Kanye West Biography: Kanye West, whose legal name is Ye, was born on June 8, 1977, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He is an American producer, rapper, and fashion designer who became a popular and critically acclaimed solo artist after his success in production in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
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Kanye West Early Life
Growing up in Chicago, West’s father was a photographer and a former Black Panther, while his mother was a college professor. He attended Chicago State University for a year before dropping out to pursue a music career. As a producer, West showed his considerable talents early on, contributing to Jermaine Dupri’s album Life in 1472 (1998). He later relocated to the New York City area where he gained recognition for his production work for Roc-A-Fella Records, particularly on rapper Jay-Z’s album Blueprint (2001). West’s skillful use of accelerated sample-based beats quickly made him a sought-after producer. However, he struggled to be given the opportunity to make his own recordings, partly because of the perception that his middle-class background made him less credible as a rapper.
When West finally released his debut solo album, The College Dropout (2004), it became a massive success. The album’s sales soared, and critics praised its sonic sophistication and clever wordplay. West’s use of humour, faith, insight, and political awareness on tracks such as “Through the Wire” and “Jesus Walks” won him critical acclaim. “Jesus Walks” even won a Grammy Award for best rap song in 2005. That same year, West also won awards for best rap album and best rhythm-and-blues song as one of the songwriters of Alicia Keys’s “You Don’t Know My Name.”
Kanye West Profile
|Kanye Omari West
|Date of Birth
|June 8, 1977
|45 years old
|Place of Birth
|Atlanta, Georgia, United States
|5 feet 8 inches (173 cm)
|Kim Kardashian (m. 2014; filed for divorce in 2021)
|North West, Saint West, Chicago West, Psalm West
|Rapper, record producer, songwriter, fashion designer, entrepreneur, and politician
|Def Jam Recordings, Roc-A-Fella Records, GOOD Music
|Hip hop, soul, gospel, R&B
|22 Grammy Awards, 2 Brit Awards, 1 MTV Video Music Award, 1 Time 100 most influential people (Time)
|The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation, 808s & Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus, The Life of Pablo, Ye, Jesus is King, Donda
|$6.6 billion USD (estimated) according to Forbes (as of February 2022
Kanye West Career
As he transitioned into adulthood, Kanye West graduated from Polaris High School before enrolling in art school at Chicago State University. Despite completing a year of studies, Kanye made the decision to drop out of college. In an interview with Ebony magazine, he explained his reasoning, stating that he felt he wasn’t learning at a fast enough pace and that he would benefit more from gaining experience through real-life situations. At the time, Kanye believed that his true calling was rapping and collaborating with local artists, and he wanted to devote his time and energy to developing his music career. In pursuit of this dream, Kanye moved to New York in 2001.
Kanye Omar west began writing poetry at five years old born in Atlanta on June 8th 1977 he and his mother Dr Donda West had moved to Chicago after separating from his father a former black panther and evangelical preacher brought up in a middle class environment Kanye quickly developed a passion for the arts especially music writing his first rap song green eggs and ham by the time he was 13.
Kanye West Story-Line
Mace Raequan and Eminem at the age of 24 he got his big break when he produced jay-z’s critically acclaimed album the blueprint in 2001 still his real calling as a full-fledged rapper was yet to be realized despite his beat-making skills no studio would accept Kanye’s demo mixtape he was just too different from the early 2000s gangster wrap of the time it wasn’t until a year later in 2002 when his rap career would finally take off on October 23rd, 2002. Kanye was heading back to his hotel room after a late night in the studio after falling asleep at the wheel he suffered a near fatal head-on collision that broke his jaw in several places treated at the same hospital where biggie smalls died. Kanye left the infirmary with his jaw wired shut as part of intense reconstructive surgery. He was in such poor condition that some didn’t think he would speak again let alone rap but just two weeks after the incident Kanye recorded the track that would finally throw him into the limelight wrapping through a wired jaw through the wire kickstarted Kanye’s rap career and convinced Rockafella to let him produce his own album the following year the college dropout ended up selling 440 000 copies its first week and evened out at number two on billboard’s top 200. the debut album solidified Kanye’s place in the rap game as an alternative to the dominant gangster wrap at the time and to this day it’s still his best-selling album over the next few years Kanye would transition from celebrity to pop culture icon following a series of bold antics George bush doesn’t care about black people a short-lived clothing line called pastel and two follow-up albums titled late registration and graduation with his music Kanye had pioneered a new electronic sound in hip-hop marked by the success of his graduation album which outsold 50 cent’s album Curtis by over 300 000 during their first week Kanye was now the newly crowned king of hip-hop and seemingly untouchable that is until two weeks later when his whole world came crashing down on November 10 2007 Dr Donda west passed away allegedly due to health complications from cosmetic surgery the tragic death of his mother who he still says was the biggest sacrifice for his fame changed Kanye forever feeling more despondent than ever before Kanye took refuge in Honolulu where he began to pour all his energy into his next project harnessing the power of a newly developed tool known as autotuned. Kanye transmuted his pain into one of the most transformative rap albums of all time and heartbreak but in 2008 it was met with mixed reviews people ridiculed his use of the new music tool it wasn’t until the next generation of rappers inspired by this album, which includes names like Travis Scott drake and juice world that Kanye’s choice of autotuned would be vindicated from there he began to give in to the Rockstar lifestyle eventually culminating in his iconic scandal after 2009 video music awards now disgraced Kanye retreated back to Hawaii in a self-imposed exile that caused people to wonder if he would ever be able to step back into the limelight in 2010 my beautiful dark twisted fantasy debuted at number one on the us billboard 200 and sold 496 000 copies eventually reaching 2 million to achieve double platinum status after dropping amber rose for Kim Kardashian and two new decade defining albums Kanye now had more power than ever he was primed to forge his way in a whole new industry fashion accompanied by the release of his collaboration album with jay-z and after an internship with Fendi Kanye signed a shoe deal with Nike to create the Nike air yeezys in 2009 only a small batch of shoes was made and they sold out almost instantly at 245 dollars a pair like with pastel he built huge hype around the release of his shoe stoking the flames of public interest then when the product was released the limited amount ensured that supply never fulfilled demand the hyper-limited sneakers released in two models the air easy one and air easy two and were resold on sites like eBay for prices as high as four thousand dollars for a single pair quickly taking note of his selling power Kanye demanded royalties from all shoe sales like a professional athlete only problem was Kanye wasn’t an athlete and Nike wasn’t budging feeling creatively stifled Kanye’s resentment for the status quo grew even stronger his power started to fade and he began to feel more and more like a slave to the industry never one to conform Kanye fired back with his most experimental album yet inspired by the minimalistic aesthetic at the louvre and his time in Paris. Jesus commented his status as a pop culture icon this was also around the time when his first daughter north was born and in his most profitable non-business move ever Kanye married Kim Kardashian in may of 2014. following that was a slow of business deals including becoming a shareholder for a new streaming service by jay-z called title, which aimed to give artists complete creative freedom because of his stake in the company and the exclusive rights he provided to his music he likely saw a healthy revenue stream however in 2017 he claimed that the company owed him more than three million dollars and he threatened to part ways on the fashion side of things right as his contract with Nike expired Kanye inked a 10 million deal with adidas to create the now multi-billion dollar yeezy brand in 2015 the first season the high top yeezy boost 750 came to fruition only 9 000 season 1 boosts were created for the launch and they sold out within 10 minutes next was the yeezy season 1 duck boot 950 the most expensive yeezy sneaker ever released ushered in finally with his 2016 album the life of Pablo yeezy followed up with the release of yeezy season 2 and 3 before adidas announced a long-term contract branching yeezy out into sports performance products this deal would end up making west millions as he negotiated full brand ownership alongside a 15 royalty on the sale of his shoes an unheard of amount in terms of royalty fees for comparison Michael Jordan only had a 5 royalty agreement with Nike for his air Jordan deal this means that for every shoe or piece of clothing sold Kanye pockets 15 today the sneaker line is considered one of the most influential shoe brands in the world as he continues to release new designs and models each ranging from 200 to over 500 dollars a pair prior to Nike and Adidas.
Kanye West Career
Kanye West’s career as a music producer started to gain traction, and his beats were quickly becoming well-known in New York’s music scene. His big break came when he was hired to produce songs for rapper Jay-Z’s 2001 album The Blueprint. The album surpassed Kanye’s expectations, selling over 420,000 copies in its first week alone. Following this success, many prominent rappers expressed interest in working with Kanye due to his exceptional producing skills.
Despite his success as a producer, Kanye was determined to be known for more than just his producing abilities. He wanted to establish himself as a rapper as well. While he continued to work as a producer for established artists, Kanye also began crafting his own demo and promoting himself at recording sessions. However, despite his solid reputation in the industry, he struggled to get his foot in the door as a rapper and his calls often went unanswered.
Kanye was on a mission to gain respect in the music industry as a rapper. However, his life took a drastic turn one night that he will never forget. In October 2002, Kanye was driving home from a recording session in Los Angeles and fell asleep at the wheel. He got into a severe car accident that left him with a wired jaw. This experience could have been devastating for most musicians, but Kanye used it to his advantage. While recording his first album, he channeled his pain and struggles into his music. In an interview, he explained, “I viewed the album as my medicine. It helped me take my mind off the pain, the dental appointments, the discomfort of having my mouth wired shut, and the fact that I looked like I had just fought Mike Tyson…I almost died. And that was the best thing that ever happened to me as a rapper.”
Despite his challenges, Kanye returned to the recording studio with his jaw still wired shut. The accident inspired him to create his breakthrough single “Through the Wire,” which propelled his rap career and became the first track on his debut album, “The College Dropout.”
Kanye West School Dropout
The release of Kanye West’s album, The College Dropout, marked a significant departure from the digital production style popularized by Timbaland in the early 2000s. This departure helped to push hip-hop beyond the “Bling Era” lifestyle epitomized by artists like 50 Cent, and represented a bold new direction for the genre.
Not only was The College Dropout artistically successful, but it also proved to be a commercial hit, becoming Kanye West’s best-selling album in the United States. By 2014, over 3.4 million copies of the album had been sold, and it was certified four-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2020.
Kanye West’s follow-up album, Late Registration, released on August 30, 2005, saw him expand his production style even further with the help of producer Jon Brion. The album showcased some of Kanye’s best work, including hit singles “Diamonds” and “Gold Digger.”
Kanye West Cool Life
In 2007, Kanye released his third studio album, Graduation, through Def Jam Recordings and Roc-A-Fella Records. The album quickly became one of the most memorable of the year, especially when compared to 50 Cent’s third album, Curtis, which leaned heavily on the traditions of gangsta rap. Despite 50 Cent’s claim that he would outsell Kanye, Graduation ultimately sold nearly one million more copies than Curtis.
Kanye’s victory was not just a commercial success but a cultural one as well. Graduation marked a turning point for hip-hop, cementing a shift away from the gangsta rap that had dominated the genre in the 90s. Kanye’s unique and eclectic style, which incorporated elements of house and rock music, paved the way for a new era of hip-hop, one that would continue to evolve in the years to come.
Kanye West Grammy Award
Ever since Kanye released his very first album, “The College Dropout,” his career as a rapper took off like a rocket. In early 2005, West received a whopping ten nominations at the 47th annual Grammy Awards. The album “The College Dropout” secured the Best Rap Album award, while the song “Jesus Walks” won Best Rap Song. Additionally, he shared the Best R&B Song award with Alicia Keys and Harold Lilly for the songwriting credit on “You Don’t Know My Name.