Ten years after the release of Kanye West’s seminal fourth studio album “808s and Heartbreak,” producer Malik Yusef has announced an anniversary tour featuring local artists performing renditions of tracks from the album.
The tour will hit 15 cities across the U.S., including New York, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, before coming to a close in San Francisco. Local artists will be chosen from each city to perform the album in its entirety.
A multi-Grammy Award-winning artist, producer, and songwriter, Yusef (also known as DJ Good Music the Angel) was a contributing writer and co-producer on the landmark album.
“Any musicians have the ability to be a part of the tour, as the musical acts will be curated through an open application audition,” Yusef said. “Each artist or group will perform songs from the ‘808s & Heartbreak’ album in their own style, paying tribute to Kanye West’s original tracks.” The final performances will be selected by fans in each city through an online voting process.
Yusef, who is signed to Universal Music Publishing, recently released the first of three volumes of his third studio album, “The Matte Blaque Experience,” on Nov. 19.
He spoke to Rolling Stone about revisiting the album, which marked West’s crossover from rapping to singing. His trademark auto-tuned warble made its debut on the album’s breakout single “Love Lockdown,” first performed at the 2008 Video Music Awards.
“We were addressing heartbreak and heartbreak is a two-way street. Sometimes you get your heart broken and sometimes somebody breaks your heart and you gotta own that. You gotta own if you broke somebody’s heart, and that’s not an easy place for us to be as humans to say ‘I was wrong,’” Yusef told Rolling Stone. “That’s one thing we like the least, to say ‘I made a mistake. I did something wrong. I must atone or repent or redeem myself.’ That’s where we were, like, ‘Yo, what have you done wrong, though?’ I think Kanye’s always in that space.”