Kanye West continues to influence the youth through his music and ventures. He’s given many rappers the confidence to follow their heart to a creative path. Kanye West loves comparing himself to ordinary and unusual people. Kanye West unveiled his new clothing line, saying, “I am Shakespeare in the flesh.” People can’t seem to stop talking about Kanye West. It’s no wonder why he’s claiming such an iconic stance.
Every headline on the news today is about something that Kanye said. One of his craziest headlines was when he tweeted that George Bush doesn’t care about black people.
Right now, though, Kanye West is undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of his generation, from genre-defying bodies of work to his signature fashion lines. There’s no denying Mr. West creative impact on the world.
Kanye originally wanted to be the biggest producer in the world. Once he accomplished that, he wanted to be the biggest rapper in the world. And, of course, he did that, too. Then he wanted to be one of the biggest things in the world of fashion.
In this biography, we’re going to take you through the life and career of Kanye West one last time. We’re going to go into Kanye West’s early years. He spent in China with his mom to the car accident that almost took his life in Los Angeles because this year is our
Kanye West Childhood
On June 8th, 1977, Kanye West was born to Donda and Ray West in Atlanta, Georgia. The two met at Spelman College in Atlanta, where Ray was hired as a freelance photographer by a director of public relations.
Donda worked in the public relations department while studying for her master’s degree at Atlanta University. Bree West is a former Black Panther member and one of the first black photojournalists at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He also holds two degrees and the two were married three months after they started dating. At first, neither one of them wanted to have children. But three years into their marriage? Well, Donna said that she felt the spirit of God gave them.
Although Kanye initially thought that his parents divorced when he was three years old, he revealed in his David Letterman interview that the divorce might have been finalized when he was three. But they were separated when Kanye was just a baby.
Ray was a great husband and a father. But once his photography business started to grow, well, that became his priority. And Donda? She decided that she didn’t want to come second to no man, to no business, to nothing.
Kanye and his mother moved to Chicago together when little West was three years old. Donda was an English professor beginning her career at Morris Brown College in Atlanta but later worked at Chicago State University. She became the head of the English department there.
Now, even though money was tight as a single mom, she always managed to provide her son with a good life. She was buying a house on South Shore Drive, where she and Kanye lived for eight years. Donna taught Kanye that he could always speak his mind from a young age.
Donda stated in her memoir. “There is no room for shyness. I raised him that way to think critically and analytically and not be afraid to voice what you feel. I helped shape that, and I think leaders are people who must do that.”
Kanye West Early School Years
Kanye West didn’t know what his dad was doing for money, but he always sent his kid back to school with a new wardrobe. Kanye was an exceptionally gifted child, especially artistically. He would make his own toys and draw detailed pictures when he was three years old.
He would also experiment with colors, drawing purple bananas and blue oranges. Kanye says, “I always wanted to be, you know, the original guy in the group standing out from a crowd.”
Before attending preschool at his mom’s workplace, Kanye was enrolled at Professional Playhouse Preschool. Teachers describe the young Kanye as academically gifted but said that socially he was self-absorbed and didn’t work well with others. He attended kindergarten at the Vander Poate Magnet School in Chicago, and when he was ten, Kanye and Donda spent a year in China. His mother was selected through a Fulbright Scholarship program to be a foreign expert to the People’s Republic of China.
Kanye was placed in the third grade in China because of the language barrier, and he would have been in the fifth grade back home. But he did have a private tutor from Zimbabwe to help him keep up with the fifth-grade curriculum when he returned home.
Kanye got along with the new classmates, but there was one incident where Donda recalls Kanye getting in trouble with his teacher. The students had to have finger holes on their gloves in the winter. But Kanye refused to take off his gloves that had no finger holes.
Now, the teacher sat him down and called Donda about his disobedience. Kanye learned pretty quickly that it was disrespectful to look his superiors in the eyes in China when speaking to them. Kanye West was also a good breakdancer, and he would charge Chinese students money to watch him dance.
You got to respect that hustle! Outside of his schooling, Kanye took tai chi lessons and private art lessons twice a week when he returned home. Kanye felt inspired and began to work on one of his original dreams, which was to design video games. Believe it or not, that led him to love the sound creation for the scores of games. From there, he began to work on music constantly as Kanye.
Kanye West Starts Producing Music
Now, Kanye continued to make moves at 13 years old, wishing to be signed to become a star. He even told his gym teacher that he wasn’t coming to class because he was going to get signed. To have something to rap over, he would make his own beats when he was 14 years old.
Kanye West got his first sampling keyboard after saving up some money. He also started selling his beats, charging local artists 50 bucks per beat, and West was doing five beats a day for three summers.
He would work odd jobs to save up enough money to keep enhancing his home studio. And before long, he had his own mixer, turntables, and drum machine. Friends of his would come over to his home studio to work on their music.
Kanye’s production company was called Con Man Productions. Now the group included Mikey Halstead, Ryan Fest, and GLC. A work colleague of Donda would help introduce Kanye to one of his most influential mentors.
He taught Kanye how to speed up his samples, leading to his later signature production sound. He even remembers Kanye challenging him to freestyle battles. So with newfound skills, advice from his mentor, and inspiration, Kanye was ready for the next chapter of his musical life.
Kanye West put the school in second place to his musical career, and Kanye’s former honor roll grades started slipping. With some encouragement from his mother, he graduated from school in 1995.
Then Kanye decided to attend Chicago State University, majoring in English. And if you know anything about Kanye’s career, then you know what happened next. Kanye became a college dropout and focused solely on his music career. Still, before gaining any real success as a rapper, his producing skills landed him some significant placements.
After creating a signature sound flipping soul samples, he began producing beats for local Chicago acts. Kanye had a small apartment in Chicago where he would stay inside and make beats, and this is where he was selling enough beats to keep the lights on and buy himself the occasional pair of Jordans.
Kanye West Starts Rapping
Then West became a ghost producer for a rapper named Dada, which was a pretty good look for him at the time. But his dream of becoming a rapper himself was always in his mind. Now he is part of a rap group called The Go-Getters, and John Monopoly and John Crowley managed them under the management firm Hustle Period.
They did a short promo run and released an album called World Record Holders. Kanye’s production credits started getting some notoriety. He was later featured as a producer on Foxy Brown and Goodie Mob albums. But of course, the most significant moment in his career came when he began producing for artists on Rockefeller records.
After producing for top artists, Kanye started hopping on the track with his lyrics. Eventually, one of his songs catches the attention of an executive. That song ended up becoming “This can’t be life.” He met Jay-Z at the studio after recording the song and Kanye rap for Jay that day. So even after having a beat on Jay-Z’s project, well, Kanye was still living in his small apartment without much else happening for him musically.
At one point, Kanye got evicted from his apartment, and he was unable to pay the rent. West then moved to Newark, New Jersey, with his recording equipment. Kanye’s first beat he made in his new apartment was “heart the city.”
Then Jay-Z walked in and heard the song. So he played another beat and another one and Jay-Z was impressed. The beats ended up being some of Jay’s most famous songs on this album, The Blueprint.
Kanye, the producer, was on, but his career as a rapper still had a long way to go. Can Kanye continue to produce for Jay-Z and other major artists? Afterward, he was leaving a hang out with some other artists, which included Ludacris around 3:00 a.m. driving in his rented Lexus!
Kanye West Car Accident
This was when Kanye got into a bad car accident with another vehicle, and he collided with another car just a couple of blocks away from the hotel. On October 23rd of 2002, MTV reported that Kanye West had been injured in a car accident.
A lot of people didn’t know Kanye yet, but those who did were very worried. In an interview, when speaking on the night, he said “When I had my accident, I was working on Beanie Siegel, and Black Eyed Peas.”
“And let’s say that those hip hop tracks were not my best work. If I would have die that night, that would have been the end of my legacy. Now, when I go into the studio, I act like this could possibly be my very last day.”
Kanye had reconstructive surgery on his face, and his jaw was wired shut. He was paying for everything out of pocket with no health insurance. But that accident would also serve as inspiration for one of Kanye’s most essential songs.
Kanye wrote and rapped the whole song with his jaw wired shut. Another song later became the first single off his debut album, finally convincing some label reps that he was more than just a producer.
Kanye Gets Signed To Roc-A-Fella Records
Eventually, Kanye West signed with Roc-A-Fella Records. He released his debut album, The College Dropout, the second single with slow jams, which featured Twister and Jamie Fox.
That song became all three musicians’ number one hit. But at first, Jamie Fox wasn’t so sure about this guy. He told the story in an interview with the crew, “I thought his party and a kid walks in, backpack on, jaw a little swollen. Who is it? Kanye West? Wow! Kanye told Jamie that he had a song for him to get on”.
Jamie forgot about the song and forgot about Kanye and thought nothing more of it.
Well, the album ended up winning a Grammy for Best Rap Album. Kanye’s rap career after that is one of the most impressive and impactful runs in music history.