Kanye West

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Kanye West Biography

Kanye West (born 8.6.1977)

Kanye West is American hip-hop artist whose debut album, The College Dropout propelled him to international stardom and critical acclaim.

Kanye West: Childhood & Early Work

Kanye West was born in Atlanta, Georgia and was three years old when his parents divorced. He moved to Chicago, Illinois with his mother. Kanye's father, Ray, was a member of the Black Panther movement, as well as being one of the first black photojournalists for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His mother, Donda, was Professor of English at Clark Atlanta University and Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University. She retired in order to become Kanye's manager.

Kanye enrolled at Chicago State University, but dropped out to focus on his music. He produced music for a number of local acts and later gained notoriety producing hit singles for artists including Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Cam'ron, Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson and John Legend. His first major label work was on The Truth by Beanie Sigel and his trademark vocal sampling sound first emerged on Jay-Z's 'This Can't Be Life.'

Kanye West: Breakthrough

Kanye's work was featured heavily on The Blueprint, Jay-Z's 2001 album and he quickly became an important figure in hip-hop production. However, a number of record labels turned down the opportunity to work with him as an artist in his own right, as he did not fit easily into existing hip hop categories or stereotypes.

West's debut album, The College Dropout was eventually released on Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records in 2004. The album has been certified triple platinum and included guest appearances from Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and Common. During this time, he also provided the beats for Brandy's single 'Talk About Our Love.'

In 2005, Kanye West released his second album Late Registration. The album, which sold over 860,000 copies in its first week, featured the singles 'Diamonds From Sierra Leone' and 'Gold Digger'. The former featured a sample of Shirley Bassey's 'Diamonds Are Forever' vocal and the latter featured Jamie Foxx, on a reinterpretation of a Ray Charles song. Late Registration earned West eight Grammy nominations and has been certified triple platinum. Around this time, Kanye produced 'Go' by Common and 'Dreams' by The Game.

In November 2006, Kanye West interrupted the presentation of the Best Video award at the MTV Europe award, arguing that his 'Touch The Sky' should have won the prize. The outburst saw him heavily criticised in many media outlets. West apologized for the outburst when he supported U2 in Brisbane, Australia. To further the controversy surrounding West, Robert 'Evel' Knievel is suing West, who impersonates Knievel in the video. Knievel claims that the video is vulgar and offensive and damages his reputation.

In 2007, Kanye West performed with John Mayer and The Police at the American leg of the Live Earth event. A month later, he also hosted the British entertainment program, The Friday Night Project.

The release date of Kanye's third album, Graduation, was moved to 11.9.2007, the same date as the release of 50 Cent's Curtis. 50 Cent reportedly stated that if his album sold less than Kanye's, he would quit making solo records. Graduation, which features guest appearances from T-Pain, Mos Def and Lil' Wayne, has been certified double platinum. It sampled a wide range of music, including Laura Nyro and Steely Dan.

West fared badly again, at the next MTV Music Awards, in 2007. He failed to win any of the five awards for which he had been nominated. Kanye was visibly upset at the loss and stated that he would not return to MTV again. On a more positive note, however, he won four of the eight Grammy awards for which he was nominated. During the televised ceremony, West performed 'Stronger' with Daft Punk and 'Hey Mama', as a dedication to his mother, who had recently passed away.

West courted further controversy during a benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, when he ventured away from his script; at one point stating "George Bush does not like black people." His microphone was cut, but his message had already reached most of the US.

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Kanye West Picture Gallery

kanye west appears to be the inspiration behind a p 180414
kanye west appears to be the inspiration behind a p 180414
kanye west appears to be the inspiration behind a p 180414
kanye west appears to be the inspiration behind a p 180414
kanye west appears to be the inspiration behind a p 180414

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The Latest Kanye West News

Kim Kardashian Gone Into 'extreme Dieting Mode' For Wedding

19th April 2014

Kim Kardashian has reportedly gone into ''extreme dieting mode'' in time for her wedding. The 33-year-old reality TV star -...

John Legend Won't Do 'dangerous' Reality Tv With Wife

19th April 2014

John Legend thinks reality TV is ''dangerous'' for a relationship.The 'All Of Me' singer, who is friends with Kanye West...

Kim Kardashian Is Worried Khloé Will Upstage Her At Wedding

18th April 2014

Kim Kardashian is reportedly worried Khloé Kardashian will upstage her at her upcoming wedding.The 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' star,...

Kanye West Has Moved Into A Hotel

18th April 2014

Kanye West has moved into a hotel in Los Angeles.The 'New Slaves' hitmaker is reportedly fed up of living with...

Kim Kardashian And Beyonce Not Friends

17th April 2014

Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé ''did not look at all'' like friends when they visited the same dermatologist last week.The 'Keeping...

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Kanye West Reviews

Kris Jenner hospitalised for 'internal pains'

17th April 2014

Kris Jenner was hospitalised for ''internal pains.''The 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' star was rushed...

Kanye West - Yeezus Album Review Album Review

2nd July 2013

Say what you like about Kanye West the public persona - the man who demands...

One Chapter Ends, Another Begins: Kim Kardashian Gave Birth, Now The Baby Needs a Name Album Review

19th June 2013

Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy might be mercifully over, but if you thought there was nothing else...

Kanye West - Presents G.O.O.D. Music Cruel Summer Album Review

4th October 2012

All the anticipation surrounding Cruel Summer has been sandpapered away, bit by bit over the...

A Week in Music - September 24, 2012

24th September 2012

This week, we have a new video from The Spinto Band. The five-piece from Delaware...

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Kanye West Festivals

Austin City Limits

3rd October 2014

Outside Lands

8th August 2014

Flow Festival

8th August 2012

Oya Festival

5th August 2014

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Kanye West Footage Film / Movie Reviews

Fade To Black 2004, Review by Pete Croatto

Throughout Jay-Z's Fade to Black, the rap superstar talks about the importance of making his...

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The Latest Kanye West Press Releases

Kanye West Announces 7-Week, 23-City North American Tour Winter 2013

10th September 2013

Kanye West will return to the road this fall for THE YEEZUS TOUR...

The Bling Ring Movie Soundtrack To Be Released June 11th 2013

17th May 2013

Soundtrack Mix Of Hip-Hop, Kraut-Rock And Electronica To Feature Kanye West, Frank Ocean, 2...

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LemarFrench's picture


Kanye is dope, but he lost his grounding, I work with one of his longtime friends/writer (Jesus Walks), Rhymefest (El Che), did some production for him too, check out Djbooth.net. But his music is playing a role in a bigger picture right now, it's not just mean't to be a melodic counter-part of our already evolving musical prowess. In respect it's a business card to his, "montra", as an entity, the ears he's able to reach will take notice to his antics. In other news check out some of the music myself and Rhymefest put together search: No Fans Just Critics on datpiff.com

2 months 1 day ago
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Kenn Worldco's picture

Kenn Worldco


3 months 3 weeks ago
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Lee Adams's picture

Lee Adams

I wonder what Kanye has recorded with Daft Punk? Can't wait to here it!

12 months 2 days ago
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Renelsonok's picture


Is this yet another example of an entertainer who slept through the classes like government, english, math or science? To be fed by the liberal whims of art teachers? It is ashame that most, repeat most entertainers know so little about their own government, mathematics, english, (especially musicans) or science.I know, I know don't confuse me with the facts my mind is made up.

8 years 7 months ago
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Kanye Mobile Fan's picture

Kanye Mobile Fan

Wanna be in the know and hear Kanye West's upcoming album, "Graduation," before anyone else?There's only ONE way to be considered for an invitation.JOIN KANYE'S MOZES MOBILE MOB and you will receive text messages with TOP SECRET information on your cell phone.Here's the only thing we can tell you for now: OFFLINE LISTENING PARTIES WILL BE HELD IN SELECT LOCATIONS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY FOR KANYE WEST! 2 LISTENING PARTIES WILL BE ONLINE IF YOU DON'T LIVE NEARBY! Join the mob here:http://www.mozes.com/_/mob_landing?keyword=kanye

6 years 8 months ago
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D Swingkid's picture

D Swingkid

Hey dog. Thort rap was crap and then Kanye. Best thing in the rap world since sliced bread. Good beat but bad message until listened to Kanye. He has some good instrumentals. Has passion and a vision. Thats something real special. Its cool also that he doesn't feel the need to swear every second word. Kanye West is real real with what he raps.He raps slow enough that you can easily understand his message. His music is by no means perfect but it has had a major impression on me. When i think good rap I think Kanye.

7 years 2 months ago
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Qan-You Gess?'s picture

Qan-You Gess?

What a dingbat. Can anyone tell me how there are som many lemmings in this counrty who subsidize this drivel making this bozo rich and strutting around like a Bible character? We're the dingbats. Or rather, whoever buys his wares. You know, with the resurgence of ballroom dancing, latin dancing, etc., these rAPPuz dayz r nUmbrd.

8 years 2 months ago
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skipper1973's picture


For the good man JAY-Z. what you did with respect to the copy right to think I was brilliant, but it seems everyone's god no. Universe creator, and of course he is right if you think you one more time on you will agree with him, what I have done with regard to all the songs where others who have received money is what it is. I've made most of the songs a while I've been asleep and heard the radio I do often reach with respect to the second, it will not be the next love to ask her gifts to bake, you might say to those who died I do not know anything about yet, and the reason I've got the gift from god to make music is to spread love next to the worlds population, and that we had going in was the opposite. But that being said I go all out from the artist who has played playbacks will be willing to help us in every way now when we show ourselves as gentlemen, And you think about all the money lost it please not be sorry you get something in return which is a thousand times better, Remember What Goes Around Comes Around. And just the last comment, there is a Danish expression which reads: A greedy one has never been difficult to seduce. And it's not going to happen to you, things I will work for you so now it is our copyrights when I lie and sleep, and remember I'm only 37 years old, so there will smoke a total amount of money in piggy banks, ps came to Copenhagen as soon as possible I will be glad to see you and B. And we may have made a contract how long it should be, you find out.best wishes from your nephew Jacob

3 years 6 months ago
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Cap's picture


Mr. West,You are about as bright as a box of rocks.

8 years 7 months ago
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UtopiaU2Wolf's picture


first off Kayne West and JESUS has nothing in common and I did find that extremely offensive just like that so called of a celebrity marylin manson...wanted to play a move as Jesus and which would have been a totally mockery of JESUS.because he has to fight for recognition and suffer for success...???...eh....JESUS is savior...Jesus wasn't fighting for recognition and he wasn't to sufferfor success he suffered for our sins one word for Kayne West you will have to take this up with God and you're are to be held accountable for your actions...I demand an apology from you...Kayne West...

8 years 2 months ago
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