Kanye West

American rapper, singer, and producer (born 1977)

Ye (/j/; born Kanye Omari West /ˈkɑːnj/; June 8, 1977), better known by his former legal name Kanye West, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and fashion designer from Chicago, Illinois.[4][5][6] In 2020, West ran for President of the United States, under his own political party, the Birthday Party.

Kanye West
West in April 2019
Kanye Omari West

(1977-06-08) June 8, 1977 (age 46)
Other names
  • Ye
  • Saint Pablo
  • Yeezus
  • Yeezy
EducationChicago State University (no degree)
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • fashion designer
Years active1996-present
Political partyIndependent / Birthday Party[1]
Personal details
Other political
Kim Kardashian
(m. 2014; div. 2022)
RelativesTony Williams (cousin)
AwardsFull list
Musical career
OriginChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Member of

He rose to fame in the mid 2000s. His first three albums, The College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation received many awards,[7][8] critical acclaim,[9] and commercial success. In 2008, he released his fourth album, 808s & Heartbreak. In 2010, he released his fifth album, titled My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. In 2013, he released his sixth album, Yeezus. Yeezus obtained great reviews from many music critics. In 2016, he released his seventh album, The Life of Pablo. In 2018, he released his eighth album, Ye. West explored Christian and gospel music on his 2019 album Jesus Is King. His tenth album Donda was released in 2021. West's discography also includes the two full-length collaborative albums Watch the Throne (2011) (with Jay-Z) and Kids See Ghosts (2018) (with Kid Cudi).

Early life

Kanye Omari West was born at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He was from a middle-class African-American family.[10] He moved with his mother to Chicago, Illinois when he was three years old. During the same time, his mother and father divorced. He started writing poetry at the age of five.[11] Kanye moved with his mother to Nanjing, China when he was 10. In 1997 West started taking painting classes at Chicago's American Academy of Art. After a short time he changed to Chicago State University to major in English. When he was 20 he left college to focus on music.


West started his music career as a producer creating beats for local Chicago artists. He was well known in these beats to take samples of old and popular soul songs, speed them up, raise the pitch and put these samples in his beats to enhance the sound. This is called Chipmunk Soul. In the late 1990s, West became a member of the amateur rap group called Go-Getters with GLC, Timmy G, and Really Doe. In 1999 they released their only album, World Record Holders.

In 2003 West released his first mixtape, Get Well Soon....[12] In Get Well Soon.... He rapped on an instrumental from Twista's single "Slow Jamz". In 2004. West's first album The College Dropout was released by Roc-A-Fella. It entered the Billboard 200 at number two. Five singles were released from the album. That year West started a record label called GOOD Music. John Legend is signed to the label. West was nominated for three American Music Awards.[13]

In 2005 West's second album Late Registration was released. Five singles were released from the album. The second single "Gold Digger" was nominated for Record of the Year at the 2006 Grammy Awards. West was also nominated for Best New Artists. Other rappers on the album included Jay-Z, Ludacris, and Mos Def. In 2005 West released his first fashion line. West's third album Graduation was released in 2007. The album was nominated for eight Grammy Awards.[14] Five singles were released from the album. The album's first single "Stronger" won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.

In 2008, West's fourth studio album 808s & Heartbreak was released. The album was sung instead of rapped by West. It sold 450,145 copies in its first week. West acted in the 2008 movie The Love Guru.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was released on Roc-A-Fella Records in 2010. Music critics gave it great reviews. Pitchfork gave the album a score of 10/10.[15] Pitchfork rarely gives a 10/10 rating, so this was a big achievement. Rolling Stone gave it five out of five stars.[16] Four singles were released from the album.

In 2011 West released an album with Jay-Z called Watch the Throne. In 2011 "All of the Lights" was released as the fourth single from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Rihanna sang in it.

On May 23, 2012 a short movie made by West called Cruel Summer was shown for the first time at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The movie was given good reviews. The movie's name came from an album West released called Cruel Summer on his record label GOOD Music.

On June 18, 2013 West's sixth studio album Yeezus was released. The album got very good reviews from music critics. In November 2013 West gave a lecture at Harvard University.[17] On November 15, 2013 Busta Rhymes' single "Thank You" was released. West rapped on it with Lil Wayne and Q-Tip. On November 24, 2013, West said in an interview that he is making his seventh album.[18] "New Slaves" was nominated for Best Rap Song at the 2014 Grammy Awards.[19] On June 27, 2015, West headlined Glastonbury Festival 2015 to much controversy.

On February 14, 2016, West released The Life of Pablo on Tidal, Jay-Z's online music service. On April 1, 2016, West released The Life Of Pablo on other music services, including Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play.

On June 1, 2018, West released Ye.

In 2018 West released a collaboration album with Kid Cudi called Kids See Ghosts.[20]

On October 25, 2019, West released Jesus is King, a religious hip-hop album.[21] It became the first to top the Billboard 200, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Top Rap Albums, Top Christian Albums and Top Gospel Albums charts at the same time.[22]

West released a single called "Wash Us in the Blood" on June 30, 2020, featuring rapper and singer Travis Scott. "Wash Us in the Blood" serves as the first single from West's tenth studio album Donda.[23]

On August 29, 2021, after a long roll out, West released Donda.[24]

In 2022, West released Donda 2 only on a music listening device known as the Stem Player.

Personal life

West married Kim Kardashian in 2014. They have a daughter, North "Nori" West, who was born on June 15, 2013.[25] They also have a son, Saint West, who was born on December 5, 2015.[26] Their third child, daughter Chicago West, was born on January 15, 2018. They had their fourth child on May 9, 2019, a son named Psalm West. In January 2021, CNN reported that the couple were discussing divorce.[27] On February 19, 2021, the couple officially filed for divorce.[28] The divorce became official in 2022.[29]

2020 presidential campaign

In August 2015 during MTV Video Music Award, West announced his candidacy for President of the United States in the 2020 election.[30]

In September 2015, West announced that he intends to run for President of the United States in 2020.[31][32][33] He later implied on Twitter that he intends to run for President in 2024 due to Donald Trump's win in the 2016 election.[34][35] On December 13, 2016, West met with President-elect Trump[36] to discuss (according to West) "bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums, and violence in Chicago."[37]

On July 4, 2020, West announced on Twitter that he would be running in the 2020 presidential election,[38][39] although it's unclear if he has filed official paperwork to appear on ballots.[40]


Studio albums

Kanye West has released 10 studio albums:

Year Album
2004 The College Dropout
2005 Late Registration
2007 Graduation
2008 808s & Heartbreak
2010 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2013 Yeezus
2016 The Life of Pablo
2018 Ye
2019 Jesus Is King
2021 Donda

Collaborative albums

Year Album
2011 Watch the Throne
2018 Kids See Ghosts

Demo album

Year Album
2022 Donda 2


On October 9, 2022, West said on Twitter that he would be “going death con 3 [sic] On JEWISH PEOPLE", seemingly a misspelling of DEFCON 3. This suggested he was anti-semitic. He also said he supported Adolf Hitler and denied the existence of the Holocaust.[41][42][43]


  1. Stole, Bryn (August 21, 2020). "Rapper Kanye West files to appear as 'Birthday Party' candidate on presidential ballot in Louisiana". Nola.com. Archived from the original on August 23, 2020.
  2. Miles, Frank (September 1, 2020). "Kanye West registered as Republican in Park County, WY, potentially blocking run as independent in Arizona". Fox News.
  3. Roberto, Melissa (2022-03-02). "Kim Kardashian officially declared single in divorce from Kanye West". Fox News. Retrieved 2022-03-18.
  4. "New music review: Kanye West goes gospel with mixed results". Star Tribune. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  5. "The Year in Christian & Gospel Charts 2019: Kanye West Is Top Gospel Artist". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  6. "Kanye West Biography (1977–)". Biography.com. 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  7. "2005 Grammy Award Winners". CBS News. 14 February 2005. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  8. "CNN.com - List of Grammy winners - Feb 9, 2006". CNN. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  9. http://www.metacritic.com/kanye_west[permanent dead link]
  10. Shaw, A. R. (2019-09-17). "How Kanye West is using 'Sunday Service' to save himself from himself". Rolling Out. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  11. "Kanye and his mom shared special bond". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  12. "Kanye West x the Heavy Hitters, Get Well Soon (2003) — Clinton Sparks' 30 Favorite Mixtapes | Complex". Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
  13. "Kanye West". PEOPLE.com. Archived from the original on 21 April 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  14. "Kanye West, Amy Winehouse, Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Justin Score Big Grammy Nominations". MTV News. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  15. "Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Album Review - Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  16. Rob Sheffield (25 November 2010). "Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Album Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  17. "Kanye West Speaks at Harvard, Kim Kardashian Cheers on From Audience". Us Weekly. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  18. reedjackson (25 November 2013). "Kanye West Hopes To Have New Album Out By Summer". XXL Mag. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  19. "Grammy 2014 Snubs: Miley Cyrus Shut Out, Kanye West Comes Up Short, Lorde Lacks Best New Artist". The Huffington Post. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  20. Strauss, Matthew (April 19, 2018). "Kanye Announces 2 New Albums, Including Kid Cudi Collaboration". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  21. Ryan, Patrick. "Review: Kanye West finds God (and Chick-fil-A) on frustrating new album 'Jesus is King'". USA Today. Retrieved October 28, 2019. "Jesus is King," the rapper's most clear-cut foray into Christian hip hop, was released midday Friday after multiple delays and tracklist changes.
  22. "Kanye West's 'Jesus Is King' Makes History on Hot Christian Songs, Hot Gospel Songs Charts". The Hollywood Reporter. November 7, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  23. Welch, Will (April 16, 2020). "Inside Kanye West's Vision for the Future". GQ. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  24. Kreps, Daniel (August 29, 2021). "Kanye West Finally Releases 'Donda' to Streaming Services". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  25. "Kim Kardashian Is Engaged to Kanye West!". E! News. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  26. "Saint West". Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  27. Melas, Chloe. "Kim Kardashian and Kanye West discussing divorce". CNN. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  28. Dasarth, Diana (February 19, 2021). "Kim Kardashian files for divorce from Kanye West". NBC News. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  29. Roberto, Melissa (2022-03-02). "Kim Kardashian officially declared single in divorce from Kanye West". Fox News. Retrieved 2022-03-18.
  30. "MTV Music Awards 2015: Kanye West announces 2020 presidential candidacy". SMH.com. 31 August 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  31. Zaru, Dee (September 5, 2015). "Kanye West declares 2020 presidential bid at VMAs". CNN. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  32. Thompson, Arienne (September 25, 2015). "Guys, Kanye is serious about running for president in 2020". USA Today. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  33. "Kanye West Talks Running For President In 2020". November 13, 2016.
  34. Vielma, Antonio José (December 13, 2016). "Kanye West reveals why he met with Trump, teases #2024". CNBC. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  35. Darcy, Oliver (December 13, 2016). "Kanye West caps off tweetstorm about meeting with Trump with cryptic '2024' tweet". Business Insider. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  36. Lawler, Kelly (December 13, 2016). "Kanye West visits Trump Tower". USA TODAY. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  37. Saenz, Arlette (December 13, 2016). "Kanye West Says He Discussed 'Multicultural Issues' With Trump". ABC News. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  38. Seipel, Brooke (July 4, 2020). "Kanye tweets he's running for president". The Hill. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  39. @kanyewest (July 4, 2020). "We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States 🇺🇸! #2020VISION" (Tweet). Retrieved July 4, 2020 – via Twitter.
  40. Drury, Sharareh (July 4, 2020). "Kanye West Announces 2020 Presidential Run". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  41. Wiseman, Eva (2022-10-30). "Kanye West's voice is just one in a rising chorus of antisemitism". The Guardian. Retrieved 2023-01-08.
  42. Dellatto, Marisa. "Kanye West's Antisemitic, Troubling Behavior—Here's Everything He's Said In Recent Weeks". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-01-08.
  43. @kanyewest (October 9, 2022). "I'm a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I'm going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can't be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 2022-10-09. Retrieved 2023-01-08 – via Twitter.

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