 2 major events happened to West, his mother died from complications due to surgery and he split up with his fiance Alexis Phifer. Two events that surely would put anyone in a dark place.
Songs like ‘Robocop’, ‘See You In My Nightmares’ and ‘Heartless’ all talk of the demise of his relationship with a woman (who we assume was his fiance) and his ill feelings towards this person, even though “...we were once a fairy tale/ But this is farewell”. In ‘Bad News’ the lyrics “My face turned to stone/when i heard the news” touches on the subject of his mothers death and its effect on him. These 2 events seem to have brought West to a place where he is questioning the way he lives his life and no doubt he is searching for the answer.
My prayer for Kanye West is that one day he will be able to sing a new song. I hope he will be truly be able to repeat the words of the psalmist in Psalm 90:14 “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days”. Christians know what West is searching for. Its Jesus. Jesus brought us back into a relationship with God which is what we were created for in the beginning. When we live without God, life simply does not make sense and life will fail to satisfy even if we are rich and famous and have everything we ever dreamed of. Lets hope he also continues to make great music like 808’s & Heartbreak cause its a cracker!