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KANYE WEST

Artist profile

Kanye Omari West

Born: June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia, US

Years active: 1996 - present

“Now I could let these dream killers kill my self-esteem, or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dreams...”

Kanye Omari West was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 8, 1977. He left college to pursue a musical career, producing tracks for Jay-Z while polishing his demo. He released The College Dropout in 2004. It sold 2.6 million copies and won Best Rap Album. His follow-up releases have been equally successful and West has become a celebrity famous for his outrageous and entertaining statements.

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Rapper, record producer and singer Kanye Omari West was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 8, 1977. His parents divorced when he was three. He was raised on Chicago’s South Side by his mother, an English professor, and spent summers with his father, an award-winning photographer who became a church counselor.

West graduated from Polaris High School and completed one year of art school at Chicago State University. After spending time rapping and working with local artists, West moved to New York in 2001 to pursue his music career full time. Jay-Z hired him to produce songs for his album The Blueprint, which sold more than 420,000 copies in the first week alone. West went on to produce for a handful of stars including rapper Ludacris and singer Beyonce.

While serving as producer to the stars, West cut his own demo and began shopping it around. He signed a deal with Roc-A-Fella Records, Jay-Z’s label, in 2002 and began recording in the studio. On the way home from a session in Los Angeles, West fell asleep at the wheel and was involved in a head-on car collision that left him with a fractured jaw.

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With his jaw wired shut, West returned to the recording studio to complete his debut release The College Dropout. The album, which was released in 2004, sold 2.6 million copies and earned him a Best Rap Album Grammy. He matched that feat with 2005’s Late Registration and 2007’s Graduation.

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West also has won three Best Rap Song Grammys for his hits “Jesus Walks,” “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” and “Good Life.” For his hit “Gold Digger,” he took home the Best Rap Solo Performance award in 2005. West also won a Grammy for Best R&B Song for “You Don’t Know My Name,” sung by Alicia Keys. His collaboration with Common on “Southside” earned West the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 2007.

West was devastated when his mother, Donda West, died to complications from cosmetic surgery on November 10, 2007. During his first concert following the funeral, he dedicated a performance of “Hey Mama” to his mother.

Moving on after his tragic loss, West put out his next album, 808s & Heartbreak, in 2008. The recording reached the top of the charts and featured several hits, including “Heartless” and “Amazing.” That same year, West earned two Grammys for his work with other artists. His duet with Estelle, “American Boy,” won for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and his work with Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and T.I. netted the honor for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

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In 2009, West released two albums on the same day—Good Morning Good Night: Dusk and Good Morning Good Night: Dawn. That same year, Kanye West debuted the line of shoes he designed for the luxury goods brand Louis Vuitton. He engages in a number of charitable activities as well. Founded by his mother in 2007, he supports the Kanye West Foundation, which works to reduce the number of high school dropouts.

West and designer Alexis Phifer began dating in 2002. He proposed in August 2006, but the engagement ended 18 months later. West had also been romantically linked to model Amber Rose. In early 2012, West began dating reality television star Kim Kardashian. He announced at a concert in that December that he and Kardashian are expecting their first child together.

On June 15, 2013, West became a father for the first time. He and Kardashian welcomed a daughter who was born in a hospital in Los Angeles. The couple decided to name their daughter North. On October 21, 2013, West proposed to Kardashian at the AT&T baseball stadium in San Francisco. Kardashian accepted his proposition.

After an interview that West had with Britain’s BBC in September of 2013, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel made a parody of the scenario, mocking West in the process. In response, West released a tirade of tweets attacking Kimmel. The tweets were deleted shortly after being posted. Kimmel also announced that he spoke to West on the phone afterwards, with West saying that Kimmel’s life would be much better if he apologized. West was later brought on to Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where the two cleared the air about their ongoing feud.

The following May, West and Kardashian married in true celebrity style. The couple held their rehearsal dinner at Versailles, once the home to French royalty, located outside of Paris. On May 24, 2014, the pair moved their celebration to Florence, Italy, for their official ceremony. They exchanged their vows at Forte di Belvedere, a historic fortress, in front of family and friends. Andrea Bocelli sang as Kardashian walked down the aisle and other attendees included designer Rachel Roy and director Steve McQueen.

In 2015, during the 10th season of Kardashian’s reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, she documented her and West’s desire to get pregnant again, and her struggles with fertility issues. In May of that year, Kardashian revealed in a teaser for her reality show that she is pregnant with her and West’s second child. The couple welcomed a son in December 2015.

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In recent years, Kanye West has released wave after wave of new music. He debuted the record My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010, which included such collaborators as Nicki Minaj and Kid Cudi. The following year, West teamed up with Jay-Z for the top-selling album Watch the Throne.

West seemed to go all out to promote his most recent effort Yeezus in 2013. He debuted the songs “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead” on Saturday Night Live and performed at that year’s Met Gala in New York as well. West even had a video of himself performing “New Slaves” projected on the walls of 66 buildings in 10 cities. This song, however, has stirred up some controversy with its explicit lyrics and examples of modern-day slavery. West critiques the country’s criminal justice system as well as compares being a celebrity to being a slave.

On February 11 2016, Kanye West released his seventh studio album: The Life Of Pablo.

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Discography

Movies

Runaway

Runaway

Kanye West's music film for the "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" album....

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Kanye West: Late Orchestration

Kanye West: Late Orchestration

Rapper Kanye West is backed by an all-female orchestra on this recording, which was shot at the legendary Abbey Road studios. Kanye includes...

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Bling: A Planet Rock

Bling: A Planet Rock

Bling is a documentary film which focuses on the complex relationship between “blood” diamonds, conflict, the influence of Hip-Hop music...

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Mixtape, Inc.

Mixtape, Inc.

Featuring Kanye West, Chuck D., Gnarls Barkley and many other red-hot hip-hoppers, director Walter Bell's documentary takes you behind the s...

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We Were Once a Fairytale

We Were Once a Fairytale

We Were Once a Fairytale is a 2009 short film directed by Spike Jonze. It stars hip hop musician Kanye West....

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Kanye West - Live at Glastonbury 2015

Kanye West - Live at Glastonbury 2015

Kanye West performs on The Pyramid Stage during the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 27, 2015 in Glastonbury, England....

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Kanye West at Coachella

Kanye West at Coachella

On Sunday April 17th, 2011, hip-hop artist and widely lauded producer Kanye West took to the prestigious Coachella festival to deliver one o...

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Kanye West: 808s & Heartbreak at The Hollywood Bowl

Kanye West: 808s & Heartbreak at The Hollywood Bowl

Nearly a full seven years after its initial release, Kanye West performs the entirety of his fourth studio album, 808s & Heartbreak, in ...

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YEEZUS

YEEZUS

Compiling footage from almost every stop on the Yeezus tour to make one cohesive film. Using professional and guerrilla style footage. The f...

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Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology

Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology

A collection of music videos and behind the scenes footage released to promote Kanye West's upcoming debut album, College Dropout. The compi...

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Jesus is King: A Kanye West Film

Jesus is King: A Kanye West Film

An IMAX documentary capturing the Sunday Service performances done by Kanye West and the Sunday Service crew throughout the course of 2019....

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WOLVES (BALMAIN CAMPAIGN)

WOLVES (BALMAIN CAMPAIGN)

Music video for Kanye West's "Wolves" as part of a Balmain advert campaign....

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John Legend: Live at the House of Blues

John Legend: Live at the House of Blues

John Legend brings his old-school soul sound to the stage with this concert recorded at Hollywood's House of Blues in August 2005, deliverin...

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Jay-Z: Made in America

Jay-Z: Made in America

Hip-hop artist Jay-Z organizes the "Budweiser Made In America" music festival....

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Cherry Bomb: The Documentary

Cherry Bomb: The Documentary

Illegal Civ Cinema made a documentary about the making of Tyler's latest album, Cherry Bomb....

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Daft Punk Unchained

Daft Punk Unchained

Daft Punk Unchained is the first film about the pop culture phenomenon that is Daft Punk, the duo with 12 million albums sold worldwide and ...

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Beyoncé: I Am... World Tour

Beyoncé: I Am... World Tour

108 shows, 78 cities, 32 countries, 6 continents, 1.1 million fans. Beyoncé’s I Am... World Tour captures concert footage from numerous s...

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Cruel Summer

Cruel Summer

A car thief (Kid Cudi) falls in love with a blind Arabian princess whose father allows them to marry under the terms he can help her see....

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Shooting Star(s): The Rise of Hip Hop Photographer Johnny Nunez

Shooting Star(s): The Rise of Hip Hop Photographer Johnny Nunez

Documentary - In this revealing biographical portrait, filmmakers Axel Ebermann and Daniel Frei document the rags-to-riches story of photogr...

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Fade to Black

Fade to Black

An intimate look at hip-hop artist Shawn Carter, Jay-Z, revealing the multiple Grammy Award winning artist as never before, from his backgro...

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Beat Kings

Beat Kings

The "Beat Kings" ist the first documentary exploring the original architects of hip hop; "The Producers". For over three decades, beat maker...

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Fresh Dressed

Fresh Dressed

Fresh Dressed chronicles the history of Hip-Hop | Urban fashion and its rise from southern cotton plantations to the gangs of 1970s in the S...

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The Black Mamba

The Black Mamba

...

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Bad 25

Bad 25

Spike Lee pays tribute to Michael Jackson's Bad on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the epochal album, offering behind-the-scenes footage of ...

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To Our Daughter

To Our Daughter

Kylie Jenner documents her pregnancy and birth of her daughter....

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Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton: This Is Stones Throw Records

Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton: This Is Stones Throw Records

Under the direction of founder and world-renowned DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, Stones Throw Records has consistently released critically acclaimed...

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State Property 2

State Property 2

Three gangsters vie for control of the streets of Philadelphia....

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Dave Chappelle's Block Party

Dave Chappelle's Block Party

The American comedian/actor delivers a story about the alternative Hip Hop scene. A small town Ohio man’s moves to Brooklyn, New York, to ...

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The Love Guru

The Love Guru

Born in America and raised in an Indian ashram, Pitka returns to his native land to seek his fortune as a spiritualist and self-help expert....

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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

With the 70s behind him, San Diego's top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to take New York's first 24-hour news channel by storm....

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Zoolander 2

Zoolander 2

Derek and Hansel are modelling again when an opposing company attempts to take them out from the business....

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David Blaine: Real or Magic

David Blaine: Real or Magic

David Blaine's signature brand of street magic mystifies the most recognisable celebrities in the world, such as Jamie Foxx, Bryan Cranston,...

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Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly

Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly

While crafting his Grammy-nominated album "Astroworld," Travis Scott juggles controversy, fatherhood and career highs in this intimate docum...

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Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP is a feature length performance documentary about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wh...

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DJ Cinema Presents: Masterpiece Theater Blend Dvd

DJ Cinema Presents: Masterpiece Theater Blend Dvd

DJ Cinema is mixing up blends with artists like Biggie, Nas, Jay-Z, AZ, Rick Ross, Fabolous, 50 Cent and Jadakiss....

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Live 8

Live 8

On 2 July 2005 an estimated 3 billion people came together in the fight against extreme poverty. LIVE 8 - 10 concerts featuring over 1000 mu...

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Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special

Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special

A three-hour prime-time special celebrating SNL '​s fortieth year on the air....

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Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology

Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology

A collection of music videos and behind the scenes footage released to promote Kanye West's upcoming debut album, College Dropout. The compi...

More info

Runaway

Runaway

Kanye West's music film for the "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" album....

More info

Cruel Summer

Cruel Summer

A car thief (Kid Cudi) falls in love with a blind Arabian princess whose father allows them to marry under the terms he can help her see....

More info

Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology

Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology

A collection of music videos and behind the scenes footage released to promote Kanye West's upcoming debut album, College Dropout. The compi...

More info

Jesus is King: A Kanye West Film

Jesus is King: A Kanye West Film

An IMAX documentary capturing the Sunday Service performances done by Kanye West and the Sunday Service crew throughout the course of 2019....

More info

Cruel Summer

Cruel Summer

A car thief (Kid Cudi) falls in love with a blind Arabian princess whose father allows them to marry under the terms he can help her see....

More info

Top Five

Top Five

A comedian tries to make it as a serious actor when his reality-TV star fiancé talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her TV show....

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We Were Once a Fairytale

We Were Once a Fairytale

We Were Once a Fairytale is a 2009 short film directed by Spike Jonze. It stars hip hop musician Kanye West....

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Honor Up

Honor Up

The film -- executive produced by rapper Kanye West -- follows character OG, played by Damon Dash, in a saga that flips between his dedicati...

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Kanye West: Late Orchestration

Kanye West: Late Orchestration

Rapper Kanye West is backed by an all-female orchestra on this recording, which was shot at the legendary Abbey Road studios. Kanye includes...

More info

Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology

Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology

A collection of music videos and behind the scenes footage released to promote Kanye West's upcoming debut album, College Dropout. The compi...

More info

Runaway

Runaway

Kanye West's music film for the "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" album....

More info

Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death

Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death

Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death reflects Jafa’s desire to craft a "black cinema" that is responsive to the "existential, politic...

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Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology

Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology

A collection of music videos and behind the scenes footage released to promote Kanye West's upcoming debut album, College Dropout. The compi...

More info

WOLVES (BALMAIN CAMPAIGN)

WOLVES (BALMAIN CAMPAIGN)

Music video for Kanye West's "Wolves" as part of a Balmain advert campaign....

More info

Cruel Summer

Cruel Summer

A car thief (Kid Cudi) falls in love with a blind Arabian princess whose father allows them to marry under the terms he can help her see....

More info

Janet Jackson: From Janet. To Damita Jo: The Videos

Janet Jackson: From Janet. To Damita Jo: The Videos

The anthology contains music videos from her first four studio albums released on Virgin Records....

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Runaway

Runaway

Kanye West's music film for the "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" album....

More info

Cruel Summer

Cruel Summer

A car thief (Kid Cudi) falls in love with a blind Arabian princess whose father allows them to marry under the terms he can help her see....

More info

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