Date: November 2003

From the get-go, Kanye West took his solo career into brave new territory. For one, the song “Through The Wire” was actually recorded while his jaw was wired shut. That story has become such a part of Kanye folklore that it doesn’t even feel like a big deal any more. But have you ever been in a car crash so bad your entire face was swollen and you had to have your jaw wired shut? We haven’t either. But we’re guessing that shit hurts. So recording a song with your jaw wired shut and making it a hit is a big deal.

As if that weren't enough, Kanye went on to fund the music video for the song himself. He didn’t direct it, but he create the concept, using old footage and Polaroid pictures to present his vision. It was a startlingly unique and highly personal video, one that could have just been Kanye sitting by the pool with Dame Dash pouring liquor on naked girls.