Kanye West Facts
Between his reputation as one of the industry’s top music producers and his apparel line achieving cult status, Kanye West definitely sits among the world’s most influential people. Due to his unique outlook on life and his bold statements, West’s life has also been closely followed by controversy.
Despite the fame, many others question his credibility despite his success throughout the years. However, is it really right to doubt him? Set the record straight and learn more about the man behind the vision with these Kanye West facts.
- Kanye West was born on June 8, 1977.
- He is also known by the names of Yeezy, Ye, and Yeezus.
- He is an American rapper.
- Kanye West is originally from Chicago, Illinois, United States.
- He stands 5 feet and 8 inches tall.
- As of 2019, Kanye West has 4 children.
- Kanye West founded the GOOD Music record label.
- He was born in Atlanta and was raised in Chicago.
- During the early 2000s, he was a known producer for Roc-A-Fella Records.
- His debut album was called The College Dropout released in 2004.
- Kanye West has collaborated with several artists such as Jay-Z and Kid Cudi.
- Kanye West has been active in the music industry since the year 1996.
- He has been a frequent source of controversy for his behavior at award shows and social media.
- Kanye West also works as a fashion designer.
- Kanye West also founded the creative content company DONDA.
- Kanye West can play the keyboard and drum machine.
- Kanye West is married to Kim Kardashian.
- He has collaborated with top fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton and Nike.
- He is also one of the world’s best-selling musical artists.
- Kanye West has sold more than 140 million records worldwide.
As of 2017, Kanye West has a total of 21 Grammy Awards.
Kanye West has gained distinction not just for music, but for fashion design and many more. Apart from Grammy Awards, he has also received over a hundred different musical awards for his talent and work.
He has also been recognized by the People’s Choice and Teen Choice awards. This also includes his records for foreign performances, namely in the UK and Australia.
The album Jesus is King was originally called Yandhi.
West officially announced the album title as Yandhi in 2018, before changing it to Jesus Is King during production. Released in 2019, Jesus is King is the ninth studio album that Kanye West has sold through GOOD Music records.
This album also follows heavy Christian themes and the artist describes it as an “expression of the gospel”. Grab a copy and listen to the unique sonic experience for yourself here.
In 2019, Kanye West rebranded himself as a Christian artist.
Kanye West has spoken out about his views in life numerous times to the public. One of these is his conversion to Christian faith which also led him to shortly release a line of Christian merchandise.
Despite many negative comments from fans and critics, he stated that he has rebranded himself and his music as a born-again Christian.
His full name is Kanye Omari West.
Born to one of the first black photojournalists and a former University Chair, Kanye West’s upbringing was stated at the upper-middle-class level. This leaves the credibility of his street career under question before his rise as a popular American rapper.
Kanye West is one of the most followed celebrities on Twitter.
Kanye West began his Twitter account in 2010 and on the same day he performed for the staff of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters. Twitter considers celebrities as an important part of the Twitter ecosystem as they have the power to attract more users and followers.
As of 2020, Kanye West currently has over 30 million followers on his Twitter account which is one of the highest follower bases among musical celebrities.
Michael Jackson was once intrigued by Kanye West’s fashion sense.
Kanye West is known by many for his unique style and fashion sense. His clothing choices are so unique, that Michael Jackson once called Kanye West to inquire about a Jacket he wore in the music video for his song “Stronger”.
Kanye’s favorite band group is called Franz Ferdinand.
Kanye West stated that one of his most favorite band groups is a group of indie artists known from Glasglow. Officially known as Franz Ferdinand, this group is loved by both Kanye West and his family.
In 2010, Kanye West ranked 3rd in Billboard's Producers of the Decade.
This list also included other top producers and music artists such as Taylor Swift, Drake, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj. Despite some of the controversial statements found in his music, Kanye West is known to produce hit after hit.
In Swahili, Kanye’s name translates to ‘The only one’.
The name Kanye means ‘the only one’ in Swahili, which led Kanye West to believe that he is special from the rest of the world. Kanye West has stated that he is chosen to do good for the world and make others realize that his vision of perfection is correct.
Because of this, many people find Kanye to be rude and intolerable.
Kanye West almost died from a car accident in 2002.
In October 2002, Kanye West was on a drive back to his hotel in California when he fell asleep while driving. Kanye West crashed his car into another vehicle, which left West with severe injuries and the other driver with leg fractures.
Kanye West also suffered from major injuries to his jaw and nose which he had to undergo two procedures to fix.
Kanye West’s mother was an English professor.
During Kanye West’s early childhood, his mother worked as an English professor at Clark Atlanta University. After moving to Chicago, she became the Chair of the English Department at the Chicago State University where Kanye West dropped out shortly after.
After retiring from her work as a University professor, she then became Kanye West’s manager.
He is known to be a workaholic.
On many occasions, Kanye West has put his work above everything else as his top priority. During his hospitalization in 2002 after a tragic car accident, Kanye West requested a makeshift studio in his hospital room.
On a similar occasion, he was hospitalized again in 2016 from a mental breakdown. However, despite his wife’s and doctor’s advice to stay in bed and rest, he would continuously work from his hospital room.
The album ‘The College Drop-out’ was named after he dropped out of college.
Kanye released The College Dropout as his debut studio album in February 2004. The album took four years for Kanye West to finish and spans a total of 76.13 minutes long.
Within its first week of release, The College Dropout took the second spot on the US Billboard 200 and sold over 441,000 copies. The album is described to be humorous and emotional.
As of 2020, Kanye West’s net worth is 1.3 billion USD.
In April of 2020, Kayne West was officially considered a billionaire with a net worth of 1.3 billion USD. This is 300 million more than that of his Sister-in-law, Kylie Jenner who is one of the youngest self-made billionaires in the world.
Kanye West was also featured on Forbes magazine later on, which he expressed being upset over because the magazine article did not call him a billionaire.
He was mentored by Hip-Hop producer No I.D.
No I.D is a music producer from Chicago who worked with high-profile artists who have made hit singles in their career. He also served as a musical mentor to not only Kanye West but to J.Cole as well.
Kanye West considered No I.D to be The Godfather of Chicago Hip Hop. No I.D also once served as the president of Kanye West’s GOOD Music record company.
Kanye West once stated he thought about becoming an adult film actor.
Before he was able to make it as a successful music producer and artist, Kanye West stated that he once considered becoming a porn star. In an interview, he also stated that Playboy Magazine was also his gateway to porn addiction and helped him cope with his mother’s death in 2007.
However, since early 2019, Kanye West states that his Christian faith helped him fight the addiction which led him to focus better on his career. Since then, he has also focused on creating more gospel appropriate music and less vulgar lyrics.
In 2007, Kanye West was awarded the ‘International Man of the Year’ award by GQ.
In September 2007, Kanye West received the title of International Man of the Year at the GQ Awards. The awards ceremony was held in London and hosted by the British Men’s magazine, GQ.
The award celebrates progressive thinkers and those who have excelled in their field of work.
Kanye West developed an affinity for the arts at a young age.
According to his parents, Kanye West began writing poetry at the young age of 5. His mother stated that she first took notice of her son’s passion for arts and music around the time he was in the third grade.
Kanye West began taking an interest in rap music around the same time and began making his first musical compositions in the seventh grade.
He wrote a song for his mother after her death in 2007.
After the death of his mother, Kanye West honored her memory by dedicating the song Hey Mama to her. Since then, West has performed it live on several occasions in honor of her memory.
The artist stated that he had a close relationship with his mother and found it very difficult to cope with the loss. On several occasions, Kanye West has also been known to cry on stage while performing the song.
Kanye West has appeared in many films and TV shows as himself.
Apart from guest appearances in live talk shows, Kanye West has made several other appearances on television as himself. A few appearances he has made include small cameos and roles in shows such as South Park, The Love Guru, and Entourage.
He has also made a few appearances in his wife’s reality TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Kanye West married Kim Kardashian in May of 2014.
Before they were married, Kanye and Kim shared a longtime friendship which evolved into a romantic relationship in 2012. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian got engaged in 2013 after finalizing Kardashian’s divorce with her previous husband.
In 2014, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian got married in Italy where it received a large coverage from the media.
Kim Kardashian’s family does not like Kanye West.
Even before their marriage, Kim’s family has spoken out numerous times regarding how displeased they are with Kim dating Kanye West. Many of Kim’s sisters often call Kanye selfish, narcissistic, and rude.
Kanye has also been accused of cheating on Kim Kardashian on more than one occasion. However, despite comments from the family, the two continued with their plans to get married, much to the dismay of the Kardashians.
Before marrying Kim Kardashian, he was engaged to someone else.
In 2006, Kanye West proposed to fashion designer Alexis Phifer. However, after a two-year on and off relationship, Kanye West eventually broke off the engagement in 2008.
Kanye West also dated Amber Rose before his relationship with Kim Kardashian. This relationship lasted until 2010 which eventually led to Kanye to develop romantic feelings for Kim.
Former United States President, Barack Obama once called Kanye West a Jackass.
During a small interview with Barack Obama, he was asked about his opinions regarding Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for an award in 2012. Obama stated that he thought that there was no reason for Swift to be rudely interrupted during her speech and called Kanye West a jackass for his actions.
Kanye West once opened two burger restaurants called Fatburger.
In 2007, Kanye West struck a deal with KW Foods LLC to open 10 new Fatburger restaurants in the Chicago area. However, by 2009 only two branches opened and didn’t attract as much business as Kanye West would have wanted it to.
Eventually, in February 2011, Kanye West decided to shut down operations and ended his partnership with Fatburger.
More than half of his total tracks are collaborations with other artists.
Over the years during his career, Kanye West has collaborated with several popular artists in the music industry. These include his collaborations with artists from every end of the spectrum, including Elton John, Kenny G, Katy Perry, and Paul McCartney.
Kanye West was also previously signed to Jay-Z and worked on several tracks with him during that time.
Kanye West has used many staples of pre-existing songs when making his music.
In many of his songs, Kanye West often takes inspiration from pre-existing tracks which he mixes with his tunes to create a unique sound for his albums. Kanye West states that he takes inspiration from everything around him and loops his music until he is satisfied with the results.
In 2000, he was arrested for suspicion of stealing printers from OfficeMax.
Kanye West was accused of stealing printers from OfficeMax despite already being a successful music producer at the time. Police state that they were given descriptions of the suspect that closely matched with Kanye West’s profile at the time.
After further investigation, Kanye West was set free after crossing out the possibility of mistaken identity. Police also found no other evidence apart from the witness description to tie Kanye West to the incident.
Kanye West once stated that he wanted to be a rapper version of Fiona Apple.
Growing up, Kanye West had several musical idols that he looked up to. One of these was Fiona Apple which he stated he was a big fan of.
Kanye West also stated in an interview that he wanted to become the rap version of her one day and hope he achieves many things through music just as she has.
Kanye West’s father was part of the Black Panther Party during the 1960s.
Kanye West’s parents divorced when he was 3 years old and was primarily raised by his mother. As a result, Kanye West does not often mention his father at all.
However, according to his mother, his father was a proud member of the Black Panther Party. This group was known as a revolutionary socialist political organization that fought against police brutality and discrimination against the black masses.
He believes himself to be God’s chosen one.
Because of these views, the media has labelled Kanye West with a god complex. On several occasions, Kanye West has stated that he is God’s chosen one and the ‘greatest artist that God has created on this earth’.
Despite stating that he is in service of God, he often refers to himself as his match or equal. As such, this has brought many controversial discussions onto the table regarding Kanye West’s actions and statements.
Kanye West once bought himself an 18th-century aquarium with 30 Koi fish inside.
Due to the success of his debut album ‘The College Dropout’, Kanye West stated that he wanted to reward himself for his success. The artist then ordered an 18th-century themed fish tank with 30 koi fish to put inside for display.
In the center of the fish tank stood a cherub-shaped fountain made of gold that rested on a marble base.
The Kanye West Foundation was founded by Kanye West and his mother.
Established in 2003, the foundation aimed to battle the dropout and illiteracy rates in Chicago. This foundation also partnered with many other community organizations that provided the underprivileged youth access to musical education.
Later on, in 2007, The Kanye West Foundation also partnered with the Strong American Schools as part of their ED in ’08 campaign. However, by 2011, the Kanye West Foundation ceased its operations.
In his track ‘New Slaves’, Kanye West compares being a celebrity to slavery.
Another track that started controversial discussions formed after the release of Kanye West’s ‘New Slaves’ song. In the song, Kanye West compares his struggles as a celebrity with that of Solomon Northup who was sold into slavery.
As a result, many were outraged by Kanye West’s message in the song for its misplaced comparison.
Kanye West has a metal plate in his chin.
The metal plate in Kanye West’s chin was inserted after his car accident in 2002. Kanye West described the pain to be unbearable and the worst pain he has ever experienced in his life.
However, this experience also allowed him to create his debut single, ‘Through the Wire’ which was inspired by his accident and his process to his full recovery.
Kanye West stated in 2020 that he will run for the next Presidential election campaign.
In July 2020, Kanye West publicly announced his plans to campaign in the 2020 presidential elections. However, during the first week of August, Kanye West had failed to appear on the ballot in the vast majority of the states.
Kanye West has also announced his vision for the presidential elections through Twitter, where he also stated that he could beat Biden off of write-ins. Since 2015, Kanye West has stated that he had planned on running for the presidency and plans to make it a reality despite not showing much progress in 2020.
Kanye West once moved to China when he was younger.
At the age of 10, Kanye West moved to China with his mother for her work. Kanye West lived with his mother in Nanjing of the Jiangsu province found in East China where his mother taught at Nanjing University.
Despite being the only foreigner in his class, Kanye West was found to adjust quickly to his new environment and picked up the language fairly quickly. Kanye West was also known to excel in school until the end of his high school years.
In modern popular culture, Kanye West has been turned into several memes.
Due to his unusual personality and many of his public stunts, modern popular culture has made Kanye West one of the biggest meme formats of today. Memes of Kanye West have been made in several formats including photos, gifs, edited videos, and the like.
Kanye West has had several mental breakdowns in public.
For years, Kanye West has been quite open about his mental and psychological struggles throughout his career. He has been known to also have many of his mental breakdowns in public and during his concerts.
Kanye West has stated that he has suffered from sleep deprivation and erratic behavior. This has led him to the hospital numerous times where he was forced to undergo evaluations for his health.
In 2014, Kanye West assaulted a reporter at Los Angeles International Airport.
Upon being surrounded by paparazzi at the Los Angeles International Airport, Kanye West reacted violently by assaulting one of the reporters. The incident followed a court trial to which Kanye West was sentenced to 250 hours of community service, 24 anger management sessions, and restitution pay for the victim.
It was also stated that Kanye West would not receive special treatment of any kind during this time to allow Kanye to reflect on his actions. The incident was also caught on camera which prevented Kanye West from winning his trial.
In July 2020, Kanye West stated that he no longer supports Donald Trump.
Along with his announcement for his plans for the next presidential campaign, Kanye West has stated that he officially no longer supports Donald Trump. Kanye West is also running under a new banner called The Birthday Party to which he is receiving guidance from Elon Musk.
Kanye West has also stated that he envisions his victory in the future and is confident of his predictions.
Kanye West’s Yeezy shoe line is one of the most influential shoe brands in the world.
The fashion collaboration with Adidas has become one of the biggest collaborations in modern shoe designs. The Yeezy shoe line is known for its high-end sneaker line that expanded to other apparel as well including sports attire, shirts, and a women’s shoe line.
Kanye West first designed the shoe brand in 2006 with several different models that was not officially confirmed until 2015.
In many of his tracks, Kanye West shows signs of depression.
Kanye West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2018 with the release of his album Ye. Since then Kanye West has attracted the media with his talks regarding his struggles and experiences with his disorder.
After disturbing Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, Kanye West went into hiding.
Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s speech at the VMA’s in 2009 in an attempt to defend Beyonce who lost to her for the Best Female Video category. After the incident, many were displeased with Kanye West’s behavior and he was advised to go into hiding for a short time to let things cool down.
After the VMA awards ceremony, Kanye West traveled to different countries to lay low for some time.
Kanye West is the first artist to go Platinum from music streams alone.
Kanye West certified for platinum after the release of his The Life of Pablo album. Since its release, it has been streamed over 3 billion times worldwide where 1.5 billion of the streams come from the United States.
This makes it the first album to be an RIAA- certified platinum for music streaming alone.
Kanye West had his first child with Kim Kardashian in 2013.
The first child to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian was named North West who was born in June of 2013. She is the oldest child of the married couple and has accompanied her parents on numerous events and projects.
After North, the couple had three more children to which the last two were born through surrogacy.
A bear was used as a mascot for Kanye West’s first three albums.
This bear was named Dropout Bear after Kanye West’s debut album The College Dropout. The brown bear mascot is said to represent Kanye West who was also an old school mascot he had before dropping out.
Today, the Dropout Bear is considered to be the trademark and mascot for Kanye West.
Kanye West once worked as a telemarketer to help his mother pay rent.
Growing up, Kanye West stated that his mother was tough on him to ensure that he could grow up able to handle the struggles of the real world. Kanye West stated that his mother forced him to help out to pay their rent while they were living together.
As a result, Kanye West was forced to take on a job as a telemarketer to make enough money to help his mother. He balanced this along with his music production until his career as an artist took off.
He has received an honorary doctorate from the Art Institute of Chicago.
In 2015, Kanye West received an honorary doctorate from the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Despite being the choice of the school board, many students from the same institute were not pleased with this decision.
The song “Stronger” was one of Kanye West’s greatest hits.
The song is the second track on the 2007 album Graduation which talks about Kanye West’s struggles. Kanye West talks about his frustrations during the past year before the release of the track and states how he moved on and became stronger from these experiences.
Several weeks later after its release, the song topped in the Billboard Hot 100 and later on became the world’s third number-one single. It also was a top ten single in 10 countries and topped the charts in four of them.