World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Kanye West

Article Id: WHEBN0000523032
Reproduction Date:

Title: Kanye West  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kanye West production discography, Grammy Award for Best Rap Song, Jay Z, List of Live Lounge cover versions, Cruel Summer (GOOD Music album)
Collection: 1977 Births, 20Th-Century American Musicians, 21St-Century American Singers, African-American Businesspeople, African-American Christians, African-American Fashion Designers, African-American Film Directors, African-American Investors, African-American Male Rappers, African-American Male Singers, African-American Record Producers, Alternative Hip Hop Musicians, American Fashion Businesspeople, American Food Industry Business Executives, American Hip Hop Record Producers, American Hip Hop Singers, American Music Industry Executives, American Music Publishers (People), American Music Video Directors, American Philanthropists, American Restaurateurs, Brit Award Winners, Businesspeople from Illinois, Chicago State University Alumni, Def Jam Recordings Artists, Film Directors from Illinois, Good Music Artists, Grammy Award Winners, Hip Hop Activists, Kanye West, Kardashian Family, Kim Kardashian, Living People, Midwest Hip Hop Musicians, Participants in American Reality Television Series, Rappers from Chicago, Illinois, Roc-A-Fella Records Artists, Shoe Designers, Songwriters from Illinois, World Music Awards Winners
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Kanye West

Kanye West
West performing at Lollapalooza in 2011
Born Kanye Omari West
(1977-06-08) June 8, 1977
Georgia, U.S.
Residence Hidden Hills, California, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • record producer
  • fashion designer
Years active 1996–present
Home town Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Spouse(s) Kim Kardashian (m. 2014)
Children 1
Website Official website
Musical career
Genres Hip hop
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • sampler
  • percussion
  • synthesizer
  • piano
Associated acts

Kanye Omari West (; born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, record producer, and fashion designer. West first became known as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records; he achieved recognition for his work on rapper Jay Z's The Blueprint (2001), as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and Janet Jackson. His style of production originally used high-pitched vocal samples from soul songs incorporated with his own drums and instruments. He later broadened his influences to include R&B, baroque pop, trip hop, arena rock, house, folk, alternative, electronica, synthpop, industrial, and classical music.

West was raised in a middle-class household in Chicago, Illinois, and began rapping in the third grade, becoming involved in the city's hip hop scene. West attended art school for one semester before dropping out to pursue music entirely in the late 1990s. Although his real desire was to become a rapper, record executives did not take West seriously, viewing him as a producer first and foremost. After being signed to Roc-A-Fella in 2002, West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004 to commercial and critical acclaim. The baroque-inspired Late Registration followed in 2005, and Graduation in 2007. West switched rapping for singing on his emotive 2008 effort 808s & Heartbreak, and embraced maximalism on 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Following several collaborations, West released his abrasive sixth album, Yeezus, in 2013.

West is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 21 million albums and 100 million digital downloads.[1] He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time and the most Grammy-awarded artist of his age.[2] Time named West one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005, 2011 and 2015. He has also been included in a number of Forbes annual lists.[3] Three of his albums rank on Rolling Stone's 2012 "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list; two of his albums feature at #8 and #1 in Pitchfork Media's The 100 Best Albums of 2010–2014.[4]

West's background and style, from his debut album, deviated from the then-dominant "gangsta" persona in hip hop, and he would later alter the genre stylistically as rappers adopted his alternative aesthetic. An outspoken celebrity, West has often been a source of controversy as a result of his outspoken appearances at award shows and his various television and radio interviews. West has collaborated on multiple occasions with brands Nike, Louis Vuitton, A.P.C., and Adidas. West also runs his own record label GOOD Music and has directed several short films.


  • Early life 1
  • Music career 2
    • 1996–2002: Career beginnings 2.1
    • 2003–06: The College Dropout and Late Registration 2.2
    • 2007–09: Graduation and 808s & Heartbreak 2.3
    • 2010–12: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and collaborations 2.4
    • 2013–present: Yeezus and SWISH 2.5
  • Musical style 3
  • Other ventures 4
    • Presidential campaign 4.1
    • Business ventures 4.2
    • Fashion 4.3
    • Philanthropy 4.4
  • Personal life 5
    • Relationships 5.1
    • Mother's death 5.2
    • Legal issues 5.3
  • Controversies 6
    • General media 6.1
    • Award shows 6.2
    • Petitions 6.3
  • Legacy 7
  • Accolades 8
  • Discography 9
    • Studio albums 9.1
    • Collaboration albums 9.2
  • Videography 10
  • Filmography 11
    • Film 11.1
    • Television 11.2
  • Bibliography 12
  • Further reading 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15

Early life

Kanye Omari West was born on June 8, 1977 in

External links

  1. ^ "Kanye West Gives Donda’s House Largest Donation Ever". The Chicago Citizen. May 27, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Kyles, Yohance (February 11, 2013). "55th Annual Grammy Awards Recap". AllHipHop. Retrieved February 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Forbes Profile: Kanye West". Forbes. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  4. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of 2010-2014".  
  5. ^ "Monitor".  
  6. ^ "Monitor".  
  7. ^ Arney, Steve (March 8, 2006). "Kanye West Coming To Redbird.".  
  8. ^ a b Christian, Margena A. (May 14, 2007). "Raising Kanye"Dr. Donda West Tells How She Shaped Son To Be A Leader In .  
  9. ^ "About". Westar Waterworks, LLC t/a The Good Water Store and Café. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  10. ^ Tunison, Michael (December 7, 2006). "How'd You Like Your Water?".  
  11. ^ Kanye West: Grammy-Winning Hip-Hop Artist & Producer – Audrey Borus, Douglas Lynne. Google Books. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Donda C. Williams West (1949–2007) – Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ Davis, Kimberly (2004). "The Many Faces of Kanye West".  (subscription required)
  14. ^ a b Tyrangiel, Josh (August 21, 2005). "Why You Can't Ignore Kanye".  
  15. ^ West, Donda (2007). Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar. New York, NY: Pocket Books. pp. 85–93.  
  16. ^ Mos, Corey (December 5, 2005). "College Dropout Kanye Tells High School Students Not To Follow In His Footsteps". MTV. Retrieved July 28, 2006. 
  17. ^ a b "Kanye and His Mom Shared Special Bond".  
  18. ^ West, Donda, p. 105
  19. ^ a b c Calloway, Sway; Reid, Shaheem (February 20, 2004). "Kanye West: Kanplicated". MTV. Retrieved April 21, 2009. 
  20. ^ Hess, p. 557
  21. ^ West, Donda, p. 106
  22. ^ Hess, p. 558
  23. ^ "Photos: Kanye West's Career Highs — and Lows 1 of 24". Rolling Stone. December 10, 2010. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Barber, Andrew (July 23, 2012). "93. Go-Getters "Let Em In" (2000)".  
  25. ^ Reid, Shaheem (September 30, 2005). "Music Geek Kanye's Kast of Thousands". MTV. Retrieved April 23, 2006. 
  26. ^ a b c d e Saddleback (January 1, 2013). Kanye West: Hip-Hop Biographies. Saddleback Education Publishing. p. 18.  
  27. ^ a b Mitchum, Rob. The College DropoutReview: . Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  28. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: #464 (The Blueprint)".  
  29. ^ Kellman, Andy. The College Dropout. AllMusic. All Music Guide. Retrieved August 25, 2011
  30. ^ a b c d Reid, Shaheem (February 9, 2005). "Road To The Grammys: The Making Of Kanye West's College Dropout". MTV. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 
  31. ^ Serpick, Evan. Kanye West. Rolling Stone Jann Wenner. Retrieved December 26, 2009.
  32. ^ a b Hess, p. 556
  33. ^ Williams, Jean A (October 1, 2007). "Kanye West: The Man, the Music, and the Message.(Biography)". The Black Collegian. Retrieved April 27, 2008. 
  34. ^ a b Kearney, Kevin (September 30, 2005). Rapper Kanye West on the cover of Time: Will rap music shed its "gangster" disguise?. World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h Birchmeier, Jason (2007). "Kanye West – Biography". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved April 24, 2008. 
  36. ^ Davis, Kimberly. "The Many Faces of Kanye West" (June 2004) Ebony.
  37. ^ Davis, Kimberly. "Kanye West: Hip Hop's New Big Shot" (April 2005) Ebony.
  38. ^ Kamer, Foster (March 11, 2013). "9. Kanye West, Get Well Soon... (2003) — The 50 Best Rapper Mixtapes".  
  39. ^ Reid, Shaheem (December 10, 2002). "Kanye West Raps Through His Broken Jaw, Lays Beats For Scarface, Ludacris". MTV. Retrieved October 23, 2007.
  40. ^ Patel, Joseph (June 5, 2003). "Producer Kanye West's Debut LP Features Jay-Z, ODB, Mos Def". MTV. Retrieved April 21, 2009. 
  41. ^ Goldstein, Hartley (December 5, 2003). "Kanye West: Get Well Soon / I'm Good".  
  42. ^ Ahmed, Insanul (September 21, 2011). "Kanye West × The Heavy Hitters, Get Well Soon (2003) – Clinton Sparks' 30 Favorite Mixtapes".  
  43. ^ Kanye West – Through the Wire – Music Charts. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
  44. ^ Jones, Steve (February 10, 2005). "'"Kanye West runs away with 'Jesus Walks.  
  45. ^  
  46. ^ Montgomery, James (December 7, 2004). "Kanye Scores 10 Grammy Nominations; Usher And Alicia Keys Land Eight". MTV. Retrieved January 7, 2009. 
  47. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (November 22, 2010). My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyReview: . Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
  48. ^ Brown, p. 121
  49. ^ Brown, p. 120
  50. ^ a b c d e Scaggs, Austin (September 20, 2007). "Kanye West: A Genius In Praise of Himself". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 9, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2015. 
  51. ^ Perez, Rodrigo (August 12, 2005). "Kanye's Co-Pilot, Jon Brion, Talks About The Making Of Late Registration". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved March 2, 2006.
  52. ^ Brown, p. 124
  53. ^ Knopper, Steve (November 15, 2005). "Kanye Couldn't Save Fall". Rolling Stone. RealNetworks, Inc. Archived from the original on December 1, 2005. Retrieved November 27, 2005. 
  54. ^ a b "Kanye West's Bad Behavior: A Short History".  
  55. ^ a b Itzkoff, Dave, "UPDATED: Kanye West Criticizes ‘Today’ Show for ‘Brutal’ Interview", The New York Times Arts Beat blog, November 10, 2010, 2:25 pm. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  56. ^ Reid, Shaheem (August 29, 2007). "'"Kanye's Graduation: Inside The NYC Listening Party For West's So-Called 'Comeback. MTV. Viacom. Retrieved August 29, 2007. 
  57. ^ Johnson, Brett (September 10, 2007). "Review: New CDs From 50 Cent, Kanye West".  
  58. ^ a b Laws, Angel (October 5, 2007). "Exclusive Interview W/ Kanye West". Concrete Loop. Retrieved October 5, 2007. 
  59. ^ Serwer, Jesse (August 13, 2007). "Kanye West".  
  60. ^ Patel, Joseph (June 5, 2003). "Producer Kanye West's Debut LP Features Jay-Z, ODB, Mos Def". MTV. 
  61. ^ Reid, Shaheem. 50 Cent Or Kanye West, Who Will Win? Nas, Timbaland, More Share Their Predictions. MTV. Viacom. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  62. ^ Mayfield, Geoff (September 12, 2007). "Kanye Well Ahead Of 50 Cent In First-Day Sales Race". Billboard. Retrieved September 12, 2007. 
  63. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (September 20, 2007). "Kanye Caps Banner Week With Hot 100 Chart-Topper". Billboard. Retrieved September 28, 2007. 
  64. ^  
  65. ^ a b c Detrick, Ben. "Reality Check".  
  66. ^ "Entertainment | Kanye's mother dies after surgery". BBC News. November 12, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  67. ^ McGee, Tiffany. "Kanye West's Fiancée 'Sad' Over Breakup".  
  68. ^ Thorogood, Tom. "Kanye West Opens Up His Heart".  
  69. ^ Macia, Peter. "FADER 58: Kanye West Cover Story and Interview".  
  70. ^ "808s and Heartbreak"Urban Review: Kanye West, .  
  71. ^ Reid, Shaheem. "Kanye West Inspires The Question: Should Rappers Sing?". MTV.  
  72. ^ Montgomery, James (November 10, 2008). "New Albums From Kanye West, Ludacris, Killers To Get Rare Monday Release On November 24". MTV. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  73. ^ "T.I. Back Atop Hot 100, Kanye Debuts High".  
  74. ^ Heartless: Hot 100 Charts. Billboard. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  75. ^ Carmichael, Emma (September 21, 2011). "Kanye’s '808s': How A Machine Brought Heartbreak To Hip Hop".  
  76. ^ Trammell, Matthew (July 7, 2012). "Kanye West Claims the Stage in Atlantic City". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  77. ^ a b c Respers, Lisa (September 14, 2009). "Anger over West's disruption at MTV awards". CNN. Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  78. ^ Jones, Steve (January 28, 2009). "Grammy snubs: What's next for West and Whitney?". USA Today. Retrieved January 31, 2009. 
  79. ^ a b Callahan-Bever, Noah (November 2010). Kanye West: Project Runaway. Complex. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  80. ^ Hermes, Will (October 25, 2010). Lost in the World by Kanye West feat. Bon Iver and Gil Scott-Heron | Rolling Stone Music. Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  81. ^ Fastenberg, Dan (December 9, 2010). "Kanye's Beautiful, Dark Twittered Fantasy – The Top 10 Everything of 2010".  
  82. ^ a b c Kanye West Album & Song Chart History – Hot 100. Billboard (magazine). Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  83. ^ "Searchable Database".  
  84. ^ Abebe, Nitsuh (December 1, 2011). "Explaining the Kanye Snub, and Other Thoughts on the Grammy Nominations". New York. New York Media. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  85. ^ Jeff Miller (April 18, 2011). "Kanye West Delivers One of Greatest Hip-Hop Sets of All Time at Coachella".  
  86. ^ Gissen, Jesse (August 8, 2011). "Jay-Z & Kanye West Miraculously Manage to Keep Watch the Throne Leak-Free".  
  87. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (August 8, 2011). "Jay-Z and Kanye West Avoid 'Watch the Throne' Leak". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  88. ^ "Pics: Kanye West's Seven-Screen Custom-Built Cinema In Cannes".  
  89. ^ a b c d Caramanica, Jon (June 11, 2013). "Behind Kanye's Mask".  
  90. ^ Dombal, Ryan (June 24, 2013). Sessions"Yeezus"The .  
  91. ^ Kot, Greg (June 16, 2013). "Kanye West's 'Yeezus' an uneasy listen".  
  92. ^ Blistein, Jon (June 27, 2013). Seemed Impossible"Yeezus"Rick Rubin: Finishing Kanye West's .  
  93. ^ Battan, Carrie (May 17, 2013). "Watch: Kanye West Projects New Video "New Slaves" on Buildings Around the World".  
  94. ^ Coleman, Miriam (May 19, 2013). "'"Kanye West Unleashes the Fury of 'Black Skinhead' on 'SNL. Rolling Stone (New York). Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  95. ^ Torrente, Ria Kristina (June 19, 2013). "Kanye West's Yeezus Gets Rave Reviews".  
  96. ^ "Official: Kanye West's 'Yeezus' Sells 327,000; Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart".  
  97. ^ Greenwald, David (June 28, 2013). "Kanye West Prepping 'Black Skinhead' as First 'Yeezus' Single". Billboard (Los Angeles). Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  98. ^ "Kanye West Announces Tour With Kendrick Lamar". Pitchfork Media. September 6, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  99. ^ "Kanye West Announces Fall Arena Tour – Kendrick Lamar Opening". Glide Magazine. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  100. ^ Jackson, Reed (November 25, 2013). "Kanye West Hopes To Have New Album Out By Summer". XXL.
  101. ^ Rys, Dan (December 3, 2013). "Q-Tip Will Produce Kanye West's Next Album With Rick Rubin – XXL". Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  102. ^ "Kanye West slams fiancee Kim’s former Lovers in his new track". Indo-Asian News Service. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  103. ^ Young, Alex. "Kanye West premieres 'Only One' featuring Paul McCartney — listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved January 1, 2015. 
  104. ^ James Rettig (January 24, 2015). """Rihanna, Kanye West, & Paul McCartney – "FourFiveSeconds. Stereogum. SpinMedia. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  105. ^ "See Kanye West's Claustrophobic 'SNL' 40 Performance With Sia". Rolling Stone. 
  106. ^ "iTunes - Music - All Day (feat. Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney) - Single by Kanye West". iTunes Store. 
  107. ^ Zach Frydenlund. "Kanye West Debuts 'All Day' At The Brit Awards". Complex UK. 
  108. ^ Peters, Mitchell (May 3, 2015). "Kanye West Announces Name Change of His New Album on Twitter". Billboard. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  109. ^ "Kanye West Receives Honorary Doctorate From SAIC: Listen". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 12, 2015. 
  110. ^ Renshaw, David (March 22, 2015). "Kanye West Glastonbury petition crosses 100,000 signature mark". NME. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  111. ^ Mann, Sebastianl (June 28, 2015). "Kanye West at Glastonbury: I am the greatest living rock star on the planet". Telegraph. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  112. ^ Palmer, Siobhan (June 28, 2015). "Kanye West at Glastonbury: the reactions".  
  113. ^ a b "Kanye West's Glastonbury headline set polarises Twitter as fans react".  
  114. ^ "Kanye West at Glastonbury 2015: Yeezy gives a daringly confident performance - review", NME, June 28, 2015, retrieved July 7, 2015 
  115. ^ "Kanye West at Glastonbury 2015 review – out on his own", The Guardian, Jun 28, 2015, retrieved July 7, 2015 
  116. ^ Burrell, Ian (September 22, 2007). "Kanye West: King of rap". The Independent (UK). Retrieved April 26, 2008. 
  117. ^ "Black History — Biographies — Kanye West".  
  118. ^ "Kanye, Run-DMC, Outkast, Justin Sound Off On Our Top 10 Hip-Hop Groups". MTV. Retrieved June 7, 2007. 
  119. ^ a b Dukes, Rahman; Reid, Shaheem (January 19, 2009). "The Clipse Hint At Kanye West Collabo: Mixtape Monday". Rolling Stone. RealNetworks, Inc. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  120. ^ a b Park, Adam (January 7, 2007). "'"Kanye West 'God Just Brings Collaborations Together.  
  121. ^ Rayner, Alex (September 14, 2005). "Kanye West: Interview".  
  122. ^ Crosley, Hillary (August 6, 2007). Graduation' Day Nears for Kanye West"'".  
  123. ^ Crosley, Hillary (September 15, 2007). "Graduation". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  124. ^ West, Kanye (August 15, 2009). """The Fray – "Heartless. Kanye West Blog. Kanye West/Mascotte Holdings, LLC. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  125. ^ Daly, Sean (December 26, 2004). "From Beyonce to Bono to Bruce, Busy B's Held Sway in Pop". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 24, 2008. 
  126. ^ "'"Kanye West rants at VMAs: I have decided to 'run for president. Fox News. August 2015. Retrieved August 2015. 
  127. ^ "Kanye West To Open Chain Of Fatburger Restaurants In Chicago". August 2010. 
  128. ^ "Kanye West Shuts Down His Chicago Fatburger Restaurant". February 1, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  129. ^ "Cutting the Fat". New York Post. 
  130. ^ Sisario, Ben (March 13, 2015). "Jay Z Buys the Music Streaming Firm, Aspiro". The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  131. ^ Flanagan, Andrew (March 30, 2015). "It's Official: Jay Z's Historic Tidal Launches With 16 Artist Stakeholders".  
  132. ^ Goodway, Frankie (November 18, 2014). "How much money DO musicians get out of Spotify?". Daily Mirror. Retrieved April 30, 2015. 
  133. ^ Sisario, Ben (March 30, 2015). "Jay Z Reveals Plans for Tidal, a Streaming Music Service". The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  134. ^ "Stuff Style Icon of the Year". Stuff (magazine). Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved June 7, 2007. 
  135. ^ Mdudu, Naomi (October 9, 2009). "Perfectionist Kanye West’s Pastelle Line Cancelled?". The FashPack. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  136. ^ Tharpe, Frazier (October 11, 2011). "What Could've Been: A History of Kanye's Defunct Pastelle Line". Complex Magazine. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  137. ^ "Kanye West x Louis Vuitton Sneakers for June 2009". Hypebeast. March 5, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  138. ^ Hislop, Rachel (September 26, 2012). "Renaissance Man: Kanye West's Complete History Of Shoe Designs". Global Grind. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  139. ^ Kanye West – Spring/Summer 2012 ready-to-wear show – The Internet Fashion Database Retrieved and verified on October 2, 2011
  140. ^ Odell, Amy (August 17, 2011). "What Kanye West Got Right and Wrong With His First Paris Fashion Week Show – The Cut". New York. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  141. ^ post a comment › (October 1, 2011). "Kanye West Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection on Runway Review". Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  142. ^ Binkley, Christina (October 1, 2011). "Kanye West Shows Debut Collection at Paris Fashion Week – Heard on the Runway – WSJ". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  143. ^ Wilson, Eric (October 1, 2011). "Kanye West Show, Shrouded in Silence, Creates a Scene". Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  144. ^ "Here's proof that Kanye can't cut it on the catwalk". The Guardian (London). October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  145. ^ "Critics go over the top as Kanye's fashion is a flop". Herald Sun. Australia. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  146. ^ "Kanye's Paris Fashion Week debut gets mixed reviews – The Marquee Blog – Blogs". CNN. October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  147. ^ Wilson, Julee (March 7, 2012). "Kanye West Debuts Fall 2012 Collection During Paris Fashion Week". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  148. ^ Leitch, Luke (March 6, 2012). "Paris Fashion Week: Kanye West autumn/winter 2012". London: Telegraph (UK). Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  149. ^ Frank, Alex (March 7, 2012). "Kanye West at Paris Fashion Week Round II: The Reviews". The Fader. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  150. ^ Little, Lyneka (December 4, 2013). "Adidas Confirms New Deal with Kanye West". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  151. ^ "Kanye West to Live Stream Launch of Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost in Theaters".  
  152. ^ "Kanye West's Yeezy 750 Boost Sneakers Restock After Selling Out". BET. February 28, 2015. 
  153. ^ a b "About the Dr. Donda West Foundation". Kanye West Foundation website (archived). 2008. Archived from the original on August 6, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  154. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (April 25, 2007). "Billionaires Start $60 Million Schools Effort". The New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  155. ^ "Kanye West to Politicians: Yo, Education Is Important". Education Portal Stone. August 24, 2007. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  156. ^ Webb, Tracey (August 26, 2007). "Hip Hop Superstar Kanye West Combats School Drop Out Rate Through Hip Hop Music". Black Gives Back. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  157. ^ "Dr. Donda West foundation". Look to the Stars. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  158. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. (April 19, 2011). "Kanye West’s Charity Closes". The New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  159. ^ Stelter, Brian (July 28, 2008). "In 'Homecoming' MTV Focuses On Iraq Veterans". The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  160. ^ OGUNNAIKE, LOLA (June 23, 2004). "A Trinity of Videos for One Religious Rap".  
  161. ^ Boom, Daniel (September 15, 2014). I'm a married Christian man with a family': Kanye West gets personal on stage and says 'wheelchair rant' was misunderstood"'".  
  162. ^ "Kanye West's Ex-Fiancee Alexis Phifer Talks About Breakup". MTV News. April 21, 2008. Retrieved September 18, 2009. 
  163. ^ "Kanye West Confirms Amber Rose Split".  
  164. ^ Galla, Brittany (June 7, 2013). """Khloe Kardashian: I Told Kim Kardashian To Date Kanye West "For Years!.  
  165. ^ Garibaldi, Christina (June 21, 2012). "Kim Kardashian Explains Why It Took 'So Long' To Date Kanye West". MTV. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  166. ^ CNN Staff (October 22, 2013). "Kimye forever: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West get engaged". October 22, 2013 (CNN). Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  167. ^ Finn, Natalie (October 21, 2013). "Kim Kardashian Is Engaged to Kanye West!". E!. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  168. ^ Corriston, Michelle (May 24, 2014). "It's Official: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are Married". People. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  169. ^ Shira, Dahvi (June 15, 2013). "Kim Kardashian Is a Mom!".  
  170. ^ Garcia, Jennifer; Dyball, Rennie (June 20, 2013). "Kim Kardashian's Baby Name: Finally Revealed!".  
  171. ^ "Kim Kardashian in Jerusalem for Daughter's Baptism". Retrieved May 12, 2015. 
  172. ^ Harrison, Lily (May 31, 2015). "Kim Kardashian Is Pregnant! Reality Star Expecting Second Child With Kanye West". E! Online. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  173. ^ "Kanye West and Kim Kardashian Expecting a Son – Moms & Babies – Celebrity Babies and Kids - Moms & Babies -". Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  174. ^ a b c d "Fire Dept. Called to Donda West's Home".  
  175. ^ a b Hernandez, Alondra (January 10, 2008). "Donda West Died of Heart Disease after Surgery".  
  176. ^ "'"Donda West's Doctor Expresses 'Condolences.  
  177. ^ "Donda West's surgeon faced malpractice suits, records show". CNN. November 13, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2008. 
  178. ^ "Focus of Kanye West Mom's Death Shifts to Doctor".  
  179. ^ "Amy Winehouse's Alleged Crack Video Under Investigation; Plus Pink, Paris Hilton, 'American Idol' & More, In For The Record". MTV. Retrieved April 24, 2008. 
  180. ^ "Donda West, Kanye's Mother, Died Of Heart Attack: Coroner's Report". MTV News. Retrieved April 24, 2008. 
  181. ^ "Kanye West's tearful goodbye at mother's funeral". The New Zealand Herald. November 22, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2008. 
  182. ^ "Video: Kanye West Dedicates Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" to His Mom".  
  183. ^ " Kanye West Speaks Candidly About Mother, Religion, Rap". Retrieved December 2, 2008.
  184. ^ "Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Donda West Plastic Surgery Law". MTV News. Retrieved October 15, 2009. 
  185. ^ "Evel Knievel Sues Kanye West".  
  186. ^ "Evel Knievel, Kanye West settle lawsuit". USA Today. November 27, 2007. Retrieved November 27, 2007. 
  187. ^ "Kanye West arrested after skirmish at airport". CNN. September 11, 2008. Retrieved March 19, 2009. 
  188. ^ "Kanye West, Bodyguard Arrested At LAX". Access Hollywood. September 11, 2008. Retrieved March 19, 2009. 
  189. ^ "West escapes charge over scuffle". BBC News. September 27, 2008. Retrieved September 18, 2009. 
  190. ^ Kaufman, Gil (April 14, 2009). "Kanye West's Arraignment In Paparazzi Case Delayed". MTV News. Retrieved September 18, 2009. 
  191. ^ "Kanye West Arrested After Alleged Tussle With Photographer, Then Cleared". November 14, 2008. Retrieved November 14, 2008. 
  192. ^ Coleman, C. Vernon (July 13, 2013). "Kanye West Attacks Paparazzi Outside LAX, Might Face Attempted Robbery Charges". XXL.
  193. ^ Steiner, B.J. (September 13, 2013). "Kanye West Charged In LAX Paparazzi Attack". XXL.
  194. ^ Duke, Alan (March 17, 2014). "Kanye West gets probation in paparazzi attack".  
  195. ^ Byrne, Bridget (October 4, 2005). "NBC KO's Kanye's Bush Bashing". E! News.  
  196. ^ Moraes, Lisa de (September 3, 2005). "Kanye West's Torrent of Criticism, Live on NBC". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  197. ^ "Bush reacts to apology from Kanye West". November 11, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2013. 
  198. ^ Simmons, Russell (November 12, 2010). "Dear Kanye West...". The Huffington Post (USA). Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  199. ^ "George W. Bush Cares About Kanye West's Apology".  
  200. ^ Roth, Andrew (September 2, 2013). "Kanye West Sings at Kazakh Wedding". The New York Times. Retrieved October 17, 2015. 
  201. ^ Blistein, Jon (September 3, 2013). "Kanye West Performed for Kazakh Strongman's Family". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 14, 2015. 
  202. ^ a b Michaels, Sean (September 2, 2013). "Kanye West plays lucrative gig for controversial Kazakhstan president". The Guardian. Retrieved October 14, 2015. 
  203. ^ O'Sullivan, Feargus (July 12, 2011). "The recent rise in cultural boycotts". The National. Retrieved October 17, 2015. 
  204. ^ "Kanye West goes after Jimmy Kimmel in Twitter rant over BBC interview spoof, late-night host responds: 'Right now we’re at DefKanye Five'", Daily News (New York), September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013
  205. ^ Kanye West Guilty Of Anti-Semitism?! Anti-Defamation League Demands Apology For Latest Comments! by Perez Hilton, May 12, 2013
  206. ^ Kanye West's Week Includes Accusations Of Anti-Semitism, Weak Attendance At Kansas City Gig by The Huffington Post, Matthew Jacobs, May 12, 2013
  207. ^ Staff (December 22, 2013). "Kanye West wants to take back 'ignorant compliment' about Jews".  
  208. ^ "Kanye Has His Sights on Best Album". San Francisco Chronicle. December 9, 2005. Retrieved April 26, 2008. 
  209. ^ "Kanye West Unleashes Tirade After Losing at MTV Europe Music Awards". Fox News Channel. November 3, 2006. Retrieved April 24, 2008. 
  210. ^ "EMAs Shocker: Kanye Stage Invasion!". MTV. Archived from the original on June 3, 2007. Retrieved June 7, 2007. 
  211. ^ Olsen, Jan M. (November 3, 2006). "Kanye West Upset at MTV Video Award Loss". Fox News Channel. Retrieved April 24, 2008. 
  212. ^ Navaroli, Joel (September 29, 2007). "SNL Archives | Episodes | September 29, 2007 #13". SNL Archives. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  213. ^ "Kanye West Jealous Of Britney Opening The VMAs". Britney Spy. Archived from the original on April 24, 2008. Retrieved April 24, 2008. 
  214. ^ "Kanye West Loses It Again, Says He'll 'Never Return To MTV': Report".  
  215. ^ a b "Kanye West Storms the VMAs Stage During Taylor Swift's Speech". Rolling Stone. September 13, 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  216. ^ Vozick, Simon (September 13, 2009). "Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift's VMAs moment: What was he thinking? by Simon Vozick-Levinson". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  217. ^ "2009 MTV Video Music Awards – Best Female Video". MTV. Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  218. ^ a b Martens, Todd; Villarreal, Yvonne (September 15, 2009). "'"Kanye West expresses Swift regret on blog and 'The Jay Leno Show. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  219. ^ "Adam Lambert, Donald Trump, Joe Jackson Slam Kanye West's VMA Stunt". MTV. September 13, 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  220. ^ "Obama calls Kanye West a jackass". BBC News. September 16, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2009. 
  221. ^ Gavin, Patrick (September 15, 2009). "'"Obama calls Kanye 'jackass.  
  222. ^ "'"Audio: President Obama Calls Kanye West a 'Jackass.  
  223. ^ "'"Obama Calls Kanye West a 'Jackass.  
  224. ^ Anderson, Kyle (September 16, 2009). "Kanye West's VMA Interruption Gives Birth To Internet Photo Meme". MTV. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  225. ^ "Kanye West Steals Taylor Swift's Thunder...but Not for Long: Report". ENews. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  226. ^ Booth, Jenny (September 14, 2009). "Kanye West spoils the show at MTV awards". The Times (London). Retrieved September 14, 2009. 
  227. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (September 15, 2009). "Taylor Swift Tells 'The View' Kanye West Hasn't Contacted Her. The country star discusses her reaction to the VMA incident.". MTV. Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  228. ^ "Taylor Swift visits 'The View,' accepts Kanye apology". New York Post. May 15, 2009. Archived from the original on September 23, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  229. ^ "Kanye calls Taylor Swift after ‘View’ appearance".  
  230. ^ Devon Thomas (September 7, 2010). "Kanye West Writes Song In Honor of Taylor Swift".  
  231. ^ "VIDEO: Kanye West Backtracks On Taylor Swift Apology". 
  232. ^ "Kanye West Backtracks On Taylor Swift Apology". 
  233. ^ Stern, Marlow. "Kanye West Blasts Beck’s Album of the Year Grammys Win: ‘Beck Needs To Respect Artistry’". The Daily Beast. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  234. ^ C.M., Emmanuel (February 26, 2015). "Kanye West Apologizes to Beck and Bruno Mars". XXL Magazine. Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  235. ^ Dan Stubbs / NME (June 28, 2015). "Kanye West Glastonbury Stage Crashed By British Comedian Simon Brodkin". Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  236. ^ "Petition Reaches 50,000 To Stop Kanye West From Closing Out The Pan American Games". Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  237. ^ "Kanye West to play Pan Am Games closing ceremonies". July 15, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  238. ^ NME.COM. "NME News 50,000 people sign petition to stop Kanye West from playing Pan Am Games closing ceremony - NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  239. ^ "Kanye tosses faulty mic at Pan Am closing ceremony, walks off stage". CTVNews. 
  240. ^ Westhoff, Ben (February 20, 2013). "Sorry, But Kanye Is the GOAT".  
  241. ^ "Kanye West: Album Guide". Rolling Stone (Jann S. Wenner). Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  242. ^ Swash, Rosie (June 13, 2011). Kanye v 50 Cent. The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  243. ^ Barli, Nick Huff (November 29, 2011). "Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover talks Kanye West, Nas, Kendrick Lamar". Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  244. ^ Sterling, Scott (November 18, 2011). "Concert review: Frank Ocean reveals the softer side of Odd Future".  
  245. ^ Paine, Jake (November 12, 2011). "Parkbench Studies: Is 808's & Heartbreak Our Chronic?". HipHopDX. Cheri Media Group. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  246. ^ Rabin, Nathan. Thank Me LaterReview: . The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  247. ^ "Drake Says Kanye West Is 'The Most Influential Person' On His Sound". MTV News. May 28, 2009. 
  248. ^ "Casey Veggies Speaks On Influences, Names Kanye West & Nas". HipHopDX. August 10, 2011. 
  249. ^ Adkins, Adele (November 1, 2010). "Adele: I'm very excited, nervous, eager, anxious but chuffed to announce my new album!".  
  250. ^ Andrew Trendell. "'"Kasabian: 'Our new album's influenced by Nirvana + Kanye West. 
  251. ^ Moreno, Chino (January 25, 2010). "MGMT's new album influenced by Lady Gaga and Kanye West".  
  252. ^ "Kanye West".  
  253. ^ 200"Billboard". Billboard. December 11, 2010. 
  254. ^ J.C. Maçek III (August 2, 2012). American Pop'... Matters: Ron Thompson, the Illustrated Man Unsung"'".  
  255. ^ "Week Ending May 8, 2011. Songs: Rolling In The Dough – Yahoo!! Chart Watch". Yahoo! Music. May 11, 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  256. ^ "Week Ending July 3, 2011. Songs: Sons Of A Legend – Chart Watch". Yahoo! Music. July 6, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  257. ^ Watson, Andrew (December 20, 2012). "Jay-Z And Kanye West’s ‘N*ggas In Paris’ Goes Triple Platinum, And ‘No Church In The Wild’ Goes Gold". The Versed. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  258. ^ Grein, Paul (November 7, 2012). "Week Ending Nov. 4, 2012. Songs: The Power Of "The Voice" | Chart Watch (NEW) – Yahoo!! Music". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 
  259. ^ "Top Digital Artists of the Decade".  
  260. ^ "Week Ending June 19, 2011. Bad Teenage Dreams – Chart Watch". Yahoo! Music. June 22, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  261. ^ Ross, Dalton (January 6, 2012). "Entertainment Weekly"Rihanna crowned best-selling digital artist | . Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 26, 2012. 
  262. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (January 7, 2014). "Kanye West’s lawyer orders "Coinye" to cease and desist just before launch". Ars Technica. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  263. ^ Yadron, Danny (January 7, 2014). "Kanye’s Lawyer Moves to Block Coinye – Digits – WSJ". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  264. ^ "WSJ Coin" (PDF). The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  265. ^ Adaso, Henry; Rott, Ivan; P., Renato; Bhaskar, S; Henry, A. "Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers".  
  266. ^ Reid, Shaheem (May 16, 2008). Hottest MCs In The Game': No.1 Kanye West"'". MTV. Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  267. ^ Clem Rusty (December 19, 2010). "Kanye west voted as the man of the year.". 
  268. ^ "Top Producers of the decade.". May 21, 2011. 
  269. ^ McManus, Brian (January 15, 2014). "For the Fourth Time in Six Albums, Kanye West Takes the Top Pazz & Jop Prize".  
  270. ^ "'"500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Kanye West, 'The College Dropout. Rolling Stone (Jann S. Wenner). 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  271. ^ "'"500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Kanye West, 'Late Registration. Rolling Stone (Jann S. Wenner). 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  272. ^ "'"500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Kanye West, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Rolling Stone (Jann S. Wenner). 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  273. ^ tom mann (August 19, 2014). "And Pitchfork says the best album of the decade is....". Faster Louder. Faster Louder Pty Ltd. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  274. ^ Sarah Smith (August 18, 2014). "And Pitchfork says the bestsong of the decade is....". Faster Louder. Faster Louder Pty Ltd. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 


  • Kanye in Oxford: The #YeezOx highlights. Retrieved April 27, 2015

Further reading

  • Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar (2007)
  • Thank You and You're Welcome (2009)
  • Through the Wire: Lyrics & Illuminations (2009)
  • Glow in the Dark (2009)


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Entourage Himself Season 4, Episode 11
2010–2012 The Cleveland Show Kenny West (voice) 5 episodes
2012–present Keeping Up with the Kardashians Himself
2015 I Am Cait Himself Episode: "Meeting Cait"


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Fade to Black Himself
2005 Dave Chappelle's Block Party Himself Guest performance
2005 State Property 2 Himself Cameo appearance
2008 The Love Guru Himself Cameo appearance
2009 We Were Once a Fairytale Himself Short film, directed by Spike Jonze
2010 Runaway Griffin Short film, also director and writer
2012 Cruel Summer Ibrahim Short film, also director, producer and writer
2013 Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues J.J. Jackson of MTV News




Collaboration albums

Studio albums


The Pitchfork online music publication ranked My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as the world's best album of the decade "so far"—between 2010 and 2014—on August 19, 2014, while Yeezus was ranked in the eighth position of a list of 100 albums. During the same week, the song "Runaway" (featuring Pusha T) was ranked in the third position in the publication's list of the 200 "best tracks" released since 2010.[273][274]

In its 2012 list of "500 Greatest Albums of All Time, Rolling Stone included three of West's albums—The College Dropout at number 298,[270] Late Registration at number 118,[271] and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy at number 353.[272]

As of 2013, West has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all-time.[2] ranked Kanye West No. 8 on their "Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers" list.[265] On May 16, 2008, Kanye West was crowned by MTV as the year's No. 1 "Hottest MC in the Game."[266] On December 17, 2010, Kanye West was voted as the MTV Man of the Year by MTV.[267] Billboard ranked Kanye West No. 3 on their list of Top 10 Producers of the Decade.[268] West ties with Bob Dylan for having topped the annual Pazz & Jop critic poll the most number of times ever, with four number-one albums each.[269] West has also been included in the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world as well as being listed in a number of Forbes annual lists.[3]


West was the inspiration for Coinye West, a cryptocurrency;[262][263] his lawyers served a cease-and-desist letter.[264]

West's first six solo studio albums, all of which have gone platinum, have received numerous awards and critical acclaim.[252] All of his albums have been commercially successful, with Yeezus, his sixth solo album, becoming his fifth consecutive No. 1 album in the U.S. upon release.[253] West has had six songs exceed 3 million in digital sales as of December 2012, with "Gold Digger" selling 3,086,000, "Stronger" selling 4,402,000, "Heartless"[254] selling 3,742,000, "E.T." selling over 4,000,000, "Love Lockdown" selling over 3,000,000,[255][256] and "Niggas in Paris" selling over 3,000,000,[257][258] placing him third in overall digital sales of the past decade.[259][260] He has sold over 30 million digital songs in the United States making him one of the best-selling digital artists of all-time.[261]

The sales competition between rapper 50 Cent's Curtis and West's Graduation altered the direction of hip hop and helped pave the way for new rappers who did not follow the hardcore-gangster mold.[65] Rosie Swash of The Guardian viewed the sales competition as a historical moment in hip-hop, because it "highlighted the diverging facets of hip-hop in the last decade; the former was gangsta rap for the noughties, while West was the thinking man's alternative."[242] West's 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak polarized both listeners and critics, but was commercially successful and impacted hip hop stylistically,[35] as it laid the groundwork for a new wave of artists who generally eschewed typical rap braggadocio for intimate subject matter and introspection, including B.o.B, Kid Cudi, Childish Gambino,[243] Frank Ocean,[244] The Weeknd, and Drake.[245][246] According to Ben Detrick of XXL magazine, West effectively led a new wave of artists, including Kid Cudi, Wale, Lupe Fiasco, Kidz in the Hall, and Drake, who lacked the interest or ability to rap about gunplay or drug-dealing.[65] Both Drake and Casey Veggies have acknowledged being influenced directly by West.[247][248] English singer-songwriter Adele said that she drew inspiration from West's music when she recorded her 2011 album 21, as he was one of the artists she "loved forever".[249] Sergio Pizzorno of English rock band Kasabian cited West as an influence on their 2014 album 48:13.[250] West was also one of the inspirations behind MGMT's album Congratulations.[251]

Village Voice Media senior editor Ben Westhoff dubbed West the greatest hip hop artist of all time, writing that "he's made the best albums and changed the game the most, and his music is the most likely to endure."[240] Rolling Stone credited West for transforming hip hop's mainstream, "establishing a style of introspective yet glossy rap on The College Dropout and Late Registration, two of the decade's best records", and called him "as interesting and complicated a pop star as the 2000s produced—a rapper who mastered, upped and moved beyond the hip-hop game, a producer who created a signature sound and then abandoned it to his imitators, a flashy, free-spending sybarite with insightful things to say about college, culture and economics, an egomaniac with more than enough artistic firepower to back it up."[241]

West's views and dapper and flamboyant fashion sense have set him apart from other rappers.[35] Allmusic editor Jason Birchmeier writes of his impact, "As his career progressed throughout the early 21st century, West shattered certain stereotypes about rappers, becoming a superstar on his own terms without adapting his appearance, his rhetoric, or his music to fit any one musical mold."[35] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times said that West has been "a frequent lightning rod for controversy, a bombastic figure who can count rankling two presidents among his achievements, along with being a reliably dyspeptic presence at award shows (when he attends them)."[89]

Mr. West has had the most sui generis hip-hop career of the last decade. No rapper has embodied hip-hop’s often contradictory impulses of narcissism and social good quite as he has, and no producer has celebrated the lush and the ornate quite as he has. He has spent most of his career in additive mode, figuring out how to make music that’s majestic and thought-provoking and grand-scaled. And he's also widened the genre's gates, whether for middle-class values or high-fashion and high-art dreams.

—Jon Caramanica, The New York Times[89]


[239] citing the headlining artist should be Canadian. In his Pan American Games Closing Ceremony performance, close to the end of his performance, West closed the show by tossing his microphone in the air.[238] Music fans have turned to


On February 8, 2015, at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, West walked on stage as Beck was accepting his award for Album of the Year and then walked off stage, making everyone think he was joking around. After the awards show, West stated in an interview that he was not joking and that "Beck needs to respect artistry, he should have given his award to Beyoncé".[233] On February 26, 2015, he publicly apologized to Beck on Twitter.[234]

On September 13, 2009, during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards while Taylor Swift was accepting her award for Best Female Video for "You Belong with Me", West went on stage and grabbed the microphone to proclaim that Beyoncé's video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", nominated for the same award, was "one of the best videos of all time". He was subsequently removed from the remainder of the show for his actions.[77][215][216] When Beyoncé later won the award for Best Video of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", she called Swift up on stage so that she could finish her acceptance speech.[215] West was criticized by various celebrities for the outburst,[77][217][218][219] and by President Barack Obama, who called West a "jackass".[220][221][222][223] In addition, West's VMA disruption sparked a large influx of Internet photo memes with blogs, forums and "tweets" with the "Let you finish" photo-jokes.[224] He posted a Tweet soon after the event where he stated, "Everybody wanna booooo me but I'm a fan of real pop culture... I'm not crazy y'all, I'm just real."[225] He then posted two apologies for the outburst on his personal blog; one on the night of the incident, and the other the following day, when he also apologized during an appearance on The Jay Leno Show.[218][226] After Swift appeared on The View two days after the outburst, partly to discuss the matter, West called her to apologize personally. Swift said she accepted his apology.[227][228][229] In September 2010, West wrote a series of apologetic tweets addressed to Swift including "Beyonce didn't need that. MTV didn't need that and Taylor and her family friends and fans definitely didn't want or need that" and concluding with "I'm sorry Taylor." He also revealed he had written a song for Swift and if she did not accept the song, he would perform it himself.[230] However, on November 8, 2010, in an interview with a Minnesota radio station, he seemed to recant his past apologies by attempting to describe the act at the 2009 awards show as "selfless" and downgrade the perception of disrespect it created.[231][232]

On September 9, 2007, West suggested that his race had something to do with his being overlooked for opening the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) in favor of Britney Spears; he claimed, "Maybe my skin’s not right."[213] West was performing at the event; that night, he lost all five awards that he was nominated for, including Best Male Artist and Video of the Year. After the show, he was visibly upset that he had lost at the VMAs two years in a row, stating that he would not come back to MTV ever again. He also appeared on several radio stations saying that when he made the song "Stronger" that it was his dream to open the VMAs with it. He has also stated that Spears has not had a hit in a long period of time and that MTV exploited her for ratings.[214]

In 2004, West had his first of a number of incidents involving music award events. At the American Music Awards of 2004, West stormed out of the auditorium after losing Best New Artist to country singer Gretchen Wilson. He later commented, "I felt like I was definitely robbed [...] I was the best new artist this year."[54] After the 2006 Grammy nominations were released, West said he would "really have a problem" if he did not win the Album of the Year, saying, "I don't care what I do, I don't care how much I stunt – you can never take away from the amount of work I put into it. I don't want to hear all of that politically correct stuff."[208] On November 2, 2006, when his "Touch the Sky" failed to win Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards, West went onto the stage as the award was being presented to Justice and Simian for "We Are Your Friends" and argued that he should have won the award instead.[209][210] Hundreds of news outlets worldwide criticized the outburst. On November 7, 2006, West apologized for this outburst publicly during his performance as support act for U2 for their Vertigo concert in Brisbane.[211] He later spoofed the incident on the 33rd season premiere of Saturday Night Live in September 2007.[212]

Award shows

During a November 26, 2013 radio interview, West explained why he believed that President Obama had problems pushing policies in Washington: "Man, let me tell you something about George Bush and oil money and Obama and no money. People want to say Obama can't make these moves or he's not executing. That's because he ain't got those connections. Black people don't have the same level of connections as Jewish people...We ain't Jewish. We don't got family that got money like that."[205] In response to his comments, the Anti-Defamation League stated: "There it goes again, the age-old canard that Jews are all-powerful and control the levers of power in government."[206] On December 21, 2013, West backed off of the original comment and told a Chicago radio station that "I thought I was giving a compliment, but if anything it came off more ignorant. I don’t know how being told you have money is an insult."[207]

Later in 2013, West launched a tirade on Twitter directed at talk show host Jimmy Kimmel after his ABC program Jimmy Kimmel Live! ran a sketch on September 25 involving two children re-enacting West's recent interview with Zane Lowe for BBC Radio 1 in which he calls himself the biggest rock star on the planet. Kimmel reveals the following night that West called him to demand an apology shortly before taping.[204]

In September 2013, West was widely rebuked by human rights groups for performing in Kazakhstan at the wedding of authoritarian President Nursultan Nazarbayev's grandson. He traveled to Kazakhstan, which has one of the poorest human rights records in the world, as a personal guest of Nazarbayev.[200] Other notable Western performers, including Sting, have previously cancelled performances in the country over human rights concerns.[201][202] West was reportedly paid US$3 million for his performance.[202] West had previously participated in cultural boycotts, joining Shakira and Rage Against The Machine in refusing to perform in Arizona after the 2010 implementation of stop and search laws directed against potential illegal aliens.[203]

West has been an outspoken and controversial celebrity throughout his career. He accused President [197] Reactions were mixed, but some felt that West had no need to apologize. "It was not the particulars of your words that mattered, it was the essence of a feeling of the insensitivity towards our communities that many of us have felt for far too long", argued Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons.[198] Bush himself was receptive to the apology, saying, "I appreciate that. It wasn't just Kanye West who was talking like that during Katrina, I cited him as an example, I cited others as an example as well. You know, I appreciate that."[199]

General media


On July 19, 2013, West was leaving LAX as he was surrounded by dozens of paparazzi. West became increasingly agitated as a photographer, Daniel Ramos, continued to ask him why people were not allowed to speak in his presence. West then says, "I told you don't talk to me, right? You trying to get me in trouble so I steal off on you and have to pay you like $250,000 and shit." Then he allegedly charged the man and grabbed him and his camera. The incident captured by TMZ, took place for a few seconds before a female voice can be heard telling West to stop. West then released the man, and his camera, and drove away from the scene. Medics were later called to the scene on behalf of the photographer who was grabbed. It was reported West could be charged with felony attempted robbery behind the matter.[192] However, the charges were reduced to misdemeanor criminal battery and attempted grand theft.[193] In March 2014, West was sentenced to serve two years' probation for the misdemeanor battery conviction and required to attend 24 anger management sessions, perform 250 hours of community service and pay restitution to Ramos.[194]

West was arrested again on November 14, 2008 at the Hilton hotel near Gateshead after another scuffle involving a photographer outside the famous Tup Tup Palace nightclub in Newcastle upon Tyne. He was later released "with no further action", according to a police spokesperson.[191]

On September 11, 2008, West and his road manager/bodyguard Don "Don C." Crowley were arrested at Los Angeles International Airport and booked on charges of felony vandalism after an altercation with the paparazzi in which West and Crowley broke the photographers' cameras.[187][188] West was later released from the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division station in Culver City on $20,000 bail bond. On September 26, 2008, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said it would not file felony counts against West over the incident. Instead the case file was forwarded to the city attorney's office, which charged West with one count of misdemeanor vandalism, one count of grand theft and one count of battery and his manager with three counts of each on March 18, 2009.[189] West's and Crowley's arraignment was delayed from an original date of April 14, 2009.[190]

In December 2006, Robert "Evel" Knievel sued West for trademark infringement in West's video for "Touch the Sky". Knievel took issue with a "sexually charged video" in which West takes on the persona of "Evel Kanyevel" and attempts flying a rocket over a canyon. The suit claimed infringement on Knievel's trademarked name and likeness. Knievel also claimed that the "vulgar and offensive" images depicted in the video damaged his reputation. The suit sought monetary damages and an injunction to stop distribution of the video.[185] West's attorneys argued that the music video amounted to satire and therefore was covered under the First Amendment. Just days before his death in November 2007, Knievel amicably settled the suit after being paid a visit from West, saying, "I thought he was a wonderful guy and quite a gentleman."[186]

Legal issues

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the "Donda West Law", legislation which makes it mandatory for patients to provide medical clearance for elective cosmetic surgery.[184]

At a December 2008 press conference in New Zealand, West spoke about his mother's death for the first time. "It was like losing an arm and a leg and trying to walk through that", he told reporters.[183]

The funeral and burial for Donda West was held in Oklahoma City on November 20, 2007.[181] West played his first concert following the funeral at The O2 in London on November 22. He dedicated a performance of "Hey Mama", as well as a cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'", to his mother, and did so on all other dates of his Glow in the Dark tour.[182]

Adams sent condolences to Donda West's family but declined to publicly discuss the procedure, citing confidentiality. West’s family, through celebrity attorney Ed McPherson, filed complaints with the Medical Board against Adams and Aboolian for violating patient confidentiality following her death.[176] Adams had previously been under scrutiny by the medical board.[177][178] He appeared on Larry King Live on November 20, 2007, but left before speaking. Two days later, he appeared again, with his attorney, stating he was there to "defend himself". He said that the recently released autopsy results "spoke for themselves".[179] The final coroner's report January 10, 2008, concluded that Donda West died of "coronary artery disease and multiple post-operative factors due to or as a consequence of liposuction and mammoplasty".[180]

On November 10, 2007, at approximately 7:35 pm, paramedics responding to an emergency call transported West's mother, Donda West, to the nearby Centinela Freeman Hospital in Marina del Rey, California. She was unresponsive in the emergency room, and after resuscitation attempts, doctors pronounced her dead at approximately 8:30 pm,[174] at age 58.[175] The Los Angeles County coroner's office said in January 2008 that West had died of heart disease while suffering "multiple post-operative factors" after plastic surgery. She had undergone liposuction and breast reduction.[175] Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Andre Aboolian had refused to do the surgery because West had a health condition that placed her at risk for a heart attack.[174] Aboolian referred her to an internist to investigate her cardiac issue.[174] She never met with the doctor recommended by Aboolian and had the procedures performed by a third doctor, Jan Adams.[174]

Donda West in August 2007

Mother's death

West began an on-again, off-again relationship with designer Alexis Phifer in 2002, and they became engaged in August 2006. The pair ended their 18-month engagement in 2008.[162] West subsequently dated model Amber Rose from 2008 until the summer of 2010.[163] West began dating reality star and longtime friend[164] Kim Kardashian in April 2012.[165] West and Kardashian became engaged in October 2013[166][167] and married on May 24, 2014 at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy.[168] They have one child, daughter North "Nori" West, born in June 2013.[169][170] In April 2015, West and Kardashian traveled to Jerusalem to have North baptized in the Armenian Apostolic Church at the Cathedral of St. James.[171] The following month, it was announced that West and Kardashian were expecting their second child.[172] On June 21, 2015, Kardashian confirmed via Instagram that she and West are expecting a boy in December 2015.[173]

West's wife Kim Kardashian, pictured in September 2012


After the success of his song "Jesus Walks" from the album The College Dropout, West was questioned on his beliefs and said "I will say that I'm spiritual. I have accepted Jesus as my Savior. And I will say that I fall short every day."[160][161]

Personal life

West has additionally appeared and participated in many fundraisers, benefit concerts, and has done community work for Hurricane Katrina relief, the Kanye West Foundation, the Millions More Movement, 100 Black Men of America, a Live Earth concert benefit, World Water Day rally and march, Nike runs, and a MTV special helping young Iraq War veterans who struggle through debt and PTSD a second chance after returning home.[159]

In 2008, following the death of West's mother, the foundation was rechristened "The Dr. Donda West Foundation." [153][157] The foundation ceased operations in 2011.[158]

[156] In 2007, the West and the Foundation partnered with [153] West, alongside his mother, founded the "Kanye West Foundation" in Chicago in 2003, tasked with a mission to battle dropout and illiteracy rates, while partnering with community organizations to provide underprivileged youth access to music education.


On December 3, 2013, Adidas officially confirmed a new shoe collaboration deal with West.[150] After months of anticipation and rumors, West confirmed the release of the Adidas Yeezy Boosts with a Twitter announcement directing fans to the domain Leading up to the announced West X Adidas fashion show, video updates appeared on the website with a countdown to February 12, 2015. The release of the Yeezy Boosts and the full Adidas collaboration was showcased in New York City on February 12, 2015, with free streaming to 50 cinemas in 13 countries around the world.[151] An initial release of the Adidas Yeezy Boosts was limited to 9000 pairs to be available only in New York City via the Adidas smartphone app; the Adidas Yeezy Boosts were sold out within 10 minutes.[152] The shoes released worldwide on February 28, 2015, were limited to select boutique stores and the Adidas UK stores. The Adidas Yeezy Boosts are the only products released so far out of the Adidas collaboration with a rumored release of the full clothing line in fall 2015. A full look book with all of the expected products was made available by West via Twitter.

On March 6, 2012, West premiered a second fashion line at Paris Fashion Week.[147][148] The line's reception was markedly improved from the previous presentation, with a number of critics heralding West for his "much improved" sophomore effort.[149]

West performing at The Museum of Modern Art's annual Party, May 2011

On October 1, 2011, Kanye West premiered his women's fashion label, DW Kanye West[139] at Paris Fashion Week. He received support from DSquared2 duo Dean and Dan Caten, Olivier Theyskens, Jeremy Scott, Azzedine Alaïa, and the Olsen twins, who were also in attendance during his show. His debut fashion show received mixed-to-negative reviews,[140] ranging from reserved observations by[141] to excoriating commentary by The Wall Street Journal,[142] The New York Times,[143] the International Herald Tribune,, The Daily Telegraph, Harper's Bazaar and many others.[144][145][146]

In 2009, West collaborated with Nike to release his own shoe, the Air Yeezys, with a second version released in 2012. In January 2009, West introduced his first shoe line designed for Louis Vuitton during Paris Fashion Week. The line was released in summer 2009.[137] West has additionally designed shoewear for Bape and Italian shoemaker Giuseppe Zanotti.[138]

In September 2005, West announced that he would release his Pastelle Clothing line in spring 2006, claiming "Now that I have a Grammy under my belt and Late Registration is finished, I am ready to launch my clothing line next spring."[134] The line was developed over the following four years – with multiple pieces teased by West himself – before the line was ultimately cancelled in 2009.[135][136]


On March 30, 2015, it was announced that West is a co-owner, with various other music artists, in the music streaming service Tidal. The service specialises in lossless audio and high definition music videos. Jay Z acquired the parent company of Tidal, Aspiro, in the first quarter of 2015.[130] Including Beyoncé and Jay-Z, sixteen artist stakeholders (such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Madonna, Chris Martin, Nicki Minaj and more) co-own Tidal, with the majority owning a 3% equity stake.[131] The idea of having an all artist owned streaming service was created by those involved to adapt to the increased demand for streaming within the current music industry, and to rival other streaming services such as Spotify, which have been criticised for their low payout of royalties.[132] "The challenge is to get everyone to respect music again, to recognize its value", stated Jay-Z on the release of Tidal.[133]

In August 2008, West revealed plans to open 10 Fatburger restaurants in the Chicago area; the first was set to open in September 2008 in Orland Park. The second followed in January 2009, while a third location is yet to be revealed, although the process is being finalized. His company, KW Foods LLC, bought the rights to the chain in Chicago.[127] Ultimately, in 2009, only two locations actually opened. In February 2011, West shut down the Fatburger located in Orland Park.[128] Later that year, the remaining Beverly location also was shuttered.[129]

Business ventures

In August 2015, during the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony, West announced his candidacy for President of the United States in the 2020 election.[126]

Presidential campaign

Other ventures

West's mascot and trademark is "Dropout Bear", a teddy bear which has appeared on the covers of three of his six solo albums as well as various single covers and in his music videos.[125]

West has stated on several occasions that outside of his musical career, he favors listening to rock music over hip-hop.[120] He cites Franz Ferdinand, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Keane, Radiohead, Kaiser Chiefs, Modest Mouse, and Coldplay as some of his most favorite musical groups.[120][121][122] Additionally, for Graduation, West drew inspiration from arena rock bands such as U2, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin for the melodies and chord progressions of his songs.[123] West has collaborated with indie artists such as Santigold, Peter Bjorn and John, Lykke Li and Bon Iver while his songs have gone on to be covered countless times by a myriad of rock bands.[124]

While his use of sampling has lessened over time, West's hip-hop production continues to feature distinctive and intricate string arrangements. This characteristic of his arose from listening to the English trip hop group Portishead. The band's 1998 live album Roseland NYC Live, with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra inspired him to incorporate string sections into his hip hop production.[50] Though he was unable to afford live instruments beyond violin riffs provided by Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari around the time of his debut album, its subsequent commercial success allowed him to hire his very own eleven-piece string orchestra. For a a period of time, Kanye West stood as the sole current pop star to tour with a string section.[50]

West accompanied by an 11-piece chamber orchestra.

At the start of his career, West often used pitched-up vocal samples, usually from soul songs, in his hip-hop production, along with his own drums and instrumentation.[116] His first major release featuring his trademark soulful vocal sampling style was "This Can't Be Life", a track from Jay-Z’s The Dynasty: Roc La Familia. West has said that Wu-Tang Clan producer RZA influenced him in his style,[14][117] and has said on numerous occasions that Wu-Tang rappers Ghostface Killah and Ol' Dirty Bastard were some of his all-time favorites, "Wu-Tang? Me and my friends talk about this all the time... We think Wu-Tang had one of the biggest impacts as far as a movement. From slang to style of dress, skits, the samples. Similar to the [production] style I use, RZA has been doing that."[118] RZA himself has spoken quite positively of the comparisons, stating in an interview for Rolling Stone, "All good. I got super respect for Kanye. He came up to me about a year or two ago. He gave me mad praising and blessings... For people to say Wu-Tang inspire Kanye, Kanye is one of the biggest artists in the world. That goes back to what we say: 'Wu-Tang is forever.' Kanye is going to inspire people to be like him."[119] After hearing his work on The Blueprint, RZA claimed that a torch-passing had occurred between him and West, saying, "The shoes gotta be filled. If you ain't gonna do it, somebody else is gonna do it. That's how I feel about rap today."[119]

West working in the studio with his mentor No ID (left)

Musical style

In May 2015, West tweeted that he was changing his next album title from So Help Me God to SWISH but also stated that the title could change again in the future.[108] Later that month, West was awarded an honorary doctorate by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for his contributions to music, fashion, and popular culture, officially making him an honorary DFA.[109] The next month, West headlined at the Glastonbury Festival in the UK, despite a petition signed by almost 135,000 people against his appearance.[110] At one point, he told the audience: "You are now watching the greatest living rock star on the planet."[111] Media outlets, including social media sites such as Twitter, were sharply divided on his performance.[112][113] NME stated, "The decision to book West for the slot has proved controversial since its announcement, and the show itself appeared to polarise both Glastonbury goers and those who tuned in to watch on their TVs."[113] The publication added that "he's letting his music speak for and prove itself."[114] The Guardian said that "his set has a potent ferocity – but there are gaps and stutters, and he cuts a strangely lone figure in front of the vast crowd."[115]

"FourFiveSeconds", a single jointly produced with Rihanna and McCartney, was released on January 23, 2015. West had played the song before radio programmers at the iHeartMedia Music Summit, but, at the time of release, an indication was not given about whether it will appear on the next albums of either West or Rihanna.[104] West also appeared on the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special and performed the songs "Jesus Walks", "Only One" (without Paul McCartney, who also performed at the event) and premiered a new song entitled "Wolves", which features Sia Furler and fellow Chicago rapper, Vic Mensa. "Wolves" is reported to be the first track on West's seventh solo album, titled So Help Me God.[105] On March 2, 2015, West released the second single from the album called "All Day" which features Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom and Paul McCartney.[106] West performed the song at the 2015 BRIT Awards with a number of US rappers and UK grime MC's including: Skepta, Wiley, Novelist, Fekky, Krept & Konan, Stormzy, Allan Kingdom, Theophilus London and Vic Mensa, although McCartney was not present for the performance.[107]

On November 24, 2013, West stated that he was working on and recording his next studio album, hoping to release it by mid-2014.[100] The album is being produced by Rick Rubin and Q-Tip.[101] In April 2014, he appeared in Future's single titled "I Won".[102] West released a single, "Only One", featuring Paul McCartney, on December 31, 2014.[103]

Yeezus, West's sixth album, was released June 18, 2013 to rave reviews from critics.[95] It became the rapper's sixth consecutive number one debut.[96] Def Jam issued "Black Skinhead" to radio in July 2013 as the album's lead single.[97] On September 6, 2013, Kanye West announced he would be headlining his first solo tour in five years, to support Yeezus, with fellow American rapper Kendrick Lamar, accompanying him along the way.[98][99]

Sessions for West's sixth solo effort begin to take shape in early 2013 in his own personal loft's living room at a Paris hotel.[89] Determined to "undermine the commercial",[90] he once again brought together close collaborators and attempted to incorporate Chicago drill, dancehall, acid house, and industrial music.[91] Primarily inspired by architecture,[89] West's perfectionist tendencies led him to contact producer Rick Rubin fifteen days shy of its due date to strip down the record's sound in favor of a more minimalist approach.[92] Initial promotion of his sixth album included worldwide video projections of the album's music and live television performances.[93][94]

West speaks after receiving an honorary doctorate from SAIC
West performing during the Yeezus Tour

2013–present: Yeezus and SWISH

Following a headlining set at Coachella 2011 that was described by The Hollywood Reporter as "one of greatest hip-hop sets of all time",[85] West released the collaborative album Watch the Throne with Jay-Z. By employing a sales strategy that released the album digitally weeks before its physical counterpart, Watch the Throne became one of the few major label albums in the Internet age to avoid a leak.[86][87] "Niggas in Paris" became the record's highest charting single, peaking at number five on the Billboard Hot 100.[82] In 2012, West released the compilation album Cruel Summer, a collection of tracks by artists from West's record label GOOD Music. Cruel Summer produced four singles, two of which charted within the top twenty of the Hot 100: "Mercy" and "Clique".[82] West also directed a film of the same name that premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival in custom pyramid-shaped screening pavilion featuring seven screens.[88]

West at Coachella on April 17, 2011

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, West's fifth studio album, was released in November 2010 to rave reviews from critics, many of whom described it as his best work that solidified his comeback.[81] In stark contrast to his previous effort, which featured a minimalist sound, Dark Fantasy adopts a maximalist philosophy and deals with themes of celebrity and excess.[47] The record included the international hit "All of the Lights", and Billboard hits "Power", "Monster", and "Runaway", the latter of which accompanied a 35-minute film of the same name.[82] During this time, West initiated the free music program GOOD Fridays through his website, offering a free download of previously unreleased songs each Friday, a portion of which were included on the album. This promotion ran from August 20 - December 17, 2010. Dark Fantasy went on to go platinum in the United States,[83] but its omission as a contender for Album of the Year at the 54th Grammy Awards was viewed as a "snub" by several media outlets.[84]

Following the highly publicized incident, West took a brief break from music and threw himself into fashion, only to hole up in Hawaii for the next few months writing and recording his next album.[79] Importing his favorite producers and artists to work on and inspire his recording, West kept engineers behind the boards 24 hours a day and slept only in increments. Noah Callahan-Bever, a writer for Complex, was present during the sessions and described the "communal" atmosphere as thus: "With the right songs and the right album, he can overcome any and all controversy, and we are here to contribute, challenge, and inspire."[79] A variety of artists contributed to the project, including close friends Jay-Z, Kid Cudi and Pusha T, as well as off-the-wall collaborations, such as with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.[80]

West performing with Jay-Z on their Watch the Throne Tour in 2011

2010–12: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and collaborations

West's controversial incident the following year at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards was arguably his biggest controversy, and led to widespread outrage throughout the music industry.[77] During the ceremony, West crashed the stage and grabbed the microphone from winner Taylor Swift in order to proclaim that, instead, Beyoncé's video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", nominated for the same award, was "one of the best videos of all time". He was subsequently withdrawn from the remainder of the show for his actions. West's tour with Lady Gaga was cancelled in response to the controversy, and it was suggested that the incident was partially responsible for 808s & Heartbreak‍‍ '​‍s lack of nominations at the 52nd Grammy Awards.[78]

808s & Heartbreak, which features extensive use of the eponymous Roland TR-808 drum machine and contains themes of love, loneliness, and heartache, was released by Island Def Jam to capitalize on Thanksgiving weekend in November 2008.[71][72] Reviews were positive, though slightly more mixed than his previous efforts. Despite this, the record's singles demonstrated outstanding chart performances. Upon its release, the lead single "Love Lockdown" debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a "Hot Shot Debut",[73] while follow-up single "Heartless" performed similarly and became his second consecutive "Hot Shot Debut" by debuting at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.[74] While it was criticized prior to release, 808s & Heartbreak had a significant effect on hip-hop music, encouraging other rappers to take more creative risks with their productions.[75] In 2012, Rolling Stone journalist Matthew Trammell asserted that the record was ahead of its time and wrote, "Now that popular music has finally caught up to it, 808s & Heartbreak has revealed itself to be Kanye’s most vulnerable work, and perhaps his most brilliant."[76]

West's life took a different direction when his mother, Donda West, died of complications from cosmetic surgery involving abdominoplasty and breast reduction in November 2007.[66] Months later, West and fiancée Alexis Phifer ended their engagement and their long-term intermittent relationship, which had begun in 2002.[67] The events profoundly affected West, who set off for his 2008 Glow in the Dark Tour shortly thereafter.[68] West discovered the voice audio processor Auto-Tune to use while singing, which would become a central part of his next effort. Recorded mostly in Honolulu, Hawaii in three weeks,[69] West announced his fourth album, 808s & Heartbreak, at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, where he performed its lead single, "Love Lockdown". Music audiences were taken aback by the uncharacteristic production style and the presence of Auto-Tune, which typified the pre-release response to the record.[70]

West performing in Austin, Texas, March 2009

West's third studio album, Graduation, garnered major publicity when its release date pitted West in a sales competition against rapper 50 Cent's Curtis.[61] Upon their September 2007 releases, Graduation outsold Curtis by a large margin, debuting at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and selling 957,000 copies in its first week.[62] Graduation once again continued the string of critical and commercial successes by West, and the album's lead single, "Stronger", garnered the rapper his third number-one hit.[63] "Stronger", which samples French house duo Daft Punk, has been accredited to not only encouraging other hip-hop artists to incorporate house and electronica elements into their music, but also for playing a part in the revival of disco and electro-infused music in the late 2000s.[64] Ben Detrick of XXL cited the outcome of the sales competition between 50 Cent's Curtis and West's Graduation as being responsible for altering the direction of hip-hop and paving the way for new rappers who didn't follow the hardcore-gangster mold, writing, "If there was ever a watershed moment to indicate hip-hop's changing direction, it may have come when 50 Cent competed with Kanye in 2007 to see whose album would claim superior sales."[65]

Fresh off spending the previous year touring the world with U2 on their Vertigo Tour, West felt inspired to compose anthemic rap songs that could operate more efficiently in large arenas.[56] To this end, West incorporated the synthesizer into his hip-hop production, utilized slower tempos, and experimented with electronic music and influenced by music of the 1980s.[57][58] In addition to U2, West drew musical inspiration from arena rock bands such as The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in terms of melody and chord progression.[58][59] To make his next effort, the third in a planned tetralogy of education-themed studio albums,[60] more introspective and personal in lyricism, West listened to folk and country singer-songwriters Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash in hopes of developing methods to augment his wordplay and storytelling ability.[50]

West performing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 2007

2007–09: Graduation and 808s & Heartbreak

While West had encountered controversy a year prior when he stormed out of the [35] West's comment reached much of the United States, leading to mixed reactions; President Bush would later call it one of the most "disgusting moments" of his presidency.[55] West raised further controversy in January 2006 when he posed on the cover of Rolling Stone wearing a crown of thorns.[35]

Beginning his second effort that fall, West would invest two million dollars and take over a year to craft his second album.[49] West was significantly inspired by Roseland NYC Live, a 1998 live album by English trip hop group Portishead, produced with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.[50] Early in his career, the live album had inspired him to incorporate string arrangements into his hip-hop production. Though West had not been able to afford many live instruments around the time of his debut album, the money from his commercial success enabled him to hire a string orchestra for his second album Late Registration.[50] West collaborated with American film score composer Jon Brion, who served as the album's co-executive producer for several tracks.[51] Although Brion had no prior experience in creating hip-hop records, he and West found that they could productively work together after their first afternoon in the studio where they discovered that neither confined his musical knowledge and vision to one specific genre.[52] Late Registration sold over 2.3 million units in the United States alone by the end of 2005 and was considered by industry observers as the only successful major album release of the fall season, which had been plagued by steadily declining CD sales.[53]

The College Dropout was eventually issued by Roc-A-Fella in February 2004, shooting to number two on the Billboard 200 as his debut single, "Through the Wire" peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five weeks.[43] "Slow Jamz", his second single featuring Twista and Jamie Foxx, became an even bigger success: it became the three musicians' first number one hit. The College Dropout received near-universal critical acclaim from contemporary music critics, was voted the top album of the year by two major music publications, and has consistently been ranked among the great hip-hop works and debut albums by artists. "Jesus Walks", the album's fourth single, perhaps exposed West to a wider audience; the song's subject matter concerns faith and Christianity. The song nevertheless reached the top 20 of the Billboard pop charts, despite industry executives' predictions that a song containing such blatant declarations of faith would ever make it to radio.[44][45] The College Dropout would eventually be certified triple platinum in the US, and garnered West 10 Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year, and Best Rap Album (which it received).[46] At the time, the focal point of West's production style was the use of sped-up vocal samples from soul records.[47] However, partly because of the acclaim of The College Dropout, such sampling had been much copied by others; with that overuse, and also because West felt he had become too dependent on the technique, he decided to find a new sound.[48]

Carrying a Louis Vuitton backpack filled with old disks and demos to the studio and back, West crafted much of his production for his debut album in less than fifteen minutes at a time. He recorded the remainder of the album in Los Angeles while recovering from the car accident. Once he had completed the album, it was leaked months before its release date.[30] However, West decided to use the opportunity to review the album, and The College Dropout was significantly remixed, remastered, and revised before being released. As a result, certain tracks originally destined for the album were subsequently retracted, among them "Keep the Receipt" with Ol' Dirty Bastard and "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" with Consequence.[40] West meticulously refined the production, adding string arrangements, gospel choirs, improved drum programming and new verses.[30] West's perfectionism led The College Dropout to have its release postponed three times from its initial date in August 2003.[41][42]

2003–06: The College Dropout and Late Registration

West's breakthrough came a year later on October 23, 2002, when, while driving home from a California recording studio after working late, he fell asleep at the wheel and was involved in a near-fatal car crash.[34] The crash left him with a shattered jaw, which had to be wired shut in reconstructive surgery. The accident inspired West; two weeks after being admitted to the hospital, he recorded a song at the Record Plant Studios with his jaw still wired shut.[34] The composition, "Through The Wire", expressed West's experience after the accident, and helped lay the foundation for his debut album, as according to West "all the better artists have expressed what they were going through".[35][36] West added that "the album was my medicine", as working on the record distracted him from the pain.[37] "Through The Wire" was first available on West's Get Well Soon... mixtape, released December 2002.[38] At the same time, West announced that he was working on an album called The College Dropout, whose overall theme was to "make your own decisions. Don't let society tell you, 'This is what you have to do.'"[39]

Despite his success as a producer, West's true aspiration was to be a rapper. Though he had developed his rapping long before he began producing, it was often a challenge for West to be accepted as a rapper, and he struggled to attain a record deal.[30] Multiple record companies ignored him because he did not portray the gangsta image prominent in mainstream hip hop at the time.[32] After a series of meetings with Capitol Records, West was ultimately denied an artist deal.[19] According to Capitol Record's A&R, Joe Weinberger, he was approached by West and almost signed a deal with him, but another person in the company convinced Capitol's president not to.[19] Desperate to keep West from defecting to another label, then-label head Damon Dash reluctantly signed West to Roc-A-Fella Records. Jay-Z later admitted that Roc-A-Fella was initially reluctant to support West as a rapper, claiming that many saw him as a producer first and foremost, and that his background contrasted with that of his labelmates.[32][33]

West got his big break in the year 2000, when he began to produce for artists on Roc-A-Fella Records. West came to achieve recognition and is often credited with revitalizing Jay-Z's career with his contributions to the rap mogul's influential 2001 album The Blueprint.[27] The Blueprint is consistently ranked among the greatest hip-hop albums, and the critical and financial success of the album generated substantial interest in West as a producer.[28] Serving as an in-house producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, West produced records for other artists from the label, including Beanie Sigel, Freeway, and Cam'ron. He also crafted hit songs for Ludacris, Alicia Keys, and Janet Jackson.[27][29][30][31]

West spent much of the late-1990s producing records for a number of well-known artists and music groups.[26] The third song on Foxy Brown's second studio album Chyna Doll was produced by West. Her second effort subsequently became the very first hip-hop album by a female rapper to debut at the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart in its first week of release.[26] West produced three of the tracks on Harlem World's first and only album The Movement alongside Jermaine Dupri and the production duo Trackmasters. His songs featured rappers Nas, Drag-On, and R&B singer Carl Thomas.[26] The ninth track from World Party, the last Goodie Mob album to feature the rap group's four founding members prior to their break-up, was co-produced by West with his manager Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie.[26] At the close of the millennium, West ended up producing six songs for Tell 'Em Why U Madd, an album that was released by D-Dot under the alias of The Madd Rapper; a fictional character he created for a skit on The Notorious B.I.G.'s second and final studio album Life After Death. West's songs featured guest appearances from rappers such as Ma$e, Raekwon, and Eminem.[26]

Kanye West began his early production career in the mid-1990s, making beats primarily for burgeoning local artists, eventually developing a style that involved speeding up vocal samples from classic soul records. His first official production credits came at the age of nineteen when he produced eight tracks on Down to Earth, the 1996 debut album of a Chicago rapper named Grav.[23] For a time, West acted as a ghost producer for Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie. Because of his association with D-Dot, West wasn't able to release a solo album, so he formed and became a member and producer of the Go-Getters, a late-1990s Chicago rap group composed of him, GLC, Timmy G, Really Doe, and Arrowstar.[24][25] His group was managed by John "Monopoly" Johnson, Don Crowley, and Happy Lewis under the management firm Hustle Period. After attending a series of promotional photo shoots and making some radio appearances, The Go-Getters released their first and only studio album World Record Holders in 1999. The album featured other Chicago-based rappers such as Rhymefest, Mikkey Halsted, Miss Criss, and Shayla G. Meanwhile, the production was handled by West, Arrowstar, Boogz, and Brian "All Day" Miller.[24]

1996–2002: Career beginnings

Music career

After graduating from high school, West received a scholarship to attend Chicago's American Academy of Art in 1997 and began taking painting classes, but shortly after transferred to Chicago State University to study English. He soon realized that his busy class schedule was detrimental to his musical work, and at 20 he dropped out of college to pursue his musical dreams.[21] This action greatly displeased his mother, who was also a professor at the university. She later commented, "It was drummed into my head that college is the ticket to a good life... but some career goals don't require college. For Kanye to make an album called College Dropout it was more about having the guts to embrace who you are, rather than following the path society has carved out for you."[22]

West demonstrated an affinity for the arts at an early age; he began writing poetry when he was five years old.[17] His mother recalled that she first took notice of West's passion for drawing and music when he was in the third grade.[18] Growing up in the city, West became deeply involved in its hip hop scene. He started rapping in the third grade and began making musical compositions in the seventh grade, eventually selling them to other artists.[19] At age thirteen, West wrote a rap song called "Green Eggs and Ham" and began to persuade his mother to pay $25 an hour for time in a recording studio. It was a small, crude basement studio where a microphone hung from the ceiling by a wire clothes hanger. Although this wasn't what West's mother wanted, she nonetheless supported him.[17] West crossed paths with producer/DJ No I.D., with whom he quickly formed a close friendship. No I.D. soon became West's mentor, and it was from him that West learned how to sample and program beats after he received his first sampler at age 15.[20]

[16] When asked about his grades in high school, West replied, "I got A's and B's. And I'm not even frontin'."[15] was a professor of English at [12][11] Kanye West's mother, Dr. Donda C. (Williams) West,

[10][9] with startup capital from his son.Lexington Park, Maryland and in 2006, opened the Good Water Store and Café in [8]. Ray West was later a Christian counselor,The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was one of the first black photojournalists at Black Panther His father, Ray West, is a former [8][7].Illinois, Chicago His parents divorced when he was three and he and his mother moved to [6][5]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.