Kanye West is an American rapper, producer and fashion designer who is a pioneer of hip hop music with his vast discography of classic albums such as MBDTF, Yeezus and more.
Quick Facts about Kanye West
Full Name: Kanye Omari West
Other Popular Names: Yeezy, Ye, Saint Pablo
Birthday: June 8, 1977 – 43 years old
Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Height: 5′ 8″ (173 cm)
Popular as: Rapper
Who is Kanye West?
Kanye West is an American hip-hop artist who shot to fame in the 2000’s when he released his first album The College Dropout (2004), since then he has released numerous albums which have been considered as a landmark in modern day hip hop. He is also one of the world’s top selling artists with more than 20 million albums and 140 million singles sold worldwide.
Early Life & Childhood
Kanye Omari West was born on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta Georgia. He was born to Ray West, a former Black Panther and Donda West, who was a professor of English at Clark Atlanta University and the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University with her last occupation being Kanye’s manager.
Kanye was raised in a middle class family and attended school at Polaris High School in Illinois. Due to the nature of his mother’s work, Kanye at the age of 10 along with his mother, Donda West, shifted to Nanjing in China where she was teaching at Nanjing University as part of an exchange program.
Kanye’s talents as a rapper were visible from the start. At the age of 8 he starting rapping and by the time he was13 years old he had composed his first song. After graduating from high school, West received a scholarship to attend Chicago’s American Academy of Art in 1997 where he took painting classes, but he soon transferred to Chicago State University where he studied English but eventually dropped out of college to pursue his musical dreams.
Kanye West first started out as a producer in the mid 90’s when he made beats for local artists, it was at this time that he was honing his trademark style of speeding up vocal samples from classic soul records. His first recorded work came when he produced eight tracks on Down to Earth for a rapper named Grav at the young age of 19. For some time he was also a ghost producer for Deric “D-Dot”.
Kanye became part of a late 1990’s Chicago rap group known as the Go-Getters with whom he released World Record Holders in 1999. In 1998, West signed to management production company Hip Hop Since 1978. His career in the late 90’s revolved around producing records for a nmber of well known artists and music groups, producing for artists such as Foxy Brown and Harlem World.
Kanye’s breakthrough with popular artists came in 2000 when he began producing for artists on Roc-A-Fella Records. West contributed significantly to his longtime friend Jay-Z’s classic 2001 album The Blueprint, revitalizing Jay-Z’s career in the process. He also produced for other artists from the label such as Freeway, Ludacris etc. and so on.
Kanye released his first debut single “Through The Wire” in September 30,2003 , which he was inspired to record after being involved in a car accident that left his jaw shattered. “Through The Wire” set out the grounds for his first album “The College Dropout”. He eventually released The College Dropout in February 10, 2004 and it was a commercial and critical success ,giving Kanye the major breakthrough he needed to put his rap career to a start.
Ever since the release of Kanye’s The College Dropout, Kanye has kept on producing and putting out numerous classic albums, which have been considered by critics as pioneering records in hip hop and helped in developing the sound of 2010’s hip hop. The College Dropout was followed by Late Registration(2005) which along with the following albums like Graduation (2007), 808s & Heartbreak(2008), MBDTF (2010), Yeezus (2013), The Life of Pablo (2016), Ye (2018), Kids See Ghosts (2018), were commercially and critically successful albums with the exception of Jesus Is King (2019) which received mixed reviews from critics on release.
Kanye has also collaborated with longtime friend and rapper Jay Z, releasing some of hip hop’s most acclaimed records such as Watch The Throne(2011) and The Blueprint (2001). Watch The Throne notably earned Jay-Z and West four Grammy Awards from seven nominations and in 2020 was certified 5x platinum certifications from the RIAA in the US.
Kanye’s latest collaboration with longtime friend Kid Cudi on the psychedelic hip hop album Kids See Ghosts(2018) is considered a modern day classic, being received well by both critics and fans alike.
Kanye West has also treaded into the world of fashion designers, collaborating with Adidas which lead to the inception of Adidas Yeezy in February of 2015, which started out with the release of Adidas Yeezy Sneakers (Boost 750) in the opening month of Adidas Yeezy. The fashion line also produces shirts, jackets, track pants, socks, women’s shoes and slippers.
Kanye West Movies & Shows
- Fade To Black (2004)
- Dave Chapelle’s Block Party (2005)
- The Love Guru (2008)
- Runaway (2010)
- Cruel Summer (2012)
- Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
- Jesus Is King (2019)
- The Cleveland Show (2010-12)
- Keeping Up with the Kadarshians (2012-present)
- David Blaine: Real or Magic (2013)
- I Am Cait (2015)
- The College Dropout Video Anthology (2005)
- Late Orchestration (2006)
- Late Registration: Video Anthalogy (2006)
- VH1 Storytellers: Kanye West (2010)
Awards & Achievements
- Kanye West has 21 GRAMMYs and over 70 GRAMMY Nominations, he is tied with Jay-Z as one of hip hop’s most decorated artists.
- Record 3 time winner-Brit Award for Best International Male Solo Artist
- 7th highest certified artist in the US by digital singles (69 million)
- Sixth most streamed artist on Spotify ( 2008-2018)
- Most consecutive studio album to reach number one on Billboard 200
- Most wins for Video of the Year at BET Awards
Personal Life & Family
Kanye West was in an on and off relationship with Alexis Phifer in 2002 and got engaged in 2006 but ended their engagement in 2008.
West also dated model Amber Rose from 2008 to summer of 2010
Kanye then dated his now wife Kim Kardashian in 2012, with whom he was friends with for a long time. They married on May 24,2014.
Kanye West Net worth
Is Kanye West a Billionaire?
Kanye West’s current net worth is $3.2 Billion dollars. Him and his wife Kim Kardashian have a coupled net worth of at least $4.1 Billion dollars. So yes, he is a billionaire.
His music catalogue, including his own record label G.O.O.D Music is valued at $80 million.
In recent years Kanye has earned at least $100 million from his various endeavors. The vast majority of his earnings have come from royalties and other earnings related to his Yeezy brand and Adidas partnership.
Yeezy separately owns his own Yeezy apparel line outright 100% but earns a royalty on the sales which are reportedly north of $1.5 billion per year
Kanye West Facts
- In Swahili, the name Kanye is translated to mean ‘the only one’
- While driving home in 2002, he was involved in a bad car accident. He almost died, sustaining very bad injuries.
- Kanye’s album ‘The College Drop-out’ was aptly named after he dropped out of Chicago State University.
- More than 50% of his tracks have been the result of a collaboration with other artists.
- His song ‘Hey Mama’ was dedicated to his mother, who died in 2007 after complications with plastic surgery.
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