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Kanye West

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Kanye West

Born : 8 June 1977
City : Kanye Omari West
Rank : ( 245 )
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Kanye West Biography

Early life

Kanye Omari West was born on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of three, West's parents divorced and he moved with his mother to Chicago, Illinois. His father is Ray West, a former Black Panther who was one of the first black photojournalists at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and later a Christian counselor, and who opened the Good Water Store and Café in Lexington Park, Maryland in November 2006, with startup capital from his son. 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 West's manager. He 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, Kanye moved with his mother to Nanjing, China, where his mother was teaching at Nanjing University as part of an exchange program. According to his mother, Kanye 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.[14] When asked about his grades in high school, West replied, "I got A's and B's. And I'm not even frontin'.

Music career
1996–2002: Career beginnings

Kanye West began his early production career in the mid-1990s, making beats primarily for burgeoning local artists, eventually developing a style that involved speeding up vocal samples from classic soul records. His first official production credits came at the age of nineteen when he produced eight tracks on Down to Earth, the 1996 debut album of a Chicago rapper named Grav. For a time, West acted as a ghost producer for Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie. Due to his association with D-Dot, West wasn't able to release a solo album, so he formed and became a member and producer of the Go-Getters, a late-1990s Chicago rap group composed of him, GLC, Timmy G, Really Doe, and Arrowstar. His group was managed by John "Monopoly" Johnson, Don Crowley, and Happy Lewis under the management firm Hustle Period. After attending a series of promotional photo shoots and making some radio appearances, The Go-Getters released their first and only studio album World Record Holders in 1999. The album featured other Chicago-based rappers such as Rhymefest, Mikkey Halsted, Miss Criss, and Shayla G. Meanwhile, the production was handled by West, Arrowstar, Boogz, and Brian "All Day" Miller

Artistry

At the start of his career, West often used pitched-up vocal samples, usually from soul songs, in his production, along with his own drums and instruments. His first major release featuring his trademark vocal sampling style was "This Can't Be Life", a track from Jay-Z’s The Dynasty: Roc La Familia. West said he sped up the drum beat of Dr. Dre's "Xxplosive" to use as a replacement for his drums on "This Can't Be Life".

West has said that Wu-Tang Clan producer RZA influenced him in his style, and has said on numerous occasions that Wu-Tang rappers Ghostface Killah and Ol' Dirty Bastard were some of his all-time favorites, "Wu-Tang? Me and my friends talk about this all the time... We think Wu-Tang had one of the biggest impacts as far as a movement. From slang to style of dress, skits, the samples. Similar to the [production] style I use, RZA has been doing that." RZA himself has spoken quite positively of the comparisons, stating in an interview for Rolling Stone, "All good. I got super respect for Kanye. He came up to me about a year or two ago. He gave me mad praising and blessings... For people to say Wu-Tang inspire Kanye, Kanye is one of the biggest artists in the world. That goes back to what we say: 'Wu-Tang is forever.' Kanye is going to inspire people to be like him.After hearing his work on The Blueprint, RZA claimed that a torch-passing had occurred between him and West, saying, "The shoes gotta be filled. If you ain't gonna do it, somebody else is gonna do

Personal life
Relationships
West's wife Kim Kardashian, pictured in September 2012

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 daughter, North "Nori" West (born on June 15, 2013 in Los Angeles).

Legal issues

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 damage 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.

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