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Kanye West Biography

Birthdate: June 8, 1977
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia

Kanye West has quickly become a staple in the music world with his addictive beats, wry lyrics and controversial sound bites. With his new album, 808s & Heartbreak, Mr. West is poised to take on art and commerce and convince the world he can whine his face off and still be legit.

Brilliant Boaster

Kanye has been quoted saying more than a few controversial statements—sometimes they’re taken out of context (like when he said he wanted “less fans”), sometimes they’re shocking (he claimed “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” after the Hurricane Katrina tragedy) and sometimes Kanye really does have a big head (like at the MTV Europe Awards when he went on stage and whined when Touch the Sky failed to win Best Video). Despite—or maybe because of—his bombastic public life, Kanye keeps it real in the one area that really matters—his music.

808s & Heartbreak

Kanye took a risk putting out this latest album—he sings (with the help of Autotune), he laments the loss of his mother and fiancé, and he puts all his feelings on the line. The result is an interesting departure from his usual work—808s is less about the hooks and more about musical innovation, but don’t worry—Kanye the artist is just as good as Kanye the hitmaker.


Did You Know?

  • Kanye loves fashion so much he wants to start his own label—but first he’s interning at Louis Vuitton!
  • Before he made his own music, Kanye produced hits for Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and Janet Jackson.
  • Kanye was in a near-fatal car crash that inspired his first single, Through the Wire—he recorded the song with his jaw wired shut!
  • Kanye plans to open 10 Fatburger restaurants in the Chicago area.
  • He appeared as himself on an episode of the HBO series, Entourage.
  • Kanye’s tracks have samples artists as diverse as Elton John, Michael Jackson, the underground band, Can, and even Bette Midler.
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