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How old is Kanye West? What’s the age of this artist?

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Kanye West, a name synonymous with the music industry, started his career as a producer for renowned artists. His rapping abilities came into the spotlight with his debut album College Dropout in 2004. He secured his position at the pinnacle of the hip-hop industry with hit albums such as Late Registration (2005), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), Yeezus (2013), and Ye (2018). He’s also known for his dramatic awards show outbursts, ventures into fashion, and his high-profile marriage to Kim Kardashian. Winner of nearly two dozen Grammy Awards, West has made a name for himself in the industry.

Early Years of Kanye West

Born on June 8, 1977, in Atlanta, Georgia, Kanye West is the son of Ray, a photojournalist for the Atlanta Journal and a politically active member of the Black Panthers, who later turned to being a Christian counselor. His mother, Donda, was a teacher and English professor at Chicago State University, who also managed her son’s career until her premature death in 2007 due to heart disease post-cosmetic surgery. His parents divorced when he was three, and his mother in Chicago’s middle-class South Shore neighborhood, spending the summers with his father, raised him. As a ten-year-old, West moved with Donda to China for a year, where she was part of a university exchange program. Back in Chicago, he was drawn to the city’s hip-hop scene and befriended DJ and producer, No I.D., who mentored him. Later, West dropped out of the Chicago’s American Academy of Art to pursue music.

Kanye West Rise as a Music Producer

Kanye West began his career producing for local artists and developed a unique style called “chipmunk soul,” which was characterized by fast-paced soul samples. He moved to New York in 2001, where he produced the track “This Can’t Be Life” for Jay-Z’s 2000 album Dynasty: Roc La Familia. This was his big break. The following year, he produced four songs for Jay-Z’s The Blueprint, considered one of the best rap albums ever. KanyeWest then produced for a number of other talents including Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Ludacris, Alicia Keys, and Beyoncé.

Despite his success as a producer, West wanted to take center stage as a rapper. He faced initial resistance from labels, including Roc-A-Fella records. Co-founder Jay-Z wasn’t convinced about West’s potential as a rapper given his non-street background. Undeterred, West persisted and was signed by Damon Dash mostly to keep him as a producer. In October 2002, West had a car accident that left him with a fractured jaw. During his recovery, he wrote and recorded the song “Through the Wire” with his jaw wired shut. After completing his debut album, it was leaked online, pushing West to revise and refine it further, adding stronger drums, gospel choirs, and strings to his music.

The College Dropout

Finally, in February 2004, West’s first album, The College Dropout, hit the shelves and became an instant success, selling 2.6 million copies. The album was a departure from the prevalent gangsta-rap narrative, featuring songs on consumerism, racism, higher education and faith. It climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart, and Kanye West landed 10 Grammy nominations, snagging three. Following his album’s success, West established his own record label, GOOD Music.

Late Registration

For his second album, West pulled out all the stops, spending a year and $2 million, hiring an orchestra and collaborating with composer Jon Brion. His efforts paid off, leading to three Grammy wins and a No. 1 position on the Billboard Hot 200. His ambition to redefine pop music was evident, and he successfully claimed the entire music world as hip hop territory.

In September 2005, West stirred controversy with his live comment during an NBC fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims, accusing President George Bush of not caring about Black people, a critique echoed by many.

Graduation

Inspired by his tour with U2, Kanye West aimed to elevate hip hop’s anthem potential. His third album, Graduation, released in September 2007, showcased his integration of rock ‘n’ roll and house music influences. In a showdown of album releases against 50 Cent’s Curtis, West emerged victorious, with Graduation selling 957,000 copies in the first six days.

Despite the music industry’s growing concerns about internet impacts, West embraced the new wave with a viral YouTube sensation for his single “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.”

Personal Hardships

At the pinnacle of his success, West faced personal loss with the death of his mother, Donda, due to complications from cosmetic surgery. His subsequent album, 808s & Heartbreak, reflected his grief and loneliness. Choosing to sing through an Auto-Tune vocal processor for a robotic effect, he declared the album “pop art” and announced his departure from hip hop (although he still won two Grammys that year for guest raps).

Kanye West’s plunge into the fashion industry started with a rocky start in 2011 in Paris, with critics unimpressed by the use of fox fur. Despite the criticism and mediocre responses to his second collection, Kanye West bagged a $10 million deal with Adidas in 2013, leading to the launch of his Yeezy Season 1 in 2015. Although it garnered mixed reviews, Anna Wintour found West’s Season 5 collection in 2017 commendable.

An Exemplary Album

2010 marked West’s return to the music scene with his fifth album. It was a grandiose display of his artistic flair wrapped in themes of celebrity paranoia and excess. Although it teetered on the brink of delusion, the album was acclaimed as a greatest hits collection by Pitchfork. His collaboration with Jay Z, Watch the Throne, further solidified his musical prowess with three Grammy wins.

Life with Kim Kardashian and their Children

While 2012 saw the release of West’s compilation album, Cruel Summer, it was his budding relationship with reality-TV star Kim Kardashian that stole the headlines. The pair got engaged in 2013 and exchanged vows in 2014 at the historic Fort di Belvedere in Italy. Together, they have four children: North, Saint, and two via surrogate. Kardashian filed for divorce from West in February 2021.

The ‘Yeezus’ Era

Yeezus, West’s sixth album released in June 2013, presented a stark contrast to his seemingly perfect life. The album, produced by Rick Rubin, was raw and lacking in melody. West’s lyrics on the album reflected his paranoia and narcissism. Despite its lack of commercial success, Yeezus was critically acclaimed.

Feud with Jimmy Kimmel

Later that year, West had a public fallout with talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel over a parody involving child actors reciting West’s interview quotes. West’s outrage was aired via a series of angry tweets, leading to a back-and-forth with Kimmel that saw West appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The episode ended with a truce, as both acknowledged their prior friendship and the need for empathy in comedy sketches.

Sara Jackson
Sara Jacksonhttps://www.magzica.com
Introducing Sara Jakson, an accomplished author with a passion for celebrity journalism. With her keen eye for detail and captivating writing style, Sara has become renowned for her insightful articles on the lives of the rich and famous. Her ability to uncover the hidden stories behind the glitz and glamour has made her a trusted voice in the industry. Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of celebrities as Sara Jakson takes you on an unforgettable literary journey.

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