Now that Kanye's auto-tuned, who's left to sing the blues?

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Watch: Kanye's new video for “Heartless”

In this new age of the auto-tuned pop monster, Kanye is the invading Godzilla to the 3,000 ton gorilla in the room that is Lil Wayne, but let's not forget that T-Pain might be the scientist who started the ill-advised experiments that spawned both rap icons' sudden turn towards pop vocals. To make matters better, the Boston Globe surmises that we have Cher to blame for starting the whole thing. How does that make ya feel, Mr. West?

Jadakiss had some words with DJ Kay Slay on the auto-tune epidemic here. Kanye’s “going for that other money” with his new album, he insists. Either way, I’m digging the Waking Life animation of West’s latest video, and personally, I prefer to blame this on Kraftwerk. Their meticulous commitment to the vocoder spawned a thousand lesser robo-bands, and it gave hip hop thirty odd years to soften up to one way to go vocal-pop without simply being an upbeat revision of R&B. Make your voice less organic and you distance it from the meloncholy origins of the blues; you're mechanized and techno, and you've got a a different history of precedences and a fresh vocabulary of sound to work with.

Or maybe this is just preparation for hip pop's official launch into outerspace. In that case, I'm just waiting for Mothra to show up and fuck shit up a little.

Also, here are two alternate mixes of the first two singles off 808s and Heartbreak.

Kanye West, “Love Lockdown” (new mix)

Kanye West, “Heartless” (new mix)

[Download via nahright]