Point vs. Counterpoint: How has Kanye West impacted music?


  • Kanye West is a creator. He is an innovator and may be the most influential artist from his generation.He has impacted hip-hop in such a way that it reflects through his albums and other artist such as Drake, The Weeknd, J. Cole, and etc.
  • In 2001 Kanye got his big break by producing songs on Jay-Z’s album “The Blueprint.” On the album he brought about a collection of samples that gave the album a soul influence using samples from Jackson 5, David Ruffin, and Bobby Blue Band.
  • Because of his work on Jay-Z’s album Kanye helped repopularize soul sampling in rap music.
  • Kanye was one of the  producers for Jay-Z’s song “The Takeover” which sampled songs from The Doors “ Five to One,” KRS-One “Sound of the Police,” and David Bowie “Fame.
  • It was one of the most important rap songs in the 2000’s.
  • Kanye West is a big reason why the standards of hip-hop changed. In the early 2000’s hip-hop music was portrayed to have a flashy gangster lifestyle  until Kanye came into the picture. He was the artist that others could relate to that touched on topics such as religion, family, and materialism. Kanye’s debut album “The College Dropout” really impacted hip-hop and what a hip-hop artist is like.
  • Kanye then took things to a different level with his album “808’s and Heartbreaks.” In this album he used a retro roland TR-808 drum machine and auto-tuned his voice.
    • People didn’t know what genre to place the album in even though Kanye rapped throughout every song due to the sound.
  • This album showed Kanye challenging the traditions of hip-hop where artist stayed away from their sensitive side. This album showed a level of emotional vulnerability. Kanye tested levels of hip-hop many artist wouldn’t and pushed it to new limits.
  • He set standards for the next  decade of hip hop.
  • Kanye has impacted and influenced a lot of artist such as Kid Cudi, The Weeknd, J. Cole, Travis Scott, Chance the Rapper, and Drake just to name a few.
  • Kanye got criticized for using auto-tune on his album 808’s but it has opened doors for hip-hop artist like Future and Young Thug to use auto-tune in their music to give their vocals some life.
  • In 2014 The Rolling Stones magazine created a list of the most groundbreaking albums of all time. Kanye was placed on the list with 808’s and Heartbreaks being one of the most influential albums ever.


  • The quality of Kanye’s music declined after his mother died from complications of plastic surgery.
    • Donda West died November 10, 2007.
    • Married Kim Kardashian who was rumored to have had several surgeries.
    • Underwent liposuction himself.
  • Kanye released 808’s and Heartbreak a little over a year after his mother had died.
    • The album only sold a little over 450,000 copies its first week.
  • Kanye released My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy two years after 808’s and Heartbreak.
    • Album only sold a little over 490,000 copies its first week.
  • Yeezus sold about 325,000 copies.
  • The tone of Kanye’s music had a drastic shift after his mother’s death.
    • The music on 808’s and Heartbreak was on the ominous side.
  • The first verse is talking about how somebody he had in his life changed up on him.
  • Some problematic things that Kanye has said and done in the past couple of years
    • Opioid addiction (0:42)
    • Expressing his support for Donald Trump during his presidential campaign
    • Suggested Michael Jordan be on the $20 bill because he doesn’t want to be reminded about slavery
    • Stated that slavery was a choice

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