Born in Atlanta and raised beneath the skyline of Chicago, Kanye Omari West is a producer turned rapper who is now a staple of hip-hop culture. From fashion, to film, to music, Kanye West
has been pushing barriers his whole career.
Kanye West got his big break when he signed with Roc-A-Fella
Records in 2000 and began producing beats for Jay-Z
, who was beginning to distinguish himself as one of hip-hop’s legends. West’s sound was all over Jay’s The Blueprint
, an album widely considered to be one of Hova’s best works. Kanye famously laid the beat for “Takeover,” Jay’s diss track to Nas
in the heat of their beef.
Kanye’s relationship with Jay-Z would lead him to produce for other big names in hip-hop, including Talib Kweli
, Mos Def
, T.I., and even the aforementioned Nas. But ’Ye had always had an itch to be a rapper himself, and though record execs were skeptical at first, Yeezy would eventually show everyone just how nice he was with words.
From The College Dropout
to Watch the Throne
, Kanye West has proven that his lyrics were just as dope as his beats. His debut, College Dropout
, and its follow-up, Late Registration
, have both gone triple platinum. His third album, Graduation
, was hailed by Complex as the best album of the first decade of the 21st Century. 808s & Heartbreak
was a bold left turn for an artist who up to that point had strictly made hip-hop music. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
announced Kanye’s return to rap and Watch the Throne
was one of 2011’s best albums, with Kanye trading bars with the man he once strictly made beats for. And of course the recently released Cruel Summer, from ’Ye’s G.O.O.D. Music crew, is one of the most talked about cultural events of the year. The self proclaimed Louis Vuitton Don
has come a long way.