Whether you know him as Ye, Yeezy, Mr. West or the Louis Vuitton Don, you know Kanye West. He's the well-dressed rapper, wearing clothing with logos and five hundred dollar shoes, spitting out intricate rhymes with intricate internal structures. It was he who caused chaos during the awards ceremony. It is the celebrity who is loved as much as he is hated, his immense talent at odds with his lack of impulsive control.
We all know the character Kanye West is showing off to audiences: brash, overconfident, swagger, and practically sneering. It feeds on any publicity, positive, negative or otherwise, and all this only strengthens its image. But West is, to say the least, incredibly smart. For all the press he receives, we ultimately only see what he wants us to see.
Of course, there is a lot more to this most polarizing celebrity. Here are 20 things you didn't know about Kanye West.
1. Born in Atlanta in 1977, his first name is Kanye Omari West. Kanye is Swahili for "the only one" and true to his nickname, he was the only child of Ray and Donda West. Her mother was an English professor at Clark Atlanta University and her father was a Black Panther who worked as a photojournalist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The family of three did not last long: Ray and Donda divorced when Kanye was only three years old. At this point, West and his mother moved to Chicago, where Donda was hired as a professor at Chicago State University.
2. West may not have been born in Chicago, but he certainly was raised there and he doesn't hide it. The Windy City features prominently in many of his lyrics, and he is perhaps the celebrity most associated with the city. Many of his fans will therefore be surprised to learn that West lived in China for a year when he was younger. Her mother got a teaching job at Nanjing University for a year through an exchange program, and she brought her ten-year-old son with her. While West admits he forgot most of the Mandarin he learned there, it was a formative experience for him nonetheless.
3. West goes to Polaris High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois, a suburb southwest of Chicago. His talents as an artist and painter earned him a scholarship to attend the American Academy of Art in Chicago. He signed up for a semester, then was quickly transferred to the University of Chicago and began taking English classes, perhaps in an attempt to follow in his mother's footsteps. However, West soon realized that going to school was going to get in the way of music. Even though he knew his mother wanted him to graduate, he left college a few years later. When the time came for him to drop his debut album, he called it The College Dropout, due to his mixed feelings about dropping out of school.
4. West's talents as an MC are well established, so it's a little hard to believe that Roc-A Fella Records, run by Jay Z and Damon Dash, was reluctant to name him rapper. After earning his stripes as an All-Star producer (he produced five of 13 tracks on Jay Z's 2001 flagship album, The Blueprint), the Roc-A-Fella team were unsure of take on the role of rapper. After some deliberation, they gave West a shot and obviously the decision turned out to be a good one.
5. Nothing beats a near-death experience to motivate a person and give them back a sense of purpose. In 2002, West had a near-death experience. He was coming home from the studio when he was involved in some serious business. car crash that almost killed him. The accident left him with a shattered jaw, for which he required reconstructive surgery to put a metal plate on his chin and tie his jaw in so that it could heal. It was a big blow to the aspiring MC - how do you rap when your jaw is closed? - but that didn't stop him. As he recovered in the hospital, he requested an electronic drum machine so that he could continue working on tracks. He wrote his first single "Through the Wire," which was about the experience, and even hit the verses while his jaw was connected. West's lyrical intelligence, production of prowess, and genuine courage impressed everyone.
6. Most straight men have fantasies about becoming an adult movie star, but Kanye West has actually admitted that he was, at one point, interested in this type of work. He thanks Alexis Phifer, his former fiancé, for helping him change his mind. Nonetheless, West's fascination with X-rated films features in many of his works, most notably in the song “Hell of a Life” from his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; on the track, he remembers marrying an adult star.
9. West has received many other awards as well. In Rolling Stone magazine's 2012 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, three of West's efforts were included. Time magazine has called him twice, in 2005 and 2015. In addition, in 2007, GQ magazine named him Man of the Year.
10. With 24 million subscribers, West's Twitter account (@kanyewest) is the 43rd most used across the social network. When he joined the team in July 2010, he quickly gained a reputation for unintentionally sending out hilarious tweets. (At least we think they weren't intentional.) A few gems: “Do you know where to find marble conference tables? I'm looking to have a conference… not until I get the table ”and“ I hate it when I'm on a plane and get up with a water bottle next to me like oh great now I have to be responsible for this bottled water. The late-night shows soon featured skits in which celebrities did spectacular reads of some of West's best tweets. In 2011, Jimmy Kimmel even invited internationally respected singer Josh Groban to put some of West's tweets to music and sing them. his show.
11. West seems to be a strong believer in collaboration with other great artists: rappers and singers are featured on more than half of his tracks. And he doesn't just work with people in the hip hop and R&B community - he works with everyone. Some of the artists who have appeared on a Kanye West track include Lil Wayne, Pusha T, Alicia Keys, T-Pain, Fergie, Bon Iver, Chris Martin, RZA, Nicki Minaj and even Elton John.
12. West is a fan of many genres of music. He has declared himself a fan of many artists, including Lana Del Rey, Fiona Apple, Franz Ferdinand, David Bowie, Pharrell, Puff Daddy, Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Weeknd, Rocky A $ AP and many more. . His diverse musical tastes may seem surprising at first, but given the wide range of artists he has chosen over the years, the diversity begins to take on its full meaning.
13. Kanye West: rapper, producer, travel agent? It sounds crazy, but in 2008 West launched a website called Kanye Travel Ventures, or KTV. The idea was to make it just another Expedia or Orbitz, where customers would get great prices on flights, hotels, car rentals, etc., but with a more hip-hop feel to it. It was a time when West was trying to diversify and invest his money in new places. Even though KTV was well intentioned, it never really took off (pardon the pun). Now if you go to the kanyetravel.com site there is only spam.
14. In addition to being a producer and rapper, West has also starred in acting. He was the lead actor in Runaway, the 35-minute film that accompanied My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010, and also had cameo roles in films like Dave Chappelle's Block Party and The Love Guru. Most notably, West played MTV's VJ JJ Jackson in Anchorman 2. In fact, Will Ferrell was extremely appreciative of West's professional demeanor and love of comedy; Apparently, West was so entranced by the setting that he stayed for two days, much longer than his scene required.
15. Paparazzi have been known to follow and even antagonize celebrities of all kinds, and West is no exception. The cameramen (and the women) follow him relentlessly, which harms the artist; sometimes things literally go wrong and West is in trouble. So yeah, West has a rap sheet, but all of his arrests are the result of some sort of paparazzi altercation. He was arrested twice in 2008 and again in 2013, and although he received probation, community service and anger management counseling following these incidents, he did not never served his sentence.
18. Although his outspokenness may not suggest the heart of a philanthropist, West has shown that his heart is truly in the right place, even if his finances are not. With his mother, he established the Kanye West Foundation in 2003, focused on education, especially music education. Unfortunately, mismanagement resulted in the foundation shutting down in 2011. However, West has been active in several other charities including Live Earth, World Water Day, Hurricane Katrina Relief and a handful of charities. other.
19. Will we ever see a president, Kanye West? Perhaps. During his Video Vanguard Award acceptance speech at the 2015 MTV VMAs, West closed a rambling eight-minute speech with: “And yes, as you probably guessed, I have decided in 2020 to run for the presidency. much to the delight of the crowd. No one can guess if that will happen, as West admitted to being a little under-influenced at the time, even admitting in his speech that before taking the stage, “I rolled a little something. I flipped the edge. Oh Kanye.
20. How much is Kanye West worth? It depends on who you ask, although most experts estimate his net worth at around $ 145 million. He recently claimed he owed $ 53 million in debt, but with all the money he has and with his wife (Kim Kardashian, herself worth around $ 85 million), we we doubt that he will soon be helpless.
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