Kanye West gave an extraordinary interview to BBC Radio 1 this week, his first radio interview since the release of ‘Yeezus’. Here’s 50 geeky facts you might not know about the hip-hop superstar. Starting with the Taylor Swift debacle, everyone know the ‘Imma let you finish’ story, but did you know that Mos Def apparently came to visit Kanye at his house and encouraged him to move out of America?
Mos Def wasn’t the only one to berate Mr. West after his actions. Barack Obama had something to say on the matter, calling him a “jackass”.
Even Comedy Central got involved, playing the South Park ‘Fishsticks’ episode in which they ridicule Kanye for two straight hours.
Yeezy’s birthday is the 8th of June, sharing it with Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, HTML coding and one of the smartest guys in the world. He also shares it with George Bush’s mum, Barbara…
The College Dropout became a telemarketer for a short while to pay his mum rent
After the telemarketing thing didn’t work out, he considered becoming a porn star. Apparently, his fiancée at the time, Alexis Phifer, changed his mind. He said: “That career choice popped into my head once or twice. Which guy doesn’t want that? Just sometimes in their life. This was my mentality before I was engaged.”
He initially rose to fame as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records. He is was influential on Jay-Z’s 2001 album, ‘The Blueprint’, producing 5 of the 13 tracks and two bonus tracks, more than any of the other producers on the album.
He was won 112 music awards in total, including 21 Grammys. ‘The College Dropout’, earned him the Best Rap Album at the 2005 Grammy Awards, three MOBO Awards, and Best New Artist at the BET Awards. His second album, ‘Late Registration’, earned him seven Grammy nominations and two nominations at the BRIT Awards.
He’s had over 12 million record sales and 30 million download sales in the United States alone, making him third for solo male artists and sixth overall on the list of best-selling digital artists.
However, in terms of putting numbers on popularity, surely one of the best ways to test this is how many followers you have on Twitter? He’s only the 52nd most followed account on Twitter, with 9,516,386 followers, beaten by pregnant girlfriend Kim who is 17th with 17,828,190. Bieber tops it with 39,869,708.
When recovering from the car accident in October 2002 that led him to have a metal plate in his jaw, he requested a drum machine so he could record his demo whilst still in hospital.
Throughout his albums, he has collaborated with other artists on 45 of those tracks. That’s quite a lot really, considering in total there are 80 tracks on these albums, which is over 50 per cent
His girlfriend Kim Kardashian is due to give birth to a baby girl next month [July]. But did you know that her stepfather, Bruce Jenner, has only met him once over the whole time they’ve been together?
Michel Gondry, the French film director noted for films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind, played live drums for the song ‘Diamonds’, on album ‘Late Registration’.
Kanye is noted for his fashion sense, having owned a clothing line and started off many fashion trends around the world, even inspiring the pioneer of crazy fashion himself, Michael Jackson, who apparently phoned him up to ask about the jacket he wore in the music video for ‘Stronger’.
That song, ‘Stronger’, famously used a sample of Daft Punk’s ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’. But Kanye has also created some unreleased songs that contain samples from Broadway hit music, ‘Wicked’.
In an unlikely turn of events, Kanye boldly claimed that the Glaswegian indie boys Franz Ferdinand made the cut as his favourite band when talking to NME in 2005.
‘College Dropout’ was album of the year by almost every publication (New York Times, Time Magazine, GQ, Spin, XXL, Rolling Stone). NME voted Franz Ferdinand’s debut number one and Kanye’s album number seven.
In a 2005 charity campaign video with actor Mike Meyers, West asserted that George W. Bush didn’t care about black people following Hurricane Katrina.
After the success of ‘The College Dropout’, Kanye rewarded himself with an 18th century aquarium containing 30 koi fish.
In 2000, he was arrested for allegedly stealing printers from OfficeMax after a case of mistaken identity.
He adopted the nickname ‘Deep House,’ because of his baggy pants and backpacks, rather than an interest for the genre.
Apparently Kanye doesn’t keep his Grammy’s or any other awards in his house.
If you’re to travel with anyone, make sure it with “Kanye’s Travel Ventures” (KTV) launched through Yeezy’s website in March 2008.
50 Cent promised to quit the music industry if Kanye West were ever out sell him. Unfortunately for him, Kanye did so by 1.1 million records. We’re yet to see 50 Cent’s retirement plan.
For Kanye, being famous has always been an unbearable drain. In his new track ‘New Slaves’, he compares being a celebrity to, erm, being a slave.
In promotion of new album ‘Yeezus,’ media coverage has been taken to the next level. He had a video of himself performing new song ‘New Slaves’ projected on the walls of 66 buildings in 10 different cities.
Kanye’s father’s Ray West was a member of the Black Panther Party in the 1960’s American Civil Rights Movement.
Kanye claims he has a “much bigger” dick than Alex Kapranos, frontman of Franz Ferdinand.
Kanye made it into Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in 2005. The list today ranges from North Korean Dictator, Kim Jong Un, to the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
During Kanye West’s younger years he moved to China with his mother, who found a job there. During this time he claims to have danced and performed karate demonstrations in the street for money. The money he made was duly spent on ice-cream.
George W. Bush has said that Kanye calling him a racist over Hurricae Katrina was one of the worst moments in his political career.
Kanye means “the only one” in Swahili. An apt name for the rapper to some, including Kim Kardashian’s sister Khloe, who depicts him as “rude and arrogant” and “a mistake”.
Kanye West has bought the rights to fast-food chain Fatburgers, and plans to open 10 restaurants in Chicago. The burger joints have since closed down. With reports of Kim Kardashian to eat her own placenta after birth, it would be interesting to ask whether a Fatburger would be the tastier choice?
Kanye is not just a rapper, fashion icon, producer and film director, he’s also a philanthropist. Kanye, alongside his mother, founded the “Kanye West Foundation”, with the mission to tackle illiteracy and dropout rates in Chicago. The foundation ceased operations in 2011.
Kanye has cried numerous times while singing ‘Hey Mama’, since his mother’s death in 2007. Dr Donda West died of suspected cosmetic surgery complication.
Kanye West’s mother was a college professor and his father a photojournalist, activist and Christian counsellor. Unlike many other rappers, Kanye lived through a largely middle-class background, however this does not seem to have impeded his street reputation or legitimacy.
Kanye West joined the Occupy Wall Street protest in 2011. Ironically, the rapper fills the credentials for the 1 per cent, not the 99 per cent.
Kanye West is an avid basketball fan. He is regularly spotted at LA Lakers games, and has written almost as many lyrics about the sport as he has about himself.
KW wears a metal plate in his chin, following his near fatal car crash in 2002. In May 2013 he crashed his Lamborghini Aventador into Kim Kardashian’s gate.
‘The College Dropout’ is widely regarded as KWs best album. It was recorded over a period of a whopping four years and sold over 3 million.
West was named ‘International Man of the Year’ at the GQ awards. Other winners include actor and international playboy Mickey Rourke, and actor John Slattery.
Kanye West’s favourite verse is from his single ‘New Day’. Kanye has never publicly mentioned what his poorest lyrics though we imagine “Oh I get it: there’s Libra, Sagittarius, Scorpio, and then Uranus” is probably up there.
An episode of South Park depicting KW as an egomaniac is said to have “hurt [his] feelings”.
It’s rumored that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are shelling out close to $1 million for the birth their first child. The National Enquirer is reporting that the fashion-obsessed duo have booked a massive suite at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles that rents for $4,000 a day. They have outdone poor Jay Z and Beyonce, who could only afford a mere $3,200 a day for their baby, Blue Ivy.
Kanye West has fallen victim to an internet death hoax. It was reported that he died in a car crash in 2009, but was quickly refuted by his girlfriend at the time, Amber Rose. Necropedia have written Kanye West’s anticipated obituary. They predict that he will die this June.
Kanye’s pretty great at insults. To wit: “I have a fucking light show, dumb ass. It’s not called glow in the dark for no reason, squid brains.”
Kanye believes he’s God’s chosen one, saying “I am God’s vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.”
Kanye is not a fan of books. He onces said “sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed. I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph.”
“I’m like a tree, I feed the branches of the people,” said Kanye. We wonder what kind of tree he’s talking about. Maybe a bullshit bush?