The 808 has come a long way, from the original Roland TR-808’s from the ’80s to the endless selection of 808’s you hear across many genres in modern music. Whether you’re listening to music through a streaming service or the radio, the 808 can’t be missing when it comes to rap & hip-hop. Although, you’ll also find it commonly used with pop and electronic/trap artists. An excellent example of this would be Ariana Grande’s song “7 Rings” or Marshmellow’s song “Happier.“
What notably changed the game for modern music was Kanye’s album 808’s and Heartbreak. The album influenced an entirely new wave of producers that continuously shaped what the current 808 sounds like. With the technology that’s available today, the options with 808’s and their customization are endless. Because of this, not all 808’s can be mixed or used the same way.