Kanye West

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Kanye West

West performing at Lollapalooza in 2011
Background information
Birth name Kanye Omari West
Born June 8, 1977 (1977-06-08) (age 36)
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Origin Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, director, fashion designer, entrepreneur
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, sampler, percussion, synthesizer
Years active 1996–present
Labels Very GOOD Beats, Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
Associated acts Charlie Wilson, Child Rebel Soldier, Common, Go-Getters, Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Mike Dean, Mos Def, No I.D., Talib Kweli
Website kanyewest.com

Kanye Omari West (/ˈkɑːnj/; born June 8, 1977) is an American hip hop recording artist, songwriter, record producer, film director, entrepreneur and fashion designer from Chicago, Illinois. He rose to fame in the mid 2000s. His first two albums, The College Dropout and Late Registration, received many awards (including six Grammys),[1][2] critical acclaim,[3] and commercial success. West also runs his own record label called GOOD Music.[4] West's mascot and trademark is a teddy bear. A teddy bear has appeared on the covers of his first three albums as well as the single cover for his song "Stronger". In 2008, he released his fourth album, 808s & Heartbreak. In 2010, he released his fifth, titled My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. In 2013, he released his sixth album, Yeezus. Yeezus got good reviews from music critics.

Early life[change | edit source]

West was born to middle class African American parents in Atlanta, Georgia. He moved with his mother to Illinois when he was three years old. He started writing poetry at the age of five.[5] Kanye moved with his mother to Nanjing, China when he was 10. In 1997 West started taking painting classes at Chicago's American Academy of Art. After a short time he changed to Chicago State University to major in English. When he was 20 he left college to focus on music.

Career[change | edit source]

In the late 1990s West was a member of a rap group called Go-Getters with GLC, Timmy G, and Really Doe. In 1999 they released their only album, World Record Holders.

In 2003 West released his first mixtape, Get Well Soon....[6] He rapped on Twista's single "Slow Jamz".

In 2004 West's first album The College Dropout was released by Roc-A-Fella. It entered the Billboard 200 at number two. Five singles were released from the album. That year West started a record label called GOOD Music. John Legend is signed to the label. West was nominated for three American Music Awards.[7]

In 2005 West's second album Late Registration was released. Five singles were released from the album. The second single "Gold Digger" was nominated for Record of the Year at the 2006 Grammy Awards. West was also nominated for Best New Artists. Other rappers on the album included Jay-Z, Ludacris, and Mos Def.

In 2005 West released his first fashion line. West's third album Graduation was released in 2007. The album was nominated for eight Grammy Awards.[8] Five singles were released from the album. The album's second single "Stronger" won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.

In 2008 808s & Heartbreak was released. Most of the album was sung instead of rapped by West. It sold 450,145 copies in its first week. West acted in the 2008 movie The Love Guru.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was released on Roc-A-Fella Records in 2010. Music critics said that it was genius. Pitchfork gave the album a score of 10/10.[9] Pitchfork rarely give 10/10, so this was a big achievement. Rolling Stone gave it five out of five stars.[10] Four singles were released from the album.

In 2011 West released an album with Jay-Z called Watch the Throne. In 2011 "All of the Lights" was released as the fourth single from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Rihanna sung in it.

On May 23, 2012 a short film made by West called Cruel Summer was shown for the first time at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The film was given good reviews. The film's name came from an album West released called Cruel Summer on his record label GOOD Music.

On June 18, 2013 West's sixth album Yeezus was released. The album got very good reviews from music critics.

In November 2013 West gave a lecture at Harvard University[11]. On November 15, 2013 Busta Rhymes' single "Thank You" was released. West rapped on it with Lil Wayne and Q-Tip.

On November 24, 2013, West said in an interview that he is making his seventh album.[12]

"New Slaves" was nominated for Best Rap Song at the 2014 Grammy Awards.[13]

Personal life[change | edit source]

West is engaged to Kim Kardashian. They have a daughter, North "Nori" West, who was born on June 15, 2013.[14]

Discography[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

Other websites[change | edit source]