On November 24, 2008, Kanye West released 808's and Heartbreaks. This album is one listeners either hated or loved. Listeners could feel the tragedy and the pain of Kanye losing his mother and his love, and he went all out and put it in this piece. This album sparked a heavy trend that continues to thrive in hip-hop today. Legend has it that Kanye West and Jay-Z got physical because Jay said it was "a stupid idea". Mr. West decided to sing/rap the whole album in autotune. The style influenced many a artist in every genre. Future, one of hip-hop's biggest acts today and current hookmaster, raps and sings in autotune.
Any rapper or producer influenced by Kanye has some 808's in them.
Many claimed it wasn't real hip-hop, it didn't sound like the boom-bap sounds of the 90's, but it was influential no doubt. Listeners can't deny that, or the fact that they bopped their heads to the erratic drums and random synths. And the singing wasn't half bad.