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Kanye West

Kanye West
Born in Atlanta, this rapper and producer moved to Chicago with his mother when he was 3 years old. He's considered to be one of the most commercially successful "back-pack" rappers. West has said he was largely influenced by Wu-Tang member RZA. The first major label song he produced was Jay-Z's "This Can't Be Life," featuring West's signature sound of taking old, soul samples, speeding them up, and adding his own drum sounds and other instruments. In 2001, he broke out as a producer, largely because his sound was all over Jay-Z's critically-acclaimed "The Blueprint." In October 2002, West survived a car accident after falling asleep at the wheel of his car. He recorded "Through The Wire" ab... Show more »
Born in Atlanta, this rapper and producer moved to Chicago with his mother when he was 3 years old. He's considered to be one of the most commercially successful "back-pack" rappers. West has said he was largely influenced by Wu-Tang member RZA. The first major label song he produced was Jay-Z's "This Can't Be Life," featuring West's signature sound of taking old, soul samples, speeding them up, and adding his own drum sounds and other instruments. In 2001, he broke out as a producer, largely because his sound was all over Jay-Z's critically-acclaimed "The Blueprint." In October 2002, West survived a car accident after falling asleep at the wheel of his car. He recorded "Through The Wire" about two weeks after the accident with his jaws wired shut. It was featured on his debut album, "College Dropout," released in February 2004, on Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records. The Grammy-nominated album sold more than 3 million copies. In August 2005, West released his highly-anticipated follow up "Late Registration," which sold more than 860,000 in its first week. In September 2007 he released "Graduation," which sold more than 950,000 copies in its first week. « Show less

Top Kanye West Articles see all

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  • Wandering Eye: Do Buddha statues prevent crime?, the Ebola pandemic, and cracking down on public art

    Wandering Eye: Do Buddha statues prevent crime?, the Ebola pandemic, and cracking down on public art
    San Francisco Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson has a story about how a crime-ridden block in Oakland, since 2009, when a resident placed a Buddha statue in a median strip there, has seen a precipitous decline in crime. "People stopped dumping garbage. They stopped vandalizing walls with graffiti. And the drug dealers stopped using that area to deal. The prostitutes went away," Johnson says, citing statistics. A similar tranquility has settled around the Buddha statue near the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), around which a well-tended garden has grown since its installation in a trash-strewn lot by a MICA graduate in 1994. There seems to be something to this Buddha-statue thing, so maybe it's time to start placing them around troubled areas in Baltimore, just to see what happens. (Van Smith)
  • No Trivia: James Nasty, Lor Scoota and Young Moose, Bmore bros go home, and more

    No Trivia: James Nasty, Lor Scoota and Young Moose, Bmore bros go home, and more
    The title of this music column is "No Trivia," which is swiped from a Wu Tang Clan lyric ("Raw, I'm a give to ya, with no trivia") because it's just a cool-ass way of saying, "no bullshit," which is a mission statement when I sit down to type out words...

    Arts & Entertainment

    Arts & Entertainment
    BEST BAND Roomrunner Grunge. Nirvana. OK, now that we’ve gotten the two entries from the “Idiot’s Guide to Writing About Roomrunner” out of the way, let’s actually talk about this band. Roomrunner is really, incredibly...

    Nostalgia: Remaining Virgin Mobile Fest 2008 Lineup Announced

    The Aug. 9 and 10 Virgin Mobile Festival is looking even more like a trip in the way-back machine with the addition of Bob Dylan, the Offspring, Wilco, Iggy and the Stooges, and Chuck Berry as headliners. Cat Power, offsetting at least a little of that...

    The Virgin Mobile Festival: Vergin' on a Good Time

    By design, the Virgin Mobile Festival aims to present two days of music of roughly equal value; otherwise, they wouldn't charge the same steep fee for a one-day pass either day. But even with big names and small on both days of the festival, there's no...