Kanye WestRead His biography.
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Music careerRead about his music career.
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Edition 2 December 2010
Table of Contents
Kanye Wests History Page 3-4
Exclusive Photos! Page 5-6
Music career Page 7-10
Advertising: Visit Kanye Wests website! Page 11
West first rose to fame as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, where he eventually achieved recognition for his work on Jay-Zs album The Blueprint, as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and Janet Jackson. His style of production originally used pitched-up vocal samples from soul songs incorporated with his own drums and instruments. However, subsequent produc-tions saw him broadening his musical palette and expressing influences encompassing 70s R&B, baroque pop, trip hop, arena rock, folk, alternative, electronica, synth-pop, and classi-cal music.West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004, his second album Late Reg-istration in 2005, his third album Graduation in 2007, his fourth album 808s & Heartbreak in 2008, and his fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010. His five albums have received numerous awards, including a cumu-lative twelve Grammys, and critical acclaim. All have been very commercially successful, with 808s & Heartbreak becoming his third consecutive #1 album in the U.S. upon release. West also runs his own record label GOOD Music, home to artists such John Legend, Com-mon and Kid Cudi. Wests mascot and trade-mark is Dropout Bear, a teddy bear which has appeared on the covers of three of his five albums as well as various single covers and music videos. About.com ranked Kanye West #8 on their Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers list. On May 16, 2008, Kanye West was crowned by MTV as the years #1 Hottest MC in the Game. And on 17th December, 2010, Kanye West was
Voted as the MTV Man of the Year by MTV.
Kanye West was born in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lived with his parents. When he was three years old, his parents divorced, and he and his mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. His father was Ray West, a former Black Panther who was one of the first black photojournal-ists at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and is now a Christian counselor. Wests mother, Dr. Donda West, was a Professor of English at Clark Atlanta University, and the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University before retiring to serve as Wests manager. He was raised in a middle-class background, attend-ing Polaris High School in suburban Oak Lawn, Illinois after living in Chicago. West credits his feminine nature to being raised by his mother. When asked about his grades in high school, West replied, I got As and Bs. And Im not even frontin.West attended art classes at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, and also enrolled at Chicago State University, but dropped out to focus on his music career. While attend-ing school, West produced for local artists. He later gained fame by producing hit singles for major hip hop/R&B artists, including Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Camron, Paul Wall, Common, Mobb Deep, Jermaine Dupri, Scarface, The Game, Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, John Legend among others. He also ghost-produced for his mentor Deric Angelettie, according to his song Last Call and the credits of Nas Poppa Was a Playa.
Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, singer, and record producer.
Kanye Wests History
Music CareerEarly career - 19962003Kanye Wests first career productions came on Chicago rapper Gravs 1996 debut album Down to Earth. West produced eight tracks on the album. While the album didnt attract much attention and would be the only album re-leased by Grav, West would soon be producing for higher profile artists. In 1998-1999 he pro-duced for well known artists such as Jermaine Dupri, Foxy Brown, Goodie Mob, and the group Harlem World.West got his big break in the year 2000 how-ever when he began to produce for artists on Roc-a-Fella Records. He produced the well received Jay-Z song This Cant Be Life off of the album The Dynasty: Roc La Familia. West would later state that to create the beat for This Cant Be Life he sped up the drum beat from Dr. Dres song Xxplosive.After producing for Jay-Z earlier, Wests sound was featured heavily on Jay-Zs critically ac-claimed album The Blueprint, released on September 11, 2001. His work was featured on the lead single Izzo (H.O.V.A.), Heart of the City (Aint No Love) and a diss track against Nas and Mobb Deep named Takeover; West has worked with Mobb Deep and Nas since the tracks release.
After meeting great commercial success and critical acclaim for his productions on The Blueprint, West became a sought after pro-ducer in the hip-hop industry, even before he became known as a rapper and solo artist. In the years 2002-2003 he would produce for artists such as Nas, Scarface, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, T.I., Ludacris, DMX, and Monica. He also continued producing for Roc-a-Fella Records artists and contribued four tracks to Jay-Zs follow up album to The Blueprint, The Blue-print: The Gift & the Curse.After great successes as a producer, West now looked to pursue a career as a rapper and solo artist, but struggled to find a way to get a record deal. Chris Anokute, then A&R at Def Jam, said that when West regularly dropped
by the office to pick up his producer checks he would play demos of solo material to Anokute in his cubicle and bemoan the fact that no one was taking him seriously as a rapper. Jay-Z admitted that Roc-A-Fella was initially reluc-tant to support West as a rapper, claiming that he saw him as a producer first and foremost. Multiple record companies felt he was not as marketable as rappers who portray the street image prominent in hip hop culture. Begin-ning his career as a rapper, Kanye West rapped a verse on Jay-Zs The Blueprint: The Gift & the Curse, an album he produced for, from the same label he was signed to as a rapper.
The College Dropout - 2004On October 23, 2002, West was involved in a near fatal car crash while driving home from the recording studio. The crash provided in-spiration for Wests first single, Through the Wire. Wests faith is apparent in many of his songs, such as Jesus Walks, which became a staple at his benefit performances, such as the Live 8 concert. These songs were featured on Wests debut album, The College Dropout, which was released on Roc-A-Fella Records in February 2004, and went on to receive criti-cal acclaim. The album also defined the style for which West would become known, includ-ing wordplay and sampling. The album was eventually certified triple platinum. Guest appearances included Jay-Z, Ludacris, GLC, Consequence, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Common, and Syleena Johnson. The album also featured the singles, All Falls Down and The New Workout Plan, as well as Twistas number one single, Slow Jamz. During 2003 West also co-produced songs for British singer Javine Hyl-ton, even appearing in the music video to Real Things playing the love interest of Javine.West was involved in a financial dispute over Royce Da 59s song Heartbeat, produced by West and released on Build & Destroy: The Lost Sessions. West maintains that Royce never paid for the beat, but recorded to it and re-leased it; hearing him on the beat, the original
customers decided not to buy it from West. After the disagreement, West vowed to never work with Royce again. Other Kanye West-pro-duced hit singles during the period The College Dropout was released included I Changed My Mind by Keyshia Cole, Overnight Celebrity by Twista and Talk About Our Love by Brandy.
Late Registration - 2005Taking a more eclectic route, West collabo-rated with American film score composer Jon Brion to construct his second album, Late Registration, which was released on August 30, 2005. Like its predecessor, the sophomore effort garnered universal acclaim from music critics. Late Registration topped countless critic polls and was revered as the best album of the year by numerous publications, includ-ing USA Today, Spin, and Time. Rolling Stone awarded the album the highest position on their end of the year record list and hailed it as a sweepingly generous, absurdly virtu-osic hip-hop classic. The record earned the number one spot on the Village Voices Pazz & Jop critics poll of 2005 for the second consec-utive year. Late Registration was also a com-mercial success, selling over 860,000 copies in its first week alone and topping the Billboard 200. Grossing over 2.3 million units sold in the United States alone by years end, Late Regis-tration was considered by industry observers as the sole majorly successful album release of the fall of 2005, a season that was plagued by steadily declining CD sales. The sophomore album earned eightGrammy Award nominations including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for the song Gold Digger. The album is certified triple platinum. On August 22, 2005, the MTV special All Eyes On Kanye West aired, in which West spoke out against homophobia in hip-hop. He claimed that hip-hop has always been about speaking your mind and about breaking down barriers, but everyone in hip-hop discriminates against gay people. He then reflected on a personal experience. He said that he had a turning point when he realized one of his cousins
was gay. He