By Ardain Isma Jr.Special to CSMS Magazine Kanye west is defiantly one of the biggest stars in rap and the entire music industry in the past three years. Kanye has done more moves in music than anybody you could possibly imagine. Kanye has a wide range of artists that he has worked with, from Jay-z, D.M.X, T.I., to even Chris Martin from “Cold Play”. Kanye has said that he has never imagined that something big like this would ever happen to him, never in his lifetime. What do you expect? Kanye was just a regular kid from a middleclass suburb in Chicago, Illinois. Kanye was born on June 8,1977 in Atlanta,Ga. His parents were members of the Black Panther Party. After the Panthers folded, his parents found other jobs to take care of themselves and their newborn son. When Kanye turned three years old, his parents was divorced. Kanye’s mother got custody of him, and they moved to Chicago, Illinois. Kanye’s mother Dr. Donda West worked as the Chair of the English Department at University Of Chicago.As a young child, Kanye’s mother told him to keep family and education first in life because without one or the other you just wouldn’t make it, and that was something Kanye has always kept to himself. Even though Kanye lived with his mother, he still kept a close relationship with his father back in Atlanta, GA. He would always visit his father on summer times and other holidays.Unlike most rappers, Kanye didn’t grow up in inner-city neighborhoods. He grew up in middle class suburban neighborhoods. Kanye was a great student in high school. He was always at the top of his class. Kanye graduated from The Academy Of Art School in Chicago. Soon after graduating from High School, Kanye Attended the University of Chicago, where he majored in Art. While in school, Kaye produced music for local Chicago rap artists to make some money. Kanye would later gain fame for producing hits for people like Alicia Keys, Usher, Jay-z, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, and most importantly making hits for himself.In 2002, Kanye wanted to pursue a career in Hip Hop music. His mother Dr. Dona West retired from her job at the university and took on the task of being his manager full time. Kanye and his mother bought a small condo in New Jersey, and moved there from Chicago. While he was there, he started to send his demo tapes to multiple record deals in the surrounding area. Kanye was turned down many times until one day, one of his tapes full of beats, not rap, fell into the hands of Roc-A-fella C.E.O Dame Dash.Mr. Dash was so impressed with his skills on the production board that he had to meet him right away. At first The Roc-A-Fella C.E.O’s Dame Dash and Sean “Jay-z” Carter were a little too shaky at signing Kanye to a recording deal for rapping. The truth to the matter was that Kanye just didn’t fit the profile of a rapper. Kanye grew up in nice neighborhoods, never sold drugs, and he actually got an education, a good one to say the least. At first, they just signed Kanye to produce songs for other recording artists on the recording label. At the beginning, Kanye didn’t really have a problem with that, but he really wanted to record his own music and put out his own album. However, he always remembered what Dame told him. As soon as he saw Kanye was ready to take on the pressure of recording an album and becoming a superstar, he gave him a shot at the deal. On October 23, 2002, Kanye West was involved a serious car crash. While he was at a red light, Kanye fell asleep, and another car came and made a head on collision. The crash left his jaw fractured in three different places entirely. Kanye barley survived the crash. Though Kanye had a hard time recovering from the pain, he managed to keep his spirit high. The car crash inspired him to make his first single “Through The Wire,” which he recorded while his mouth was wired shut. The single became hit all across the country.While one is listening to the song, he could hear the pain coming through the speakers. It sounded as if every word coming out his mouth hurt. The song really showed how much Kanye loved his music, and no matter what kind of pain he was going through, he still wanted to rap his music.The C.E.O’s at Roca-A-Fella and Island Def Jam music group finally saw Kanye’s rapping potential decided to give him a shot, especially after the success of his first single “Through The Wire.” Kanye West had to wait for the release of his first album “Collage Dropout.” It was released in February of 2004. It went on to receive critical acclaim, and it also sold 500,000 copies. The album went “Gold” on it first week, and it eventually went on to go platinum in the weeks to follow.He released his sophomore album The Late Registration on August 30, 2005, and that album sold over 919,000 copies in its first week alone. This was a record that was simply almost unheard of for first week sales. The album would go on to sell five million copies worldwide, and three million in America alone.Since the release of his multi-platinum albums, Kanye West has been one of the most popular and most controversial artists to come out since Tupac Shakur and The Fuggees, especially after he made comments about President George W. Bush not liking black people. Kanye said until he made those statements, “People in the hood and the inner-cities knew I didn’t like black people. All along, the only people that reacted crazily to my statements were upper-class white people who don’t care about black people at all.” Soon after the reaction of his statements died down, Kanye proposed to his long time girlfriend, and they have a marriage set date for the summer of 2007. Kanye also started working on his third album Graduation, which should be out late third quarter of 2007. Kanye is also preparing his own clothing line Pastelle Clothing, which should be coming out soon. Kanye may very well be one of, if not, the best rapper out today. The only real competition for him today is Dwayne “Lil wayne” Carter, a rapper from New Orleans, which so happens to be Kanye’s favorite rapper out today (except for Tupac Shakur along with Clifford “T.I.” Harris a rapper from Atlanta, Ga.)Besides those two other rappers, no one is really a threat too Kanye. At the head of the lyrical rap throne, there is Jay-z a.k.a Sean Carter, but most experts believe that he is not as good of a rapper today as he used to be, when he was younger. As long as Kanye keeps his cocky swagger, he’ll be able to keep his stake at being the king of the throne to the rap world.Also see other article by Ardain Junior on this same section.
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