Kanye West: The Louis Vuitton Don

About Kanye West:

"If you have the opportunity to play this game of life you need to appreciate every moment. a lot of people don't appreciate the moment until it's passed."


Kanye Omari West  is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and fashion designer. West first became known 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, house, folk, alternative, electronica, synthpop, industrial, and classical music.

Kanye Omari West was born on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia. His parents divorced when he was three and he and his mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. His father, Ray West, is a former Black Panther and was one of the first black photojournalists at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ray West was later a Christian counselor, and in 2006, opened the Good Water Store and Café in Lexington Park, Maryland with startup capital from his son.


Early Life:
Kanye West's mother, Dr. Donda C. (Williams) West, was a professor of English at Clark Atlanta University, and the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University before retiring to serve as his manager. West was raised in a middle-class background, attending Polaris High School in suburban Oak Lawn, Illinois after living in Chicago. At the age of 10, West moved with his mother to Nanjing, China, where she was teaching at Nanjing University as part of an exchange program. According to his mother, West was the only foreigner in his class, but settled in well and quickly picked up the language, although he has since forgotten most of it. When asked about his grades in high school, West replied, "I got A's and B's. And I'm not even frontin'."


West demonstrated an affinity for the arts at an early age; he began writing poetry when he was five years old. His mother recalled that she first took notice of West's passion for drawing and music when he was in the third grade. Growing up in the city, West became deeply involved in its hip hop scene. He started rapping in the third grade and began making musical compositions in the seventh grade, eventually selling them to other artists. At age thirteen, West wrote a rap song called "Green Eggs and Ham" and began to persuade his mother to pay $25 an hour for time in a recording studio. It was a small, crude basement studio where a microphone hung from the ceiling by a wire clothes hanger. Although this wasn't what West's mother wanted, she nonetheless supported him. West crossed paths with producer/DJ No I.D., with whom he quickly formed a close friendship. No. I.D. soon became West's mentor, and it was from him that West learned how to sample and program beats after he received his first sampler at age 15.


Controversies:

1. Relationships:
West began an on-again, off-again relationship with designer Alexis Phifer in 2002, and they became engaged in August 2006. The pair ended their 18-month engagement in 2008.


West subsequently dated model Amber Rose from 2008 until the summer of 2010.


West began dating reality star and longtime friend Kim Kardashian in April 2012. West and Kardashian became engaged in October 2013 and married on May 24, 2014 at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy.


They have one child, daughter North "Nori" West, born in June 2013. In April 2015, West and Kardashian traveled to Jerusalem to have North baptized in the Armenian Apostolic Church at the Cathedral of St. James. The following month, it was announced that West and Kardashian are expecting their second child. On June 21, 2015 Kardashian confirmed via instagram that she and West are expecting a boy in December 2015.



2. Petitions:
Music fans have turned to Change.org around the globe to try and block West's participation at various events. The largest unsuccessful petition has been to the Glastonbury Festival 2015 with 133,000+ voters stating they would prefer a rock band to headline. On July 20, 2015, within five days of West's announcement as the headlining artist of the closing ceremonies[234] of the 2015 Pan Am Games (2015), Change.org user XYZ collected over 50,000 signatures for West's removal as headliner citing the headlining artist should be Canadian.


"My music isn’t just music — it’s medicine."

3. Leaked Album:
He recorded the remainder of the album in Los Angeles while recovering from the car accident. Once he had completed the album, it was leaked months before its release date. However, West decided to use the opportunity to review the album, and The College Dropout was significantly remixed, remastered, and revised before being released. As a result, certain tracks originally destined for the album were subsequently retracted, among them "Keep the Receipt" with Ol' Dirty Bastard and "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" with Consequence. West meticulously refined the production, adding string arrangements, gospel choirs, improved drum programming and new verses. West's perfectionism led The College Dropout to have its release postponed three times from its initial date in August 2003.


4. American Music Award 2004:
In 2004, West had his first of a number of incidents involving music award events. At the American Music Awards of 2004, West stormed out of the auditorium after losing Best New Artist to country singer Gretchen Wilson. He later commented, "I felt like I was definitely robbed. I was the best new artist this year." After the 2006 Grammy nominations were released, West said he would "really have a problem" if he did not win the Album of the Year, saying, "I don't care what I do, I don't care how much I stunt – you can never take away from the amount of work I put into it. I don't want to hear all of that politically correct stuff." On November 2, 2006, when his "Touch the Sky" failed to win Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards.


West went onto the stage as the award was being presented to Justice and Simian for "We Are Your Friends" and argued that he should have won the award instead. Hundreds of news outlets worldwide criticized the outburst. On November 7, 2006, West apologized for this outburst publicly during his performance as support act for U2 for their Vertigo concert in Brisbane. He later spoofed the incident on the 33rd season premiere of Saturday Night Live in September 2007.

5. Hurricane Katrina Relief Event:
The concert's most notable moment was rapper Kanye West's controversial statement that President George W. Bush "doesn't care about black people." Controversy arose when Kanye West was presenting, as he deviated from the prepared script, and said:

I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it says, 'They're looting.' You see a white family, it says, 'They're looking for food.' And, you know, it's been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black. And even for me to complain about it, I would be a hypocrite because I've tried to turn away from the TV because it's too hard to watch. I've even been shopping before even giving a donation, so now I'm calling my business manager right now to see what is the biggest amount I can give, and just to imagine if I was down there, and those are my people down there. So anybody out there that wants to do anything that we can help—with the way America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible. I mean, the Red Cross is doing everything they can. We already realize a lot of people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way—and they've given them permission to go down and shoot us!

Mike Myers, with whom West was paired to present, spoke next and continued as normal by reading the script. Once it was West's turn to speak again, he said, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." West's mic was silenced, and Myers turned, visibly shocked by the comment.


The camera quickly cut away to the next segment (with Chris Tucker, also visibly surprised), but West's comments still reached all of the U.S. Years later, George W. Bush himself commented on West's statement, saying in a 2010 interview "I resent it, it's not true, and it's one of the most disgusting moments of my presidency."

West returned to NBC one month later, performing on Saturday Night Live‍ '​s 31st season premiere in October 2005. He performed "Gold Digger", "Touch the Sky" and "Heard 'Em Say". Mike Myers appeared in a sketch spoofing the incident during that episode.

6. Jesus Walks, Poses for Rolling Stone:
One-upping John Lennon, Kanye West didn't just liken himself to Jesus  he posed as him. And unlike the Beatle's oft misunderstood remark, this comparison had no larger context to be taken out of: Kanye appeared on a 2006 Rolling Stone cover in a crown of thorns. In the story which ran not long after the rapper's 2005 Grammy win for "Jesus Walks" West defended his healthy ego.
"You want me to be great," he said, "but you don't ever want me to say I'm great?"


"I'll say things that are serious and put them in a joke form so people can enjoy them. We laugh to keep from crying."

7. Touch The Sky:
In December 2006, Robert "Evel" Knievel sued West for trademark infringement in West's video for "Touch the Sky." Knievel took issue with a "sexually charged video" in which West takes on the persona of "Evel Kanyevel" and attempts flying a rocket over a canyon. The suit filed in federal court claims infringement on his trademarked name and likeness. Knievel also claims the "vulgar and offensive" images depicted in the video damaged his reputation. The suit seeks damages and to stop distribution of the video. West's attorneys argued that the music video amounted to satire and therefore was covered under the First Amendment. Just days before his death in November 2007, Knievel amicably settled the suit after being paid a visit from West, saying, "I thought he was a wonderful guy and quite a gentleman."
8. MTV Video Music Awards 2007:
On September 9, 2007, West suggested that his race had something to do with his being overlooked for opening the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) in favor of Britney Spears; he claimed, "Maybe my skin’s not right." West was performing at the event; that night, he lost all five awards that he was nominated for, including Best Male Artist and Video of the Year. After the show, he was visibly upset that he had lost at the VMAs two years in a row, stating that he would not come back to MTV ever again. He also appeared on several radio stations saying that when he made the song "Stronger" that it was his dream to open the VMAs with it. He has also stated that Spears has not had a hit in a long period of time and that MTV exploited her for ratings.


9. Felony Vandalism:
On September 11, 2008, West and his road manager/bodyguard Don "Don C." Crowley were arrested at Los Angeles International Airport and booked on charges of felony vandalism after an altercation with the paparazzi in which West and Crowley broke the photographers' cameras. West was later released from the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division station in Culver City on $20,000 bail bond. On September 26, 2008, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said it would not file felony counts against West over the incident. Instead the case file was forwarded to the city attorney's office, which charged West with one count of misdemeanor vandalism, one count of grand theft and one count of battery and his manager with three counts of each on March 18, 2009. West's and Crowley's arraignment was delayed from an original date of April 14, 2009.


"I was never really good at anything except for the ability to learn."

10. With No Further Action:
West was arrested again on November 14, 2008 at the Hilton hotel near Gateshead after another scuffle involving a photographer outside the famous Tup Tup Palace nightclub in Newcastle upon Tyne. He was later released "with no further action", according to a police spokesperson.


11. MTV Video Music Awards 2013:
On September 13, 2009, during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards while Taylor Swift was accepting her award for Best Female Video for "You Belong with Me".

West went on stage and grabbed the microphone to proclaim that Beyoncé's video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", nominated for the same award, was "one of the best videos of all time". He was subsequently removed from the remainder of the show for his actions. When Beyoncé later won the award for Best Video of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", she called Swift up on stage so that she could finish her acceptance speech. West was criticized by various celebrities for the outburst, and by President Barack Obama, who called West a "jackass".


In addition, West's VMA disruption sparked a large influx of Internet photo memes with blogs, forums and "tweets" with the "Let you finish" photo-jokes. He posted a Tweet soon after the event where he stated, "Everybody wanna booooo me but I'm a fan of real pop culture... I'm not crazy y'all, I'm just real." He then posted two apologies for the outburst on his personal blog; one on the night of the incident, and the other the following day, when he also apologized during an appearance on The Jay Leno Show. After Swift appeared on The View two days after the outburst, partly to discuss the matter, West called her to apologize personally. Swift said she accepted his apology.

In September 2010, West wrote a series of apologetic tweets addressed to Swift including "Beyonce didn't need that. MTV didn't need that and Taylor and her family friends and fans definitely didn't want or need that" and concluding with "I'm sorry Taylor." He also revealed he had written a song for Swift and if she did not accept the song, he would perform it himself. However, on November 8, 2010, in an interview with a Minnesota radio station, he seemed to recant his past apologies by attempting to describe the act at the 2009 awards show as "selfless" and downgrade the perception of disrespect it created.

12. Paparazzi:
On July 19, 2013, West was leaving LAX as he was surrounded by dozens of paparazzi. West became increasingly agitated as a photographer, Daniel Ramos, continued to ask him why people were not allowed to speak in his presence. West then says, "I told you don't talk to me, right? You trying to get me in trouble so I steal off on you and have to pay you like $250,000 and shit." Then he allegedly charged the man and grabbed him and his camera. The incident captured by TMZ, took place for a few seconds before a female voice can be heard telling West to stop. West then released the man, and his camera, and drove away from the scene.


Medics were later called to the scene on behalf of the photographer who was grabbed. It was reported West could be charged with felony attempted robbery behind the matter. However, the charges were reduced to misdemeanor criminal battery and attempted grand theft. In March 2014, West was sentenced to serve two years' probation for the misdemeanor battery conviction and required to attend 24 anger management sessions, perform 250 hours of community service and pay restitution to Ramos.

13. 57th Annual Grammy Awards:
On February 8, 2015, at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, West walked on stage as Beck was accepting his award for Album of the Year and then walked off stage, making everyone think he was joking around. After the awards show, West claimed in an interview that he was not joking and that "Beck needs to respect artistry, he should have given his award to Beyoncé". On February 26, 2015, he publicly apologized to Beck on Twitter.


"We all self-conscious. I'm just the first to admit it."

Interesting Facts:
1. The name Kanye means "the only one" in Swahilli.

2. He dropped out of college and had a slew of random jobs. He worked as a telemarketer and sold insurance to Montgomery Ward credit card holders. "I was way better than most of the people there," he told Playboy. "I could sit around and draw pictures, basically do other [things] while I was reading the teleprompter."


3. He admits that the idea of becoming a male porn star crossed his mind once or twice before.

4. Chaka Khan initially refused to grant Kanye permission to use the pitched-up sample of her vocals from "Through the Fire" on College Dropout. But according to the video's co-director Coodie Simmons who told ESPN.com , a Sunday barbecue at Coodie's house changed hip-hop history. "Kanye brought Chaka Khan's son and I was like, 'We've got to shoot this video,' so we showed him the "Through The Wire" video. He was like, 'Aw man, I've got to show my mom this and tell her we're trying to get this done.' And I would say about two weeks later, she cleared the sample."


5. He used the money from the "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" music video to raise awareness about blood diamonds and the abuse of human rights that happen in the mining process.


6. He said once in an interview that he prefers finalizing a song in post production more than having sex.


Achievements:
1. As of 2013, West has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all-time.

2. About.com ranked Kanye West No. 8 on their "Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers" list.


3. On May 16, 2008, Kanye West was crowned by MTV as the year's No. 1 "Hottest MC in the Game."

4. On December 17, 2010, Kanye West was voted as the MTV Man of the Year by MTV. Billboard ranked Kanye West No. 3 on their list of Top 10 Producers of the Decade.

5. West ties with Bob Dylan for having topped the annual Pazz & Jop critic poll the most number of times ever, with four number-one albums each.

6. West has also been included in the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world as well as being listed in a number of Forbes annual lists.


7. In its 2012 list of "500 Greatest Albums of All Time, Rolling Stone included three of West's albums—The College Dropout at number 298, Late Registration at number 118, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy at number 353.

8. The Pitchfork online music publication ranked My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as the world's best album of the decade "so far" between 2010 and 2014 on August 19, 2014, while Yeezus was ranked in the eighth position of a list of 100 albums. During the same week, the song "Runaway" (featuring Pusha T) was ranked in the third position in the publication's list of the 200 "best tracks" released since 2010.

The Story:

After graduating from high school, West received a scholarship to attend Chicago's American Academy of Art in 1997 and began taking painting classes, but shortly after transferred to Chicago State University to study English. He soon realized that his busy class schedule was detrimental to his musical work, and at 20 he dropped out of college to pursue his musical dreams. This action greatly displeased his mother, who was also a professor at the university. She later commented, "It was drummed into my head that college is the ticket to a good life... but some career goals don't require college. For Kanye to make an album called College Dropout it was more about having the guts to embrace who you are, rather than following the path society has carved out for you.


"People always say that you can't please everybody. I think that's a cop-out. Why not attempt it? 'Cause think of all the people you will please if you try."

West's life took a different direction when his mother, Donda West, died of complications from cosmetic surgery involving abdominoplasty and breast reduction in November 2007. Months later, West and fiancée Alexis Phifer ended their engagement and their long-term intermittent relationship, which had begun in 2002. The events profoundly affected West, who set off for his 2008 Glow in the Dark Tour shortly thereafter. Feeling his emotions could not be conveyed through rapping, West discovered the voice audio processor Auto-Tune to use whilst singing, which would become a central part of his next effort. Recorded mostly in Honolulu, Hawaii in three weeks, West announced his fourth album, 808s & Heartbreak, at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, where he performed its lead single, "Love Lockdown". Music audiences were taken aback by the uncharacteristic production style and the presence of Auto-Tune, which typified the pre-release response to the record.


"Nothing in life is promised except death."


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