- Birth name: Kanye Omari West (now legally changed to Ye)
- Born: 8 June 1977
- Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia, US
- Nationality: American
- Main activity: Rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and fashion designer
- Musical genre: Hip hop, rap, gospel
Kanye West is a versatile and provocative artist who has made a name for himself in both music and fashion. He started as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, making hit singles for artists like Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, and Ludacris. He then launched his own rap career with acclaimed albums such as The College Dropout (2004) and Late Registration (2005). He has experimented with various musical styles and genres throughout his career, ranging from soul and gospel to electronic and industrial. He has also voiced his opinions on various social and political issues, often causing controversy and criticism. He has won 24 Grammy Awards and is widely regarded as one of the greatest artists of his generation.
West began his career as a producer in Chicago, working with local artists. He then moved to New York City to work for Roc-A-Fella Records, where he met Jay-Z and produced several tracks for his album, The Blueprint (2001). He also produced songs for other artists such as Alicia Keys, Ludacris and Cam’ron.
West wanted to be a rapper as well but faced resistance from the label executives. He eventually convinced them to let him record his debut album, The College Dropout (2004), which was a huge success. He followed up with more successful albums, such as Late Registration (2005) and Graduation (2007), which established him as a leading figure in hip hop.
West then explored more experimental and diverse musical directions with albums such as 808s & Heartbreak (2008), which featured him singing with Auto-Tune; My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), which was hailed as a masterpiece by critics; Yeezus (2013), which was influenced by industrial and punk music; The Life of Pablo (2016), which was a collaborative and eclectic project; Ye (2018), which was a personal and introspective album; and Jesus Is King (2019), which was a gospel-inspired album.
West also collaborated with other artists on projects such as Watch the Throne (2011) with Jay-Z and Kids See Ghosts (2018) with Kid Cudi. He also founded his own record label, GOOD Music, in 2004.
West has released 10 studio albums so far in his career. They are:
- The College Dropout (2004)
- Late Registration (2005)
- Graduation (2007)
- 808s & Heartbreak (2008)
- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
- Yeezus (2013)
- The Life of Pablo (2016)
- Ye (2018)
- Jesus Is King (2019)
- Donda (2021)
West has four children with his ex-wife Kim Kardashian West, whom he married in 2014 and divorced in 2021. Their children are:
- North West - 15 June 2013
- Saint West - 5 December 2015
- Chicago West - 15 January 2018
- Psalm West - 9 May 2019
West’s family includes:
- Ray West (father), a former Black Panther and photojournalist
- Donda West (mother), a former professor of English at Chicago State University
- Ricky Anderson (cousin), a music executive
- Tony Williams (cousin), a singer
- Ibn Jasper (cousin), a barber and designer
As of June 2023, Forbes reports that West’s net worth is $400 million. This is a huge decline from his earlier net worth of $2 billion in April 2022, which he lost after Adidas ended their partnership with him for his Yeezy sneaker line because of his antisemitic remarks. Gap and other companies also severed their ties with West.