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.

Read More

North West Takes Her First Steps, Kim Shares Cute Snap

24th July 2014 -

 News

Proud mum Kim Kardashian broke the news today by sharing an adorable snap of the pair, revealing that little North took her first steps straight after finishing a swimming lesson. This is a huge milestone...

Scott Disick Hospitalised With Alcohol Poisoning, But Is Kourtney Kardashian Relationship Trouble The Reason?

18th July 2014 -

 News

Scott Disick was allegedly hospitalised last month after drinking heavily and was treatment for alcohol poisoning. The news was revealed yesterday (17th July) by an US entertainment website. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star...

Kim Kardashian's Game Reportedly Earns Her Millions & She Certainly Needs It After Spending $1.5 Million On North West

17th July 2014 -

 News

Reports are suggesting Kim Kardashian's profits from her recently released game could earn her anything between $45 million and $85 million. It certainly seems the reality star may need it as she's shopping and spending...

Dancing In Denver! Budweiser Made In America Explore Colorado's Exciting Music Scene

17th July 2014 -

 News

Budweiser Made in AmericaWe explore the diverse Denver music scene as Budweiser unveil the latest in their series of documentaries ahead of the fast-approaching Budweiser Made in America festival.When Jay-Z embarked on his Budweiser Made...

Iggy Azalea Set To Perform At Jay-Z's Made In America Festival, Joining The Likes Of Kanye West and John Mayer

17th July 2014 -

 News

Iggy Azalea will be joining the likes of Kanye West, Rita Ora, Kings of Leon and John Mayer at the Made in America Festival at the end of August. The festival, produced by Jay-Z, will...

Made In Minnesota: Budweiser Made in America Documents The Best City Music Of The States

15th July 2014 -

 News

Budweiser Made In America Press Conference at Los Angeles City Hall on April 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California - Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for BudweiserBudweiser Made in America festival is on its way...

It’s Alright To Leave The House! Kim Kardashian Was Only Joking With Pregnancy Style Advice

14th July 2014 -

 News

It seems Kim Kardashian was only joking when she told pregnant women to "never leave the house” during a recent interview with Elle magazine.Kim caused controversy with her recent commentsThe 33 year old mother of...

Kim Kardashian Discusses Motherhood Whilst Promoting Charitable Operation Shower Collaboration

11th July 2014 -

 News

Kim Kardashian has been giving some not-so-helpful advice to expectant mothers in numerous interviews published this week. The reality star was discussing her pregnancy whilst at the launch of the Kardashian Kids fashion line at...

Kanye West Unleashes 20-Minute Tirade On Unsuspecting Wireless Fans

7th July 2014 -

 News

Kanye West drew the ire of fans at his Wireless Festival gig this weekend, when he paused his set for twenty minutes to rant about discrimination in the fashion industry – specifically, discrimination against him.Kanye...

‘We Want Drake’, Fans Let Kanye West Know How They Feel After Rapper Is Booed For Second Consecutive Night

6th July 2014 -

 News

For the second night in a row, Kanye West has drawn the ire of Wireless Festival goers after he started his set late and embarked on another lengthly rant. The Yezzus rapper had been filling...

Kanye West Rants At Wireless, Booed At Second Festival In A Month

6th July 2014 -

 News

Does anyone truly want to see Kanye West perform? It certainly doesn't seem like it at the moment. The rapper and husband of reality star Kim Kardashian has been booed at two festivals within the...

Kanye West Greeted With Boos At London's Wireless Festival

5th July 2014 -

 News

Kanye West's reputations seems to have taken a turn for the worse across the pond.The highly controversial rapper didn't amuse the thousands of concertgoers attending London's Wireless festival on Friday night (July 4th).West was met...

Kim Kardashian: Psychic Said Rob's Not Bipolar, Khloe Needs A Sperm Donor & Kim Will Be Pregnant Again "Soon"

4th July 2014 -

 News

Kim Kardashian believes she will have a second child "really soon" following a recent visit to her psychic. The reality star also had information about her siblings' futures too.Kim (R) told Khloe (L) she would...

Drake Cancels Wireless Appearance Due To Illness, Kanye West & Rudimental To Extend Sets

3rd July 2014 -

 News

Drake has cancelled his appearance at the Wireless Festival at the very last minute due to illness. He was set to perform in both festival venues this weekend (4th-6th July) but announced that he is...

Kanye West Teaching Fashion Classes As Part Of Community Service

24th June 2014 -

 News

Kanye West has finally put his knowledge of the fashion world to good use.The 37 year-old was sentenced to two years of probation and 250 hours' worth of community service after getting into an altercation...

Kanye West Surprises Fans With Impromptu Performance At Dave Chappelle's Radio City Show

24th June 2014 -

 News

Kanye West is full of surprises.The 36 year-old music star dropped by Dave Chappelle's show at Radio City Music Hall Friday night (June 20th) to give the attends a rare impromptu performance.West, who married Kim...

Pregnant Kourtney Kardashian Relaxes By Pool After Hosting North West's 1st 'Kidchella' Birthday Party

24th June 2014 -

 News

Saturday was a busy day for the entire Kardashian Klan as the whole family gathered to celebrate North West's birthday, the daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Kourtney's day was particularly full as she...

North West Might Not Remember Her Coachella-Themed First Birthday, But Everyone Else Will

23rd June 2014 -

 News

The Kardashians kept alive the family tradition of fashionable Coachella outings with North West’s birthday party over the weekend. The toddler turned 1 on June 15, but it must have taken a while to put...

North West's Pint-Sized Coachella B-Day Bash Couldn't Go By Without Controversy

22nd June 2014 -

 News

North West is one lucky kid. For their daughter’s first birthday, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West threw a party just as lavish as one would expect, but the Coachella theme was a pretty cool surprise....

A Week In News: Critics Choose, Morgan Improves, Harrison Bruised, Kanye Booed, Zoinks Scoob!

20th June 2014 -

 News

Critics' Choice Awards: Last night's Critics' Choice Awards saw the year's best and brightest in television honoured for outstanding performances and shows. Dark humoured crime series Fargo and prison drama Orange Is The New Black...

Kanye West Talks Tech, Culture and Annie Lebowitz At Lions Tech Conference

18th June 2014 -

 News

Sometimes Kanye West says amazing, revolutionary things about self love or race. Other times, he accuses Annie Lebowitz for ruining his wedding photos – by not taking them at all. Speaking at Cannes Lions Creativity...

Kanye West On The Strggles Of Being Creative: "I Get Bashed So Much, But Create So Much"

18th June 2014 -

 News

Kanye West is known to compliment himself from time to time, mainly as a "creative genius," and this is something fans, and critics alike, have just got used to.The 36 year-old is obviously one of...

Kim Kardashian To Star In Video Game? Kanye West Obsessed With Wedding Photos?

17th June 2014 -

 News

They've had the wedding of the century, the television series, the make-up range, and the fashion line so it's not a great surprise the Kardashian's are branching out into a video game. Well a game...

Kim Kardashian To Relaunch Music Career? Pop Hasn't Recovered From 'Jam (Turn it Up)' Yet

17th June 2014 -

 News

Kim Kardashian could be looking to revive her short-lived career in pop, if new reports are to be believed. The 33 year-old reality TV star made an attempt at the charts in 2011 with the...

Kris Jenner "None Too Happy" Kimye Won't Sell Wedding Photos

16th June 2014 -

 News

Momager Kris Jenner is apparently furious that daughter Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have turned down a collective sum of $11 million to publish their wedding photos. The couple married in a lavish and surprisingly...

Kim Kardashian And Kanye West Hold Off On Celebrating North's First Birthday

15th June 2014 -

 News

Kanye West and his new wife Kim Kardashian-West have put off holding their baby daughter’s first birthday celebrations, for this week at least. The recently married couple have apparently decided to wait to celebrate baby...

Kim Kardashian Flashes Cleavage At Bonaroo Whilst Kanye West Is Booed [Pictures]

15th June 2014 -

 News

Kanye West is back to work after enjoying his honeymoon with Kim Kardashian. The 37-year-old rapper performed at the Bonaroo music festival in Tennessee on Friday (13th June) and his wife was along to show...

Sam Smith, Janelle Monae - The Unexpected Gems Of Bonnaroo Day 1

14th June 2014 -

 News

Happy Bonnaroo weekend! The Tennessee-based arts and music festival effectively kicked off the season on Friday. Per USA Today’s recap, he weather was appropriately mild and the rain that threatened for the entire day never...

Kim and Kanye Unveil New Pictures From Their Magical Wedding (And They’re Everything We’d Hoped For)

13th June 2014 -

 News

Just when we thought we’d had our fill of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s mega wedding, new pictures of the big day have just been released by E!. But the new photos are a little...

Workweek Dragging Out Too Long? Don't Worry, Kim And Kanye Are Vacationing For All Of Us

12th June 2014 -

 News

Married in Paris and Florence, honeymooning in Mexico – Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are certainly starting their marriage in style. The tabloid royal couple technically honeymooned in Prague and Ireland, but of course, no...

Back to top

Kanye West Images

More Kanye West Pictures

Back to top

Kanye West Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Kanye West

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

The Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Trailer Is Here: Was It Worth The Wait?

The moment Fifty Shades of Grey fans have been waiting for is finally...

The Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Trailer Is Here: Was It Worth The Wait?

Alec Baldwin (Mostly) Off The Hook On Disorderly Conduct Charges

Alec Baldwin was in court on Tuesday, facing charges of disorderly...

Alec Baldwin (Mostly) Off The Hook On Disorderly Conduct Charges

Pitbull feat. John Ryan - Fireball

Pitbull drops his eighth studio album 'Globalization' later this year and...

Pitbull - Fireball Video

The British Film Institute: 'There Are Too Many Films'

The BFI have condemned the amount of films released in British cinemas...

The British Film Institute: 'There Are Too Many Films'

What The Critics Are Saying About Scarlett Johansson's 'Lucy'

Early reviews of Scarlett Johansson’s new movie Lucy are piling up...

What The Critics Are Saying About Scarlett Johansson's 'Lucy'

Dwayne Johnson Battles His Way Through Non-Stop Absurdity In "Hercules"

It’s Hercules time! So we know that Dwayne Johnson made a lot...

Dwayne Johnson Battles His Way Through Non-Stop Absurdity In
Advertisement

Arty Ft. Angel Taylor - Up All Night [Lyric] Video

Russian musician Arty has collaborated with Angel Taylor on his latest single 'Up All Night', released on...

Arty - Up All Night (Lyric Video) Video

Those Colin Farrell for 'Iron Man 4' Rumors Refuse To Die

Rumors are abound that seminal Iron Man actor, Robert Downey Jr, will not be...

Those Colin Farrell for 'Iron Man 4' Rumors Refuse To Die

Marvel Announces Release Date for Unknown Movie - What Could It Be?

Last week Marvel studios took the unusual step of announcing five upcoming...

Marvel Announces Release Date for Unknown Movie - What Could It Be?


More recommendations

Comments

LemarFrench's picture

LemarFrench

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

5 months 1 week ago
Report
View Comments

Kenn Worldco's picture

Kenn Worldco

www.kennethnoisette.com

7 months 2 hours ago
Report
View Comments

Lee Adams's picture

Lee Adams

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

1 year 3 months ago
Report
View Comments

Renelsonok's picture

Renelsonok

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 10 months ago
Report
View Comments

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 11 months ago
Report
View Comments

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 5 months ago
Report
View Comments

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 5 months ago
Report
View Comments

skipper1973's picture

skipper1973

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 10 months ago
Report
View Comments

Cap's picture

Cap

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

8 years 10 months ago
Report
View Comments

UtopiaU2Wolf's picture

UtopiaU2Wolf

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 6 months ago
Report
View Comments