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Kanye West | One of the Most Influential Musicians of All Time



Kanye West

Kanye West is one of the most significant musicians in the world. He is a rapper, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. Born in America, Kanye has been making music for over two decades. He is considered one of the greatest and most influential hip-hop artists of all time. Kanye has sold over 160 million records worldwide, making him one of the generation’s most successful artists. Throughout his career, he has received several prestigious awards. Moreover, in 2022, Forbes considered him the wealthiest musician in the world. 


Kanye West is an American rapper. He has garnered worldwide recognition with his music and fashion ventures. Millions of people consider him a legend of hip-hop culture. In 2005 and 2015, Time magazine included him in its 100 most influential people in the world list. With 24 Grammys and hundreds of other awards, Kanye is one of the best-selling digital artists of all time. In his career, he has collaborated with iconic artists like Jay-Z, Rihanna, Chris Martin, Paul McCartney, Adam Levine, John Legend, Frank Ocean, and The Weeknd. 

Early Life

On the 8th of June 1977, Kanye Omari West was born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. His father, Ray West, worked as a photojournalist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In contrast, his mother, Donda Williams, was an English professor at Clark Atlanta University. Kanye’s parents got divorced when he was three years old. After the divorce, Kanye moved to his mother’s house in Chicago, Illinois. His mother worked hard to provide for both of them. Kanye grew up in a middle-class household. He attended Polaris High School in Oak Lawn, a village in Cook County, Illinois, for schooling. When Kanye was ten, his mother became a Fulbright Scholar. As a Fulbright Scholar, she had to transfer to China. As a result, Kanye and his mother moved to Nanjing, China. 

After moving, Kanye’s mother started teaching at Nanjing University. However, things weren’t easy for Kanye. He was the only foreigner in his class. Nevertheless, he settled quickly and learned Chinese. From a young age, Kanye was inclined to art and music. At the age of five, he began writing poems. When he reached third grade, his mother noticed his passion for drawing and poetry. By the age of thirteen, Kanye started writing rap songs. He requested his mother to take him to a recording studio. Kanye wanted to record music. His mother supported him and took him to a small recording studio. Consequently, little Kanye came across DJ and producer Ernest Wilson. At the time, Kanye was thirteen, and Ernest was nineteen. The two quickly became friends. 

Beginning of Career 

After meeting Ernest, Kanye learned a lot of things about music. With Ernest’s help, Kanye began sampling and producing beats by fifteen. After completing high school studies, Kanye received a scholarship. He was a bright student. With the scholarship, he attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Consequently, he started attending painting classes. However, he did not spend much time at the academy. After some time, he was transferred to Chicago State University. His mother was a professor at CSU. At the age of twenty, Kanye realized that the university’s work was not allowing him to focus on music. As a result, he decided to drop out. Kanye’s mother was deeply disappointed with his decision. Consequently, in 1998, Kanye started producing records. He created several records for musicians. Gradually, the music he made for artists began gaining recognition. 

By the end of the 1990s, Kanye had produced records for Eminem, Raekwon, and Foxy Brown. In 2000, Kanye got the opportunity to make music for Roc-A-Fella. Roc-A-Fella is a renowned music company in America. Soon, Kanye became an identified record producer. At the time, Jay-Z was working on his sixth studio album, “The Blueprint.”  Kanye was associated with the album production. To date, the album is considered to be one of the greatest albums of all time. After the release of “The Blueprint,” Kanye became an established producer in the music industry.

Jay-Z and Kanye West

Struggles before Success

Kanye produced several hit songs for iconic artists like Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, and Ludacris. However, he wanted to become a rapper. He struggled for a long time to establish himself as a rapper. Many music labels rejected him. According to the record companies, Kanye did not have a gangsta personality. At the time, being a hooligan in the hip-hop industry was essential. For over two years, Kanye struggled to get a record deal as a rapper. Things took a turn for Kanye in 2002. While he was driving home, he met an accident. He broke his jaw and underwent reconstructive surgery. He was hospitalized for many weeks. Simultaneously, he started recording a song with his broken jaw. 

Pathway to Success

Two years after the accident, Kanye released his debut album, “The College Dropout.” Roc-A-Fella and Def Jam Recordings produced the album. The album garnered critical and commercial success. Through the album, Kanye earned several prestigious accolades and two Grammy nominations. At the 2005 Grammys, the album lifted the award for Best Rap Album. After the success of his debut studio album, there was no looking back for Kanye. In 2005, Kanye released his second studio album, “Late Registration.” The album matched the success of “The College Dropout” and became one of the year’s most successful albums. Following these successes, Kanye started dominating the world of hip-hop. Presently, he is considered to be one of the greatest musicians of all time. He has released eleven studio albums. With more than 138 singles and 160 million copies sold worldwide, Kanye is undoubtedly a phenomenal artist. 

Also read: Alicia Keys | Success Story of the Marvellous Artist

Why is Kanye West so popular?

Kanye West is famous for his rapping and record-producing skills. His albums have more than 100 million digital downloads. Moreover, seven of his albums are platinum. Throughout his career, he became a part of many controversies. Nevertheless, he is a renowned trendsetter globally. 

How old is Kanye West?

Kanye West is 45 years old as of 2022. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on the 8th of June, 1977. He grew up in a middle-class family in Chicago, Illinois. As a child, he enjoyed writing poetry and creating artistic designs. 

What is the most famous album by Kanye West?

Kanye West’s debut album, “The College Dropout,” is his highest-grossing album. It has sold more than four million copies worldwide. It is one of the most successful hip-hop albums of all time.

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