June 8, 1977
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Chicago, Illinois, USA
$2 Billion (2022)
Perhaps one of the most notable celebrities in contemporary culture, Kanye West is a producer, rapper, songwriter, record executive and fashion influencer who rose to prominence after producing Jay Z’s influential album The Blueprint in 2001.
After suffering a major car accident in 2002, West turned to rapping as a manner with which to recover; amassing in the release of College Dropout (in 2004) and Late Registration (2005) that kickstarted his career as a rapping sensation and led to many more critically acclaimed albums over the years.
Kanye has never been shy of controversy either, including comments about American politics and live interruptions at awards ceremonies.
It is safe to say that Kanye West’s entrepreneurial, political and creative legacy is distinctive, stating him as legendary within multiple industries.
West was born in Atlanta but raised in a middle-class household in South Shore, Chicago with his mother after his parents divorced at the age of 3.
His mother Donda was an English professor at Chicago State University, and his father Ray was an award-winning photojournalist-turned-pastor.
West studied at a Chicago suburb school and lived in China with his mother for a year at the age of 10 as part of a university exchange program she taught. After returning to Chicago, West became interested in the South Side hip-hop scene, which became a fundamental influence in his early musical career.
West is married to reality star and business entrepreneur Kim Kardashian. Most were convinced it was a publicity stunt when they started dating in 2012, until they shocked the world with their marriage in Italy in 2014.
Kardashian gave birth to their first daughter in 2013 and their first son in 2015, followed by two children via surrogacy pregnancy in 2018 and 2019.
The rapper and record producer has released 138 singles, 4 promo singles and has similarly charted with 65 other songs as features.
West has sold 100 million digital downloads worldwide, and 32.7 million albums.
By 2016, he achieved the tenth most top-40 hit records by a male artist in Billboard’s near-70 year history that amassed a total of forty visits to the top-40 charts as a lead and a featured artist.
adidas Yeezy is a collaboration between the brand and Kanye West, with the first sneaker being released in February 2015.
Yeezy’s have successfully sold out in minutes online/on the release date in store and have been resold by up to $1,000 by collectors online.
Yeezy’s have garnered a lot of public attention within the sneaker industry and by various fashion outlets, with many stating that the success is a testament to Kanye West’s marketing skills as a public figure.
Kanye Omari West is born.
Graduates from Polaris High School and receives a scholarship to American Academy of Art.
Creates GLC alongside Timmy G and Arrowstar to form the group called Go Getters.
Tipping point of Kanye’s career as he begins producing for Roc-A-Fella Records artists such as Beanie Sigel and Jay Z.
Kanye gains international notoriety due to his contributions to Jay Z’s Blueprint album.
Kanye has a life-changing car crash.
Get Well Soon mixtape and “Through the Wire” is released that transitions West into a multi-talented artist as a rapper and producer.
The College Dropout is finally released.
“George Bush doesn’t care about black people” comment on live television.
“The Passion of Kanye West” issue of Rolling Stone receives controversy.
Graduation tops Billboard 200 in its opening week, defeating 50 Cent’s Curtis.
Interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at VMAs.
Partnership with Nike on the Air Yeezys
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy wins Best Rap Album at 54th Grammy Awards.
Jay Z and Kanye West collaboration Watch the Throne released to much success.
Release of career-changing album Yeezus.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West marriage in Italy.
The Life of Pablo released, becomes one of the most bootlegged albums ever.
West is hospitalized from exhaustion and his tour is cancelled towards the end of the year.
adidas Originals YEEZY 350 V2 sneaker released.