Kanye Omari West is an American rapper, record producer, and fashion designer. He has been influential in the development of mainstream hip hop and popular music in general in the 21st century.
Born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago, West was first known as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, producing singles for various mainstream artists. Intending to pursue a solo career as a rapper, West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004 to critical and commercial success, and founded the GOOD Music record label.
He experimented with a variety of music genres on the following acclaimed studio albums, including Late Registration (2005), Graduation (2007), and 808s & Heartbreak (2008). Taking inspiration from maximalist and minimalism, respectively, West’s fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) and sixth album Yeezus (2013) were also critical hits. He then released The Life of Pablo (2016), Ye (2018) and Jesus Is King (2019). West’s discography also includes the full collaborations Watch the Throne (2011) and Kids See Ghosts (2018) with Jay-Z and Kid Cudi, respectively.
West’s outspoken views and his life outside of music have received significant media attention. He has been a frequent source of controversy for his conduct at awards shows, on social media, and in other public settings, as well as for his comments on the music and fashion industries, American politics and race.
In 2020, he ran an unsuccessful independent presidential campaign that advocated a consistent life ethic. His Christian faith, as well as his marriage to television personality Kim Kardashian, have also been a source of media attention.
As a fashion designer, he has collaborated with Nike, Louis Vuitton, and A.P.C. in both apparel and footwear, and have spawned Yeezy’s collaboration with Adidas beginning in 2013. He is the founder and director of creative content company DONDA.
West is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, with more than 20 million albums and 140 million singles sold worldwide. He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time.
His other awards include the Billboard Artist Achievement Award, a joint record of three Brit Awards for Best International Male Solo Artist, and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Six of his albums have been included in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; the same publication named him one of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time.
West is the tied holder of the most albums (four) topping Pazz & Jop’s annual critics poll. Time magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2005 and 2015.
Kanye West Early life:
Most biographies and reference works state that West was born on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia, although some sources give her birthplace as Douglasville, a small town west of Atlanta.
After his parents divorced when he was three years old, he moved with his mother to Chicago, Illinois. His father, Ray West, is a former Black Panther and was one of the first black photojournalists at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ray West was later a Christian counselor and, in 2006, he opened Good Water Store and Café in Lexington Park, Maryland, with the seed capital from his son. West’s mother, Dr. Donda C. (Williams) West, was a professor of English at Clark Atlanta University and chair of the English Department at Chicago State University, before retiring to serve as her manager.
West grew up in a middle-class environment, attending Polaris High School in the Oak Lawn, Illinois suburbs after living in Chicago. At the age of 10, West moved with his mother to Nanjing, China, where she taught at Nanjing University as part of an exchange program.
According to his mother, West was the only foreigner in his class, but he adjusted well and quickly learned the language, although since then he has forgotten most of it. When asked about his grades in high school, West replied, “I got A’s and B. And I’m not even in front.”
West demonstrated an affinity for the arts at an early age; he started writing poetry when he was five years old. His mother recalled that she first became aware of West’s passion for drawing and music when he was in third grade.
West began rapping in third grade and began making music compositions in seventh grade, eventually selling them to other artists. At thirteen, West wrote a rap song called “Green Eggs and Ham” (the title of a best-selling children’s book by Dr. Seuss) and persuaded his mother to pay for time at a recording studio. .
Accompanying him to the studio and despite discovering that it was “a small basement studio” where a microphone hung from the ceiling on a wire hanger, West’s mother supported and encouraged him.
West crossed paths with producer / DJ No I.D., with whom he quickly formed a close friendship. Without identification he soon became West’s mentor, and it was from him that West learned to sample and program rhythms after receiving the first sampler from him at age 15.
After graduating from high school, West received a scholarship to attend the American Academy of Art in Chicago in 1997 and began taking painting classes; shortly after, she transferred to Chicago State University to study English.
He soon realized that his busy class schedule was detrimental to his musical work, and at age 20 he dropped out of college to pursue his musical dreams. This upset his mother, who was also a professor at the university.
He later commented, “It hit 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 Accept who you are, instead of following the path that society has opened for you.
Kanye West Wiki Details
Сеlеbrаtеd Nаmе: Каnуе Wеѕt
Rеаl Nаmе/Full Nаmе: Каnуе Оmаrі Wеѕt
Аgе: 43 уеаrѕ оld
Віrth Dаtе: 8 Јunе 1977
Віrth Рlасе: Аtlаntа, Gеоrgіа, Unіtеd Ѕtаtеѕ
Неіght: 1.73 m
Wеіght: 80 kg
Ѕехuаl Оrіеntаtіоn: Ѕtrаіght
Маrіtаl Ѕtаtuѕ: Маrrіеd
Wіfе/Ѕроuѕе (Nаmе): Кіm Каrdаѕhіаn (m. 2014)
Сhіldrеn: Yеѕ (Ѕаіnt Wеѕt, Рѕаlm Wеѕt, Nоrth “Nоrі” Wеѕt, Сhісаgо Wеѕt)
Рrоfеѕѕіоn: Аmеrісаn rарреr, ѕіngеr, ѕоngwrіtеr, rесоrd рrоduсеr, еntrерrеnеur, аnd fаѕhіоn dеѕіgnеr
Nеt Wоrth іn 2021: $1.3 bіllіоn
Lаѕt Uрdаtеd: Fеbruаrу 2021
Relationships and family
West began an on-and-off relationship with designer Alexis Phifer in 2002, and they became engaged in August 2006. The pair ended their 18-month engagement in 2008.West subsequently dated model Amber Rose from 2008 until the summer of 2010. In April 2012, West began dating reality star and longtime friend Kim Kardashian. West and Kardashian became engaged in October 2013, and married on May 24, 2014, at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy.
Their private ceremony was subject to widespread mainstream coverage, with West taking issue with the couple’s portrayal in the media. They have four children: North “Nori” West (born June 2013), Saint West (born December 2015), Chicago West (born January 2018 of a surrogate pregnancy), and Psalm West (born May 2019 of a surrogate pregnancy).
In April 2015, West and Kardashian traveled to Jerusalem to have North baptized in the Armenian Apostolic Church at the Cathedral of St. James. Kim, Saint, Chicago, and Psalm were all baptized four years later on October 7, 2019, at Holy Etchmiadzin, the mother church of the Armenian Church.
The couple’s high-profile status and respective careers have resulted in their relationship becoming subject to heavy media coverage; The New York Times referred to their marriage as “a historic blizzard of celebrity.”
In September 2018, West announced that he would be permanently moving to Chicago and would establish his Yeezy company headquarters in the city. This did not actually occur, instead, West went on to move to Wyoming (where he recorded his eighth solo studio album, Ye), purchasing two ranches near Cody, Wyoming. West owns these two ranches, and still actively owns a home in California, where his wife and children reside. In January 2021, CNN reported that the couple were discussing divorce.
On November 10, 2007, West’s mother Donda West died at age 58. In January 2008 the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said that the rapper’s mother had died of coronary artery disease and multiple post-operative factors from, or as a consequence of, liposuction and mammoplasty.
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.
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger subsequently signed the “Donda West Law”, legislation which makes it mandatory for patients to receive medical clearance through a physical examination before undergoing elective cosmetic surgery.
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. 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.”
In 2014, after an altercation with a paparazzo at Los Angeles Airport, West was sentenced to serve two years’ probation for a misdemeanor battery conviction, and was required to attend 24 anger management sessions, perform 250 hours of community service, and pay restitution to the photographer.
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.” In a 2008 interview with The Fader, West stated that “I’m like a vessel, and God has chosen me to be the voice and the connector.”
In a 2009 interview with online magazine Bossip, West stated that he believed in God, but at the time felt that he “would never go into a religion.”
In 2014, West referred to himself as a Christian during one of his concerts.
In January 2019, West re-affirmed his Christian faith on Twitter. His wife Kim Kardashian described West’s Christian new birth experience in September 2019: “Kanye started this to really heal himself and it was a really personal thing, and it was just friends and family … He has had an amazing evolution of being born again and being saved by Christ.” In October 2019, West said with respect to his past, “When I was trying to serve multiple gods it drove me crazy” in reference to the “god of ego, god of money, god of pride, the god of fame”, and that “I didn’t even know what it meant to be saved” and that now “I love Jesus Christ. I love Christianity.” During a surprise appearance at Jimmy Kimmel Live! to discuss his album Jesus Is King, West was asked by Kimmel if he would consider himself to be a Christian music artist now that he had committed himself fully to Christianity, and he replied, “I’m just a Christian everything.”
In his song “FML” and his featured verse on Vic Mensa’s song “U Mad”, he refers to using the antidepressant medication Lexapro, and in his song “I Feel Like That”, which has not been officially released, he mentions feeling many common symptoms of depression and anxiety. These songs had all been recorded during West’s recording sessions for The Life of Pablo.
On November 20, 2016, soon before abruptly ending a concert prematurely, he said, “Jay-Z—call me, bruh. You still ain’t called me … Jay-Z, I know you got killers. Please don’t send them at my head. Just call me. Talk to me like a man.” The following day, he was committed to the UCLA Medical Center with hallucinations and paranoia. Contrary to early reports, however, West was not actually taken to the hospital involuntarily; he was persuaded to do so by authorities. While the episode was first described as one of “temporary psychosis” caused by dehydration and sleep deprivation, West’s mental state was abnormal enough for his 21 cancelled concerts to be covered by his insurance policy; he was reportedly paranoid and depressed throughout the hospitalization, but remained formally undiagnosed. Some have speculated that the Paris robbery of his wife may have triggered the paranoia. On November 30, West was released from the hospital.
In his 2018 album, Ye, and various interviews around the time of the album’s release, West stated that he suffers from bipolar disorder.
In an 2018 interview, West declared that he became addicted to opioids when they were prescribed to him after he got liposuction. The addiction may have contributed to his nervous breakdown in 2016.
West said that he often has suicidal ideation. In a 2019 interview with David Letterman, West stated that he has bipolar disorder