Heartbreaks & 808s

The first iteration of a staff blog I will be renewing every other week.

Kanye West representing his style circa 2008. (Courtesy of Complex.com)

Kanye West representing his style circa 2008. (Courtesy of Complex.com)

We’ve all experienced heartbreak before. Some of us are experiencing it right now. And if you are, don’t worry, this playlist is just for you.

The first playlist I want to make for this blog is called “Heartbreak and 808s”, a clear reference and homage to Kanye West’s 2008 album. 50 songs and just under four hours filled with sadness and regret that’s sure to get even the most heartless gangster into his feelings.

Sad R&B songs are abundant in this playlist, from Frank Ocean’s spiteful “Thinkin’ Bout You” to the sincere harmonies of Bell Biv Devoe’s “When Will I Smile Again,” but there are 5 songs in particular I would like to highlight.

The song I would like to mention is the first on the playlist, “Marvin’s Room” by Drake. This song is probably the quintessential “in your feelings” track of the decade. Drake’s first two verses describe the Canadian under the influence of alcohol, calling an old flame who now has a man.

The third verse is where Drake raps a verse to said old flame with a vulnerable delivery, as he desperately pleads for her to keep him company.

Scrolling down a bit further, we reach the song “She’s Out of My Life” by Michael Jackson. Honestly, you could put this song on repeat and forget the whole rest of the playlist. It’s that good.

Quite possibly Jackson’s slowest song, “She’s Out of My Life” is simply MJ at his most vulnerable, and perhaps his best. There’s little instrumental, just a broken Michael Jackson pouring his heart out over a lover he mistakenly took for granted.

This song is so great, Eddie Murphy even covered it briefly in his “Delirious” stand up. You know you’re doing something right when a top 5 comedian of all time covers your song mid-joke.

A common similarity most of these songs share are the fact that their artists are often at their softest or most vulnerable, and Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” is no exception. This song in particular has Lauryn singing about her rocky relationship with former lover and fellow group member of the Fugees, Wyclef Jean. While Lost Ones felt like she was airing out dirty laundry, Ex-Factor, feels more like a weight being lifted off of Hill’s chest, and overall it felt more genuine and heartfelt.

The last song I’d like to highlight is “Heartless” by Kanye West. While he may be far and away the worst singer throughout this entire playlist, you can still feel his pain as much as any other artist, perhaps more so.

In the autotune-filled song, Kanye half-croons, half raps about a woman who was “so heartless” for leaving him after 6 years together. The lyrics reflect the fake confidence we all exhibit after a bad relationship; Kanye’s screams of “you’ll never find nobody better than me” are hopelessly spiteful, and are capable of hitting home.

I recommend this playlist to anyone that recently went through a breakup and need a shoulder to cry on. If you’re perfectly fine, however, I’d stay away; you might find yourself crying over your crush in 7th grade.

“If the link at the bottom doesn’t work, use this: https://open.spotify.com/user/dakids813/playlist/3IHui09bOd1zJ0RKWnswE2