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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

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  • Straight Outta Gaithersburg: Logic apes the mainstream and breaks through, but what does that mean for Baltimore hip-hop?

    Straight Outta Gaithersburg: Logic apes the mainstream and breaks through, but what does that mean for Baltimore hip-hop?
    Lyrical rapper Logic, who released his debut album “Under Pressure” on historic hip-hop label Def Jam last month, really wants you to get to know him. No, like, really wants you to. On the record’s guest-free 57 minutes, the word “I” is used no less than 589 times (excluding bonus tracks), easily surpassing first efforts from established rap narcissists Kanye West (220 on “The College Dropout”) and Drake (410 times on “Thank Me Later”). This kind of blinding solipsism is in the service of what Logic clearly hopes will be a “classic” rap album. And why shouldn’t he have those high hopes? The kid has a nubile, energetic flow, plus he’s made a legit come-up; any biracial kid from Gaithersburg, Maryland that can land a Def Jam deal should have a story to tell, right?
  • Bad Guys Finish First

    Bad Guys Finish First
    In his 2013 book, “I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined),” Chuck Klosterman starts one chapter suggesting, “Let’s pretend Batman is real.” Nerd that he is, Klosterman clarifies lots of particulars,...

    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....

    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...

    Tipping Point

    Ciara BET's massive hip-hop/R&B package tour Scream Fest has long been an event for and by teenagers, including last winter's iteration headlined by Omarion. This summer, though, it was clear that the tour had decided to go in a slightly more grown-up...