On May 24, 2014 Kanye West married Kim Kardashian. In our day and age, marrying a celebutante means you’re big news. If West wasn’t a huge, mega-star before saying “I Do” he’s certainly is now. Of course, it doesn’t really matter who West ties the knot with because his musical exploits alone are enough to make him famous the world over.
Kanye West is not only one of the greatest hip hop artists of all-time but one of the greatest artists of any genre and of any era of all-time.
Kanye West began his music career as a producer. He made a name for himself working for Jay-Z, Ludacris, Janet Jackson, and many others. He was known for sampling soul music and playing those samples at high speeds.
West leaped from the control room to the microphone thanks to his 2004 debut, College Dropout. Gangsta rap dominated the genre at the time, but West’s sound on College Dropout was different. His lyrics focused on subjects like religion, family, and social issues. His music was complex and melodic.
College Dropout sold more than four million copies, won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, and is frequently included on lists of the greatest albums of all-time.
When others started imitating West’s style he evolved to include elements from other genres. He frequently employed strings as well as chord progressions from rock music. For a while, Kanye West was one of the few popular acts to tour with a string ensemble.
In 808's & Heartbreak (2008), West sang more than he rapped. While some fans and critics didn’t like the deviation from his previous work, 808's & Heartbreak showcased West’s creativity, range, and musical talent.
In 2010, West’s followed 808’s & Heartbreak with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, his fifth overall studio album. This album was the nearly unanimously pick as the year’s best work. Many critics anointed it the pinnacle of West’s career.
Both 808’s & Heartbreak and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy peaked at number one and were certified Platinum. In fact, all of West’s albums have reached number one except College Dropout (number two) and all have been certified Platinum or better.
Three of his albums—College Dropout, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and Late Registration—are found on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time.West has made headlines with his many public rants about how he should have won this award or that. In truth, West has won 21 Grammy Awards and has been nominated 53 times. Only seven artists have more Grammy victories. There is a caveat to his 21 wins. He has dominated the rap category but has never captured one of the big three: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, or Song of the Year.
Kanye West was born June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia. He moved to Chicago when he was three. His father was a former Black Panther. West’s mother, Donda, was an English professor and pretty much raised Kanye on her own.
For a time, Donda taught in China and she took her son with her . West got into rap music in the third grade. When he was 13, she paid $25 an hour to a dilapidated recording studio so her son could record an original rap song. The session proved to be West’s entry into the industry.