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Kanye West

Kanye WestBorn: 8-Jun-1977
Birthplace: Atlanta, GA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Music Producer, Rapper

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The College Dropout

Born in Atlanta to a photojournalist and an English teacher, Kanye West was raised primarily in Chicago, where his interests in poetry and visual arts were given ample encouragement. By his early teens West's rhyming skills were being channeled towards hip-hop, and he began spending most of his free time experimenting with beats and honing his keyboard skills; this eventually led to an association with Chicago producer NO I.D., who assumed the role of mentor for the young rapper, allowing him to learn through visits to his basement studio during sessions for artists such as Common. After high school West found himself trapped in a succession of dead-end jobs, motivating him to enroll in Columbia College to further his training in the visual arts, with the hopes of escaping this discouraging situation. A break into the music industry unexpectedly arrived in 1998 when producer Jermaine Dupri bought one of West's beats for use on his Life In 1472 release, and West promptly dropped out of college in order to fully pursue this opportunity. His contribution to Dupri's track duly attracted the attention of the hip-hop community, and, after relocating to the East Coast in 2001, West began to build a career as a producer in his own right.

Between 1999 and 2000, West had already earned some production credits on albums by rappers such as The Madd Rapper, Trina and Tamara, and Lil' Kim. In the years following his move East, this list broadened to include work on successful singles by Jay-Z, Trina, Ludacris, Alicia Keys, Talib Kweli and even Britney Spears (contributing his skills to her album of remixes for Me Against The Music). Despite his succes as a producer, West still had ambitions to establish a career as a solo performer; to this end he submitted a demo tape to Roc-A-Fella Records in 2002 and (with the support of sometime collaborator Jay-Z) he soon found himself with a record contract. This second career was nearly finished before it began: in October of 2002, with work on his debut still underway, West was almost fatally injured in a car accident while returning to a Los Angeles hotel in the early morning hours. A severely fractured jaw required him to have his mouth wired shut, but he continued work on his album regardless. The subsequent single Through The Wire (completed during this period) showed that his sense of humor survived the accident fully intact.

Kanye West's debut effort The College Dropout finally materialized in 2004, immediately earning an enthusiastic reception from both critics and fans. The positive themes of his songs, combined with samples culled from old soul records, appealed to hip-hop listeners that had become weary of the "gangsta" mire in which the genre had long been wallowing. All three singles from the album -- Through The Wire, Jesus Walks, and All Falls Down -- reached the mainstram top 20, with the album itself climbing to #2 on the mainstream charts and reaching the top position on the rap charts. As a result, West would receive 10 nominations at the following year's Grammy awards.

Father: Ray West (photojournalist)
Mother: Donda West (English teacher, later Kanye's manager, d. 2007 complications from plastic surgery)
Girlfriend: Alexis Phifer (broken engagement)
Girlfriend: Amber Rose (model, together 2008-10)
Wife: Kim Kardashian (socialite, together since 2012, m. 24-May-2014, one daughter)
Daughter: North West (b. 15-Jun-2013)

    Conservatory: American Academy of Art, Chicago, IL
    University: Chicago State University (dropped out)

    Kanye West
    Endorsement of Nike (2011)
    Endorsement of Megaupload (2011)
    Endorsement of Pepsi
    Battery Los Angeles, CA (arrested 19-Jul-2013; charged 13-Sep-2013)
    Entertainment Weekly's 2003 "It" List Producer
    Risk Factors: Depression

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (24-Nov-2013)
    12-12-12 (1-Nov-2013) · Himself
    Made in America (5-Sep-2013) · Himself
    Bad 25 (31-Aug-2012) · Himself
    Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap (21-Jan-2012) · Himself
    The Love Guru (20-Jun-2008)
    Beef IV (18-Sep-2007) · Himself
    We Are Together (Thina Simunye) (26-Nov-2006) · Himself
    When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (16-Aug-2006) · Himself
    Block Party (12-Sep-2005) · Himself
    State Property 2 (13-Apr-2005)
    Fade to Black (5-Nov-2004) · Himself

Official Website:
http://www.kanyewest.com/


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