The Many Lives of Kanye West
Rapper, songwriter, producer, fashion designer, and now, the current love interest of Kim Kardashian — Kanye West plays many roles that makes both his career and personal life one of the most dynamic within the celebrity arena. Rated by Time Magazine as one of the most influential 100 people, Kanye West attracts focus with his versatile accomplishments and riveting personality.
When It Began
Although West was born in Atlanta in 1977, he spent most of his childhood in Chicago with his mother. Although West did well in school and studied at Chicago State University where his mother chaired the English Department, West left his college studies to focus on a career in the music industry. West began producing in 1996 and steadily increased his prestige by working with artists like Foxy Brown and eventually Jay-Z. His subsequent work with Jay-Z made West one of the hottest and most sought-after producers in the business.
Crash before Fame
A near-deadly car crash influenced West to write his first single titled “Through the Wire.” His debut album, The College Dropout, garnered considerable critical fame and eventually received triple-platinum status. Like the first, the second album, Late Registration, also achieved critical honors. Continued offerings garnered still more success, acclaim, and international fame. Awards and his subsequent super stardom have made Kanye West one of the best known musical artists of the past decade. West’s musical achievements have been fueled by immense talent. West plays multiple instruments, writes, raps, sings, and produces. He has mastered each of these roles, making him a major force in today’s music industry.
Beyond the Music
Having garnered his fame as a musical genius, West turned his mind and talent to other ventures. With forays into the fashion world, West designed his own clothing line and even saw his own shoe released by Louis Vuitton. From his DW Kanye West fashion line to his forays into acting, West has revealed that he is a man of many talents. In addition to his various career steps, West also maintains philanthropic work. In 2003, West started a foundation to keep African American and Latino students in school. Moreover, West has participated in multiple benefit concerts and fundraisers for various causes like Hurricane Katrina relief and World Water Day.
The Sharp Dressed Man
Successful, talented, and fashionable, it isn’t surprising that West has received considerable attention from the ladies. West was involved in a long-term relationship with designer Alexis Phifer on and off since 2002. The couple became engaged in 2006, but ended their relationship in 2008. Today, West is involved with reality television star Kim Kardashian. The couple began dating in April and recent publicity has surrounded Kardashian’s influence on West’s songwriting and West’s influence on Kardashian’s fashion style.
The Kanye Influence
In the prime of his life and career, West is poised to be an inspiration to other artists. His album 808s & Heartbreaks has already dramatically influenced the world of Hip Hop music with its personal style and the artist’s revelations about love and loneliness. Artists like Jay-Z have asserted this influence in interviews by stating their own ideas about the future and evolution of Hip Hop. West has cemented his status in the music industry, but his own future still looks promising as his talent continues to grow in many new and exciting directions.
Wrapping Up West
Grammies, critical acclaim, fan adoration—West has garnered much in his career. Yet, his life is not without tragedy either. West lost his mother to cosmetic surgery complications in 2007. She had left her own position at Chicago State University to manage West’s career and the two were extremely close. West often sings in her honor at various concerts and events. While it’s clear that West is a man of many talents and leads an incredibly full life, he is also someone to keep watching to see where his remarkable life will go next.
Guest post contributed by Ashley Coxx for iMesh.com – click here to download songs for free. Ashley is a freelance writer and a budding music historian. She enjoys writing articles which appear on various music blogs.
Photo by: g-6sou on Flickr