32 Little Known Facts About Kanye West.
One of the most successful and outspoken music artists of the decade, Kanye West has been at the center of pop culture for a long time.
Below are 32 facts that will surprise you about Yeezy. Check them out!
1/32) Kanye West has said that he actually wanted to start a career in adult films before his music career took off.
2/32) The name 'Kanye' translates to "the only one" in Swahili.
3/32) While driving home in 2002, he was involved in a car accident so bad that he almost died. During his recovery in the hospital, he CONTINUED to make music, using an electronic drum kit and other equipment. He recorded the song 'Through the Wire' with his jaw wired-shut while recovering, which helped launch him to stardom.
4/32) He has received considerable praise around the world for his fashion sense, even having Michael Jackson phone him once to ask about a jacket he had worn while filming the music video for Stronger.
5/32) He stated that Fiona Apple was one of his favourite artists, and he wanted to become the rap version of her.
6/32) His mother was an English professor, and her profession took Kanye all the way to China where she taught for a little over a year.
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7/32) Kanye West mixed his hit single 'Stronger' over 50 times and worked with a total of eight different engineers before he was satisfied with the final product.
8/32) Kanye, known for his 'open recording' process, was known to ask delivery men to give their opinion on tracks when they stopped by his studio in Hawaii while making the album 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' album.
9/32) Before he recorded his own songs, he produced music for other stars, including Jay-Z. More than half of the tracks on Jay-Zs The Blueprint album were produced by Kanye West.
Jay-Z admitted he was hesitant to sign West to Rock-A-Fella records as a recording artist because he had developed a reputation as an amazing music producer.
10/32) More than 50% of his tracks have been the result of a collaboration with other artists.
11/32) In 2008, Kanye opened two burger restaurants. This new business venture, Fatburger, came to a sudden end when West suffered financial problems in 2011.
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12/32) Known for his close relationship with his mother, Kanye West wrote the song 'Hey Mama' and dedicated to his mother who passed away in 2007.
As a tribute to his late mother, with whom he was very close, Kanye's design company is name DONDA. Before her death, the pair also established the Dr Donda West Foundation.
13/32) The bear on the cover of the first three Kanye West albums actually has a name: he's called 'Dropout'.
14/32) Before his marriage to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West was engaged to Alexis Phifer, a fashion designer, from 2006 until their relationship ended in 2008.
15/32) He has won a total of 21 Grammys and 112 music awards in general. The College Drop-out and Late Registration were the albums which won him the most awards. He's ranked as the 8th most successful artist at the Grammys in history.
16/32) For his aforementioned song 'Through the Wire', he sampled Chaka Khans vocals on his track, but she wasnt prepared to let Kanye release the single until her son talked her into it a couple of weeks later.
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17/32) Kanye West has credited hip-hop producer No I.D as being his mentor in his early days. He showed West how to create beats and make quality music.
18/32) He dropped out of college and had a slew of random jobs. He worked as a telemarketer and sold insurance to Montgomery Ward credit card holders. I was way better than most of the people there, he told Playboy. I could sit around and draw pictures while doing other things".
19/32) His father Ray West was a Black Panther in the 60s and 70s and he later became one of the first black photojournalists at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and later became a Christian counselor. West's parents divorced when he was three and he moved to Chicago as a result.
20/32) He lives every day of his life by the phrase: "Nothing in life is promised except for death".
21/32) Following the Taylor Swift incident at the VMAs in 2009, Kanye West took a six month break from making music to regroup. During this time, he travelled around the world, going to Japan, Italy, and then living in Hawaii for a brief time.
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22/32) Before pursuing music full time, he attended Chicago State University to study music. After he found that the busy class schedules were getting in the way of his music, he dropped out and, fittingly, named his first album "The College Dropout".
23/32) He met his stylist at Barneys while out shopping. Yale student Cassius Clay impressed Kanye with his dress sense, and was asked to work for him.
24/32) More than 50% of his tracks across his albums have been the result of a collaboration with other artists.
25/32) Known for his many nicknames, some of his most popular ones included 'The Louis Vuitton Don' and 'Yeezy'.
26/32) Kanye is the sixth most popular digital artist, with a grand total of 30 million downloads within America as of the beginning of 2016.
27/32) Perhaps surprisingly, Kanyes favourite band is a group of indie artists from Glasgow, better known as Franz Ferdinand.
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28/32) Billboard rankings ranked him 3rd on the list of producers from the decade in 2010.
29/32) An avid basketball fan, West is regularly spotted at LA Lakers games, and is known to incorporate basketball into his lyrics.
30/32) GQ awarded Kanye West the title of International Man of the Year in 2007.
31/32) He made his first money from music by selling his first beat with $8.800, to a local Chicago rapper, Gravity.
32/32) He liked to keep his business within the family early on in his career: his mother retired from her job of teaching English and became his full-time manager for the early days.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.