Biography

Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, film director, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. West first gained prominence as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records; he achieved recognition for his work on rapper Jay-Z's The Blueprint (2001), as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and Janet Jackson. His style of production originally used high-pitched vocal samples from soul songs incorporated with his own drums and instruments. He later broadened his influences to include 1970s R&B, baroque pop, trip hop, arena rock, folk, alternative, electronica, synthpop, industrial, and classical music.

West was raised in a middle-class household in Chicago, Illinois, and began rapping in the third grade, becoming involved in the city's hip hop scene. West attended art school for one semester before dropping out to pursue music entirely in the late 1990s. Although his real desire was to become a rapper, record executives did not take West seriously, viewing him as a producer first and foremost. After being signed to Roc-A-Fella in 2002, West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004 to commercial and critical acclaim. The baroque-inspired Late Registration followed in 2005, and Graduation in 2007. West switched rapping for singing on his emotive 2008 effort 808's & Heartbreak, and embraced maximalism on 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Following several collaborations, West released his sixth album, Yeezus, in 2013.

West is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 21 million albums and 66 million digital downloads. He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all-time and the most Grammy-awarded artist of his age. Time has named West one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He has also been included in a number of Forbes annual lists. Three of his albums rank on Rolling Stone's 2012 "the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.

West's background and style, from his debut album, deviated from the then-dominant "gangsta" persona in hip hop, and he would later alter the genre stylistically as rappers adopted his alternative aesthetic. An outspoken and controversial celebrity, West has often been the source of incidents at award shows. His interest in fashion has also attracted media attention and differentiates West from other artists. West runs his own record label GOOD Music and has directed several short films.

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Kanye West News

Kanye West wins lawsuit against 'Coinye' Bitcoin

Kanye West wins lawsuit against 'Coinye' Bitcoin

The cryptocurrency was inspired by the rapper

  • Jul 28, 2014

Kanye West: 'I want the new album out by September'

The rapper says he's recorded a "club" track like 'Niggas In Paris'

  • Jul 21, 2014

Watch footage of a 19-year-old Kanye West rapping in a record shop

The performance took place at the now-closed Fat Beats store in New York in 1996

  • Jul 18, 2014

Kanye West says media reports of booing 'hurt' during third Wireless festival rant

West addressed feedback to his two Finsbury Park shows during Perry Park set

  • Jul 7, 2014

Kanye West debuts 20 new songs during a private DJ set in London

Rapper drops a series of previously unheard tracks following his final performance at the Wireless Festival

  • Jul 7, 2014

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Kanye West Music Videos

Bound 2 Play Video

Bound 2

Watch the official Bound 2 video by Kanye West in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Mercy Play Video

Mercy

Watch the official Mercy video by Kanye West in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Lost In The World Play Video

Lost In The World

Watch the official Lost In The World video by Kanye West in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

All Of The Lights Play Video

All Of The Lights

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Runaway Play Video

Runaway

Watch the official Runaway video by Kanye West in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

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Kanye West Reviews

Kanye West - 'Yeezus'

Kanye West - 'Yeezus'

Yeezy is back with one of the best records of the year, and he’s more controversial, contradictory and powerful than ever

  • Jul 2, 2013

Kanye West - 'Untitled'

Yeezus Christ is risen

  • May 22, 2013

Kanye West's Good Music - 'Cruel Summer'

Kanye and co are back and the good news is he's as tormented as ever

  • Sep 21, 2012

Kanye West feat Pusha T - 'New God Flow'

Kanye's latest track oozes swag

  • Jul 7, 2012

Live Review: The Big Chill Festival

Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Herefordshire, August 4th-7th

  • Aug 16, 2011

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