|Use attributes for filter !|
|Date of birth||June 8,1977|
|Net worth||US$250 million (2018)|
|2 billion USD|
|Education||Chicago State University|
|American Academy of Art|
|Books||Kanye West: Yeezy Seasons Zines 1, 2, 3 + 4|
|Only One Sheet Music|
|Obsessed with Kanye West|
|Through the Wire: Lyrics & Illuminations|
|Glow in the Dark|
|Break the Simulation|
|Movies/Shows||Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology|
|We Are Together|
|We Were Once a Fairytale|
|The Brotherly Love Table Read|
|The Black Mamba|
|Daft Punk Unchained|
|Keeping Up with the Kardashians|
|BET Honors 2015: Extras|
|List||Praise GodDonda · 2021|
|RunawayMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy · 2010|
|Heartless808s & Heartbreak · 2008|
|City of GodsDonda 2 · 2022|
|Flashing LightsGraduation · 2007|
|Niggas in ParisWatch the Throne · 2011|
|Lucille E. Williams|
|Art directed||Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology|
|Date of Reg.|
|Date of Upd.|
Kanye West Life story
Ye, commonly known as Kanye West, is an American rapper, record producer, and fashion designer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential hip hop musicians of all time, as well as one of the greatest musicians of his generation.
Ye ( YAY; born Kanye Omari West; June 8, 1977), commonly known as Kanye West ( kahn-YAY), is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential hip hop musicians of all time, as well as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. Born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago, West gained recognition as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, producing singles for several artists and developing the "chipmunk soul" sampling style. Intent on pursuing a solo career as a rapper, he released his debut studio album, The College Dropout (2004), to critical and commercial success. West subsequently founded his record label GOOD Music later that same year.
West explored diverse musical elements such as orchestral arrangements, synthesizers, and autotune on the albums Late Registration (2005), Graduation (2007), and 808s & Heartbreak (2008). Drawing inspiration from maximalism and minimalism respectively, his fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) and sixth album Yeezus (2013) were also released to critical and commercial success. West further diversified his musical styles on The Life of Pablo (2016) and Ye (2018), and explored Christian and gospel music on Jesus Is King (2019). After a series of delays, his highly anticipated tenth album Donda (2021) was released to continued commercial success, but to mixed critical reception. He released its sequel, Donda 2 (2022), a few months later, exclusively through his tie-in audio speaker service. West's discography also includes the full-length collaborative albums Watch the Throne (2011) with Jay-Z and Kids See Ghosts (2018) with Kid Cudi.
West's outspoken views and life outside of music have received significant media coverage. He has been a frequent source of controversy for his conduct on social media, award shows, and public settings; as well as his comments on the music and fashion industries, U.S. politics, race, and slavery. His Christian faith, estranged marriage to Kim Kardashian, and mental health have also been sources of further media attention. As a fashion designer, he has collaborated with Nike, Louis Vuitton, The Gap, and A.P.C. on clothing and footwear, and leads the Yeezy collaboration with Adidas. He is also the founder and head of the creative content company Donda. In 2020, West launched an unsuccessful independent presidential campaign that primarily advocated for a consistent life ethic.One of the world's best-selling music artists, with over 160 million records sold, West has won 24 Grammy Awards, the joint tenth-most of all time, and the joint-most Grammy awards of any rapper along with Jay-Z. Among his other awards are the Billboard Artist Achievement Award, a joint-record three Brit Awards for Best International Male Solo Artist and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Six of West's albums were included on Rolling Stone's 2020 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list with the same publication naming him one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. He holds the joint record (with Bob Dylan) for most albums (4) topping the annual Pazz & Jop critic poll, and has the 5th most appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 (133 entries). Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and 2015. Forbes estimates his net worth at $2 billion as of 2022, making him the wealthiest musician in the world.
Ye was born on June 8, 1977, in Atlanta, Georgia, as Kanye Omari West. After his parents divorced when he was three years old, he moved with his mother to Chicago, Illinois. His father, Ray West, is a former Black Panther and was one of the first black photojournalists at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ray later became a Christian counselor, and in 2006, opened the Good Water Store and Café in Lexington Park, Maryland, with startup capital from his son. West's mother, Dr. Donda C. West (née Williams), was a professor of English at Clark Atlanta University, and the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University, before retiring to serve as his manager.
West was raised in a middle-class environment, attending Polaris School for Individual Education in suburban Oak Lawn, Illinois, after living in Chicago. At the age of 10, West moved with his mother to Nanjing, China, where she was teaching at Nanjing University as a Fulbright Scholar. According to his mother, West was the only foreigner in his class, but settled in well and quickly picked up the language, although he has since forgotten most of it. When asked about his grades in high school, West replied, "I got A's and B's."West demonstrated an affinity for the arts at an early age; he began writing poetry when he was five years old. His mother recalled that she first took notice of West's passion for drawing and music when he was in the third grade. West started rapping in the third grade and began making musical compositions in the seventh grade, eventually selling them to other artists. At age thirteen, West wrote a rap song called "Green Eggs and Ham" (the title of a best-selling children's book by Dr. Seuss) and persuaded his mother to pay for time in a recording studio. Accompanying him to the studio and despite discovering that it was "a little basement studio" where a microphone hung from the ceiling by a wire clothes hanger, West's mother nonetheless supported and encouraged him. West crossed paths with producer/DJ No I.D., with whom he quickly formed a close friendship. No I.D. soon became West's mentor, and it was from him that West learned how to sample and program beats after he received his first sampler at age 15.: 557 After graduating from high school, West received a scholarship to attend Chicago's American Academy of Art in 1997 and began taking painting classes. Shortly after, he transferred to Chicago State University to study English. He soon realized that his busy class schedule was detrimental to his musical work, and at 20 he dropped out of college to pursue his musical dreams. This greatly displeased his mother, who was also a professor at the university. She later commented, "It was drummed into my head that college is the ticket to a good life ... but some career goals don't require college. For Kanye to make an album called College Dropout it was more about having the guts to embrace who you are, rather than following the path society has carved out for you.": 558
1996–2002: Early work and Roc-A-Fella
Kanye West began his early production career in the mid-1990s, creating beats primarily for burgeoning local artists around his area, eventually developing a style that involved speeding up vocal samples from classic soul records. His first official production credits came at the age of nineteen when he produced eight tracks on Down to Earth, the 1996 debut album of a Chicago rapper named Grav. For a time, West acted as a ghost producer for Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie. Because of his association with D-Dot, West was not able to release a solo album, so he formed and became a member and producer of the Go-Getters, a late-1990s Chicago rap group composed of him, GLC, Timmy G, Really Doe, and Arrowstar.His group was managed by John Monopoly, Don Crowley, and Happy Lewis under the management firm Hustle Period. After attending a series of promotional photo shoots and making some radio appearances, The Go-Getters released their first and only studio album World Record Holders in 1999. The album featured other Chicago-based rappers such as Rhymefest, Mikkey Halsted, Miss Criss, and Shayla G. Meanwhile, the production was handled by West, Arrowstar, Boogz, and Brian "All Day" Miller.In 1998, West was the first person signed by Gee Roberson and Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshuato to management-production company Hip Hop Since 1978. West spent much of the late 1990s producing records for a number of well-known artists and music groups. The third track on Foxy Brown's second studio album Chyna Doll was produced by West. Her second effort subsequently became the first hip-hop album by a female rapper to debut at the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart in its first week of release.West produced three of the tracks on Harlem World's first and only album The Movement alongside Jermaine Dupri and the production duo Trackmasters. His songs featured rappers Nas, Drag-On, and R&B singer Carl Thomas. The ninth track from World Party, the last Goodie Mob album to feature the rap group's four founding members prior to their break-up, was co-produced by West with his manager Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie. At the close of the millennium, West produced six songs for Tell 'Em Why U Madd, an album that was released by D-Dot under the alias of The Madd Rapper; West's songs featured guest appearances from rappers such as Ma$e, Raekwon, and Eminem.
West got his big break in the year 2000, when he began to produce for artists on Roc-A-Fella. West came to achieve recognition and is often credited with revitalizing Jay-Z's career with his contributions to Jay-Z's 2001 album The Blueprint. The Blueprint is consistently ranked among the greatest hip-hop albums, and the critical and financial success of the album generated substantial interest in West as a producer. Serving as an in-house producer for Roc-A-Fella, West produced music for other artists on the label, including Beanie Sigel, Freeway, and Cam'ron. He also crafted hit songs for Ludacris, Alicia Keys, and Janet Jackson.Despite his success as a producer, West's true aspiration was to be a rapper. Though he had developed his rapping long before he began producing, it was often a challenge for West to be accepted as a rapper, and he struggled to attain a record deal. Multiple record companies ignored him because he did not portray the 'gangsta image' prominent in mainstream hip hop at the time.: 556 After a series of meetings with Capitol, West was ultimately denied an artist deal.According to Capitol's A&R, Joe Weinberger, he was approached by West and almost signed a deal with him, but another person in Capitol convinced Capitol's president not to. Desperate to keep West from defecting to another label, then-label head Damon Dash reluctantly signed West to Roc-A-Fella. Jay-Z later admitted that Roc-A-Fella was initially reluctant to support West as a rapper, claiming that many saw him as a producer first and foremost and that his background contrasted with that of his labelmates.: 556 West's breakthrough came a year later on October 23, 2002, when, while driving home from a California recording studio after working late, he fell asleep at the wheel causing a head-on crash with another car. The crash left him with a shattered jaw, which had to be wired shut in reconstructive surgery. The crash broke both legs of the other driver. The accident inspired West; two weeks after being admitted to the hospital, he recorded a song at the Record Plant Studios with his jaw still wired shut.The composition, "Through the Wire", expressed West's experience after the accident, and helped lay the foundation for his debut album, as according to West "all the better artists have expressed what they were going through". West added that "the album was my medicine", as working on the record distracted him from the pain. "Through the Wire" was first available on West's Get Well Soon ... mixtape, released December 2002. At the same time, West announced that he was working on an album called The College Dropout, whose overall theme was to "make your own decisions. Don't let society tell you, 'This is what you have to do.'"
2003–2006: The College Dropout and Late Registration
West recorded the remainder of the album in Los Angeles while recovering from the car accident. Once he had completed the album, it was leaked months before its release date. However, West decided to use the opportunity to review the album, and The College Dropout was significantly remixed, remastered, and revised before being released. As a result, certain tracks originally destined for the album were subsequently retracted, among them "Keep the Receipt" with Ol' Dirty Bastard and "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" with Consequence. West meticulously refined the production, adding string arrangements, gospel choirs, improved drum programming and new verses. West's perfectionism led The College Dropout to have its release postponed three times from its initial date in August 2003.The College Dropout was eventually issued by Roc-A-Fella in February 2004, shooting to number two on the Billboard 200 as his debut single, "Through the Wire" peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five weeks. "Slow Jamz", his second single featuring Twista and Jamie Foxx, became an even bigger success: it became the three musicians' first number one hit. The College Dropout received near-universal critical acclaim from contemporary music critics, was voted the top album of the year by two major music publications and has consistently been ranked among the great hip-hop works and debut albums by artists."Jesus Walks", the album's fourth single, perhaps exposed West to a wider audience; the song's subject matter concerns faith and Christianity. The song nevertheless reached the top 20 of the Billboard pop charts, despite industry executives' predictions that a song containing such blatant declarations of faith would never make it to the radio. The College Dropout would eventually be certified triple platinum in the US, and garnered West 10 Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year, and Best Rap Album (which it received).During this period, West also performed "Whole City Behind Us" alongside Ludacris and the Game in an ad campaign for Boost Mobile and founded GOOD Music, a record label and management company that would go on to house affiliate artists and producers, such as No I.D. and John Legend. At the time, the focal point of West's production style was the use of sped-up vocal samples from soul records. However, partly because of the acclaim of The College Dropout, such sampling had been much copied by others; with that overuse, and also because West felt he had become too dependent on the technique, he decided to find a new sound. During this time, he also produced singles for Brandy, Common, John Legend, and Slum Village.Beginning his second effort that fall, West would invest two million dollars and take over a year to craft his second album. West was significantly inspired by Roseland NYC Live, a 1998 live album by English trip hop group Portishead, produced with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Early in his career, the live album had inspired him to incorporate string arrangements into his hip-hop production. Though West had not been able to afford many live instruments around the time of his debut album, the money from his commercial success enabled him to hire a string orchestra for his second album Late Registration.West collaborated with American film score composer Jon Brion, who served as the album's co-executive producer for several tracks. Although Brion had no prior experience in creating hip-hop records, he and West found that they could productively work together after their first afternoon in the studio where they discovered that neither confined his musical knowledge and vision to one specific genre. Late Registration sold over 2.3 million units in the United States alone by the end of 2005 and was considered by industry observers as the only successful major album release of the fall season, which had been plagued by steadily declining CD sales.While West had encountered controversy a year prior when he stormed out of the American Music Awards of 2004 after losing the Best New Artist award to Gretchen Wilson, his first large-scale controversy came just days following Late Registration's release, during a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina victims. In September 2005, NBC broadcast A Concert for Hurricane Relief, and West was a featured speaker. When West was presenting alongside actor Mike Myers, he deviated from the prepared script. Myers spoke next and continued to read the script. Once it was West's turn to speak again, he said, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." West's comment reached much of the United States, leading to mixed reactions; President Bush would later call it one of the most "disgusting moments" of his presidency. West raised further controversy in January 2006 when he posed on the cover of Rolling Stone wearing a crown of thorns.
2007–2009: Graduation, 808s & Heartbreak, and VMAs controversy
Fresh off spending the previous year touring the world with U2 on their Vertigo Tour, West felt inspired to compose anthemic rap songs that could operate more efficiently in large arenas. To this end, West incorporated the synthesizer into his hip-hop production, utilized slower tempos, and experimented with electronic music and influenced by music of the 1980s. In addition to U2, West drew musical inspiration from arena rock bands such as The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in terms of melody and chord progression. To make his next effort, the third in a planned tetralogy of education-themed studio albums, more introspective and personal in lyricism, West listened to folk and country singer-songwriters Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash in hopes of developing methods to augment his wordplay and storytelling ability.
West's third studio album, Graduation, garnered major publicity when its release date pitted West in a sales competition against rapper 50 Cent's Curtis. Upon their September 2007 releases, Graduation outsold Curtis by a large margin, debuting at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and selling 957,000 copies in its first week. Graduation continued the string of critical and commercial successes by West, and the album's lead single, "Stronger", garnered his third number-one hit."Stronger", which samples French house duo Daft Punk, has been accredited to not only encouraging other hip-hop artists to incorporate house and electronica elements into their music, but also for playing a part in the revival of disco and electro-infused music in the late 2000s. Ben Detrick of XXL cited the outcome of the sales competition between 50 Cent's Curtis and West's Graduation as being responsible for altering the direction of hip-hop and paving the way for new rappers who didn't follow the hardcore-gangster mold, writing, "If there was ever a watershed moment to indicate hip-hop's changing direction, it may have come when 50 Cent competed with Kanye in 2007 to see whose album would claim superior sales."West's life took a different direction when his mother, Donda West, died of complications from cosmetic surgery involving abdominoplasty and breast reduction in November 2007. Months later, West and fiancée Alexis Phifer ended their engagement and their long-term intermittent relationship, which had begun in 2002. The events profoundly affected West, who set off for his 2008 Glow in the Dark Tour shortly thereafter. Purportedly because his emotions could not be conveyed through rapping, West decided to sing using the voice audio processor Auto-Tune, which would become a central part of his next effort. West had previously experimented with the technology on his debut album The College Dropout for the background vocals of "Jesus Walks" and "Never Let Me Down". Recorded mostly in Honolulu, Hawaii in three weeks, West announced his fourth album, 808s & Heartbreak, at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, where he performed its lead single, "Love Lockdown". Music audiences were taken aback by the uncharacteristic production style and the presence of Auto-Tune, which typified the pre-release response to the record.
808s & Heartbreak, which features extensive use of the eponymous Roland TR-808 drum machine and contains themes of love, loneliness, and heartache, was released by Island Def Jam to capitalize on Thanksgiving weekend in November 2008. Reviews were positive, though slightly more mixed than his previous efforts. Despite this, the record's singles demonstrated outstanding chart performances. Upon its release, the lead single "Love Lockdown" debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a "Hot Shot Debut", while follow-up single "Heartless" performed similarly and became his second consecutive "Hot Shot Debut" by debuting at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. While it was criticized prior to release, 808s & Heartbreak had a significant effect on hip-hop music, encouraging other rappers to take more creative risks with their productions.West's controversial incident the following year at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards led to widespread outrage throughout the music industry. During the ceremony, West crashed the stage and grabbed the microphone from Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech for "Best Female Video" in order to proclaim that Beyoncé's video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", nominated for the same award, was "one of the best videos of all time". He was subsequently withdrawn from the remainder of the show for his actions. West's Fame Kills tour with Lady Gaga was cancelled in response to the controversy. In 2009, West was named by Billboard as the Top Male Artist of 2009.
2010–2012: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and collaborations
Following the highly publicized incident, West took a brief break from music and threw himself into fashion, only to hole up in Hawaii for the next few months writing and recording his next album. Importing his favorite producers and artists to work on and inspire his recording, West kept engineers behind the boards 24 hours a day and slept only in increments. Noah Callahan-Bever, a writer for Complex, was present during the sessions and described the "communal" atmosphere as thus: "With the right songs and the right album, he can overcome any and all controversy, and we are here to contribute, challenge, and inspire." A variety of artists contributed to the project, including close friends Jay-Z, Kid Cudi and Pusha T, as well as off-the-wall collaborations, such as with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, West's fifth studio album, was released in November 2010 to widespread acclaim from critics, many of whom considered it his best work and said it solidified his comeback. In stark contrast to his previous effort, which featured a minimalist sound, Dark Fantasy adopts a maximalist philosophy and deals with themes of celebrity and excess. The record included the international hit "All of the Lights", and Billboard hits "Power", "Monster", and "Runaway", the latter of which accompanied a 35-minute film of the same name directed by and starring West. During this time, West initiated the free music program GOOD Fridays through his website, offering a free download of previously unreleased songs each Friday, a portion of which were included on the album. This promotion ran from August 20 to December 17, 2010. Dark Fantasy went on to go platinum in the United States, but its omission as a contender for Album of the Year at the 54th Grammy Awards was viewed as a "snub" by several media outlets.2011 saw West embark on a festival tour to commemorate the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy performing and headlining numerous festivals including; SWU Music & Arts, Austin City Limits, Oya Festival, Flow Festival, Live Music Festival,
The Big Chill, Essence Music Festival, Lollapalooza and Coachella which was described by The Hollywood Reporter as "one of greatest hip-hop sets of all time", West released the collaborative album Watch the Throne with Jay-Z in August 2011. By employing a sales strategy that released the album digitally weeks before its physical counterpart, Watch the Throne became one of the few major label albums in the Internet age to avoid a leak."Niggas in Paris" became the record's highest-charting single, peaking at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. The co-headlining Watch the Throne Tour kicked off in October 2011 and concluded in June 2012. In 2012, West released the compilation album Cruel Summer, a collection of tracks by artists from West's record label GOOD Music. Cruel Summer produced four singles, two of which charted within the top twenty of the Hot 100: "Mercy" and "Clique". West also directed a film of the same name that premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival in custom pyramid-shaped screening pavilion featuring seven screens.
2013–2015: Yeezus and Adidas collaboration
Sessions for West's sixth solo effort begin to take shape in early 2013 in his own personal loft's living room at a Paris hotel. Determined to "undermine the commercial", he once again brought together close collaborators and attempted to incorporate Chicago drill, dancehall, acid house, and industrial music. Primarily inspired by architecture, West's perfectionist tendencies led him to contact producer Rick Rubin fifteen days shy of its due date to strip down the record's sound in favor of a more minimalist approach. Initial promotion of his sixth album included worldwide video projections of the album's music and live television performances. Yeezus, West's sixth album, was released June 18, 2013, to rave reviews from critics. It became his sixth consecutive number one debut, but also marked his lowest solo opening week sales. Def Jam issued "Black Skinhead" to radio in July 2013 as the album's lead single.In September 2013, Kanye West announced he would be headlining his first solo tour in five years, to support Yeezus, with fellow American rapper Kendrick Lamar accompanying him as a supporting act. The tour was met with rave reviews from critics. Rolling Stone described it as "crazily entertaining, hugely ambitious, emotionally affecting (really!) and, most importantly, totally bonkers". Writing for Forbes, Zack O'Malley Greenburg praised West for "taking risks that few pop stars, if any, are willing to take in today's hyper-exposed world of pop", describing the show as "overwrought and uncomfortable at times, but [it] excels at challenging norms and provoking thought in a way that just isn't common for mainstream musical acts of late".
In June 2013, West and television personality Kim Kardashian announced the birth of their first child, North, and their engagement in October to widespread media attention. In November, West stated that he was beginning work on his next studio album, hoping to release it by mid-2014, with production by Rick Rubin and Q-Tip. In December 2013, Adidas announced the beginning of their official apparel collaboration with West, to be premiered the following year. In May 2014, West and Kardashian were married in a private ceremony in Florence, Italy, with a variety of artists and celebrities in attendance. West released a single, "Only One", featuring Paul McCartney, in December."FourFiveSeconds", a single jointly produced with Rihanna and McCartney, was released in January 2015. West also appeared on the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special, where he premiered a new song entitled "Wolves", featuring Sia and fellow Chicago rapper, Vic Mensa. In February 2015, West premiered his clothing collaboration with Adidas, entitled Yeezy Season 1, to generally positive reviews. This would include West's Yeezy Boost sneakers.In March 2015, West released the single "All Day" featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom and Paul McCartney. West performed the song at the 2015 BRIT Awards with a number of US rappers and UK grime MC's including: Skepta, Wiley, Novelist, Fekky, Krept & Konan, Stormzy, Allan Kingdom, Theophilus London and Vic Mensa. He would premiere the second iteration of his clothing line, Yeezy Season 2, in September 2015 at New York Fashion Week.Having initially announced a new album entitled Yeezus II slated for a 2014 release, in March 2015 West announced that the album would instead be tentatively called So Help Me God. On May 11, West was awarded an honorary doctorate by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for his contributions to music, fashion, and popular culture, officially making him an honorary DFA. The next month, West headlined at the Glastonbury Festival in the UK, despite a petition signed by almost 135,000 people against his appearance. Toward the end of a set which included performing part of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", West proclaimed himself "the greatest living rock star on the planet".Media outlets, including social media sites such as Twitter, were divided on his performance. NME stated, "The decision to book West for the slot has proved controversial since its announcement, and the show itself appeared to polarise both Glastonbury goers and those who tuned in to watch on their TVs." The publication added that "he's letting his music speak for and prove itself". The Guardian said that "his set has a potent ferocity—but there are gaps and stutters, and he cuts a strangely lone figure in front of the vast crowd." In September 2015, West performed 808s & Heartbreak in its entirety two nights in a row to rave reviews at Hollywood Bowl. The performance featured a 60-person orchestra, a live band, guests from the album and over 70 dancers. In December 2015, West released a song titled "Facts".
2016–2017: The Life of Pablo and tour cancellation
West announced in January 2016 that SWISH would be released on February 11, and later that month, released new songs "Real Friends" and a snippet of "No More Parties in LA" with Kendrick Lamar. This also revived the GOOD Fridays initiative in which he releases new singles every Friday. On January 26, 2016, West revealed he had renamed the album from SWISH to Waves, and also announced the premier of his Yeezy Season 3 clothing line at Madison Square Garden. In the weeks leading up to the album's release, West became embroiled in several Twitter controversies and released several changing iterations of the tracklist for the new album.
Several days ahead of its release, West again changed the title, this time to The Life of Pablo. On February 11, West premiered the album at Madison Square Garden as part of the presentation of his Yeezy Season 3 clothing line. Following the preview, West announced that he would be modifying the tracklist once more before its release to the public, and further delayed its release to finalize the recording of the track "Waves" at the behest of co-writer Chance the Rapper. He released the album exclusively on Tidal on February 14, 2016, following a performance on SNL.Following its official streaming release, West continued to tinker with mixes of several tracks, describing the work as "a living breathing changing creative expression" and proclaiming the end of the album as a dominant release form. Although a statement by West around The Life of Pablo's initial release indicated that the album would be a permanent exclusive to Tidal, the album was released through several other competing services starting in April.
In February 2016, West stated on Twitter that he was planning to release another album in the summer of 2016, tentatively called Turbo Grafx 16 in reference to the 1990s video game console of the same name. In June 2016, West released the collaborative lead single "Champions" off the GOOD Music album Cruel Winter, which has yet to be released. Later that month, West released a controversial video for "Famous", which depicted wax figures of several celebrities (including West, Kardashian, Taylor Swift, businessman and then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, comedian Bill Cosby, and former president George W. Bush) sleeping nude in a shared bed.In August 2016, West embarked on the Saint Pablo Tour in support of The Life of Pablo. The performances featured a mobile stage suspended from the ceiling. West postponed several dates in October following the Paris robbery of several of his wife's effects. On November 21, 2016, West cancelled the remaining 21 dates on the Saint Pablo Tour, following a week of no-shows, curtailed concerts and rants about politics. He was later admitted for psychiatric observation at UCLA Medical Center. He stayed hospitalized over the Thanksgiving weekend because of a temporary psychosis stemming from sleep deprivation and extreme dehydration. Following this episode West took an 11-month break from Twitter, and the public in general.
2017–2019: Ye and the Wyoming Sessions
It was reported in May 2017 that West was recording new music in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with a wide range of collaborators. In April 2018, West announced plans to write a philosophy book entitled Break the Simulation, later clarifying that he was sharing the book "in real time" on Twitter and began posting content that was likened to "life coaching". Later that month, he also announced two new albums, a solo album and self-titled collaboration with Kid Cudi under the name Kids See Ghosts, both of which would be released in June. Additionally, he revealed he would produce upcoming albums by GOOD Music label-mates Pusha T and Teyana Taylor, as well as Nas. Shortly thereafter, West released the non-album singles "Lift Yourself", a "strange, gibberish track" featuring nonsensical lyrics, and "Ye vs. the People", in which he and T.I. discussed West's controversial support of Donald Trump.
Pusha T's Daytona, "the first project out of Wyoming", was released in May to critical acclaim, although the album's artwork—a photograph of deceased singer Whitney Houston's bathroom that West paid $85,000 to license—attracted some controversy. The following week, West released his eighth studio album, Ye. West has suggested that he scrapped the original recordings of the album and re-recorded it within a month. The week after, West released a collaborative album with Kid Cudi, titled Kids See Ghosts, named after their group of the same name. West also completed production work on Nas' Nasir and Teyana Taylor's K.T.S.E., which were released in June 2018.On August 30, 2018, West released the non-album single "XTCY" which was originally slated to be included on Ye. On September 7, 2018, West released a collaboration with American rapper Lil Pump titled "I Love It". On September 9, 2018, West announced via Twitter that Watch the Throne 2 would be coming soon. Later that month, West also announced his ninth studio album Yandhi to be released by the end of the month and a collaborative album with fellow Chicagoan rapper Chance the Rapper titled Good Ass Job. West also announced in September that he would be changing his stage name to "Ye". Yandhi was originally set for release on September 29, 2018, but was postponed to November 23, 2018. West later postponed the album again in November 2018 with no new release date set.
Later in 2018, West began collaborating with other acts; he appeared as a guest feature on the tracks "Kanga" and "Mama" with Nicki Minaj on American rapper 6ix9ine's debut album Dummy Boy. West is also the sole feature on XXXTentacion's first posthumous album Skins. 6ix9ine and XXXTentacion were both slated to be included on Yandhi. In January 2019, West pulled out of headlining the years Coachella festival, after negotiations broke down due to discord regarding stage design.On July 18, 2019, it was reported that songs from West's unreleased album Yandhi were leaked online. By October of the same year, the whole leaked unfinished album was available for a short time on streaming services like Spotify and Tidal but was shortly taken down. On August 29, 2019, Kim Kardashian announced that West's next album would be titled Jesus Is King, effectively scrapping Yandhi.
2019–present: Jesus Is King, Donda, and Donda 2
On January 6, 2019, West started his weekly "Sunday Service" orchestration which includes soul variations of both West's and others' songs attended by multiple celebrities including the Kardashians, Charlie Wilson, and Kid Cudi. West previewed a new song, "Water" at his "Sunday Service" orchestration performance at weekend 2 of Coachella.On October 25, 2019, he released Jesus Is King, a Christian hip hop album. On the US charts, the album became the first to ever top the Billboard 200, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Top Rap Albums, Top Christian Albums and Top Gospel Albums at the same time. He also collaborated with Vanessa Beecroft on two operas, Nebuchadnezzar and Mary. On December 25, 2019, West and Sunday Service released Jesus Is Born, containing 19 songs including several re-workings of older West songs.On June 30, 2020, West released the single, titled "Wash Us in the Blood", featuring fellow American rapper and singer Travis Scott, along with the music video, which was set to serve as the lead single from his tenth studio album Donda, and draws similarities to the sound of his 2013 album Yeezus. However, in September 2020, West stated that he would not be releasing any further music until he is "done with [his] contract with Sony and Universal" in a Twitter rant about record company contracts, payments towards artists and musicians, and the topic of ownership of their masters.
On October 16, he released the single "Nah Nah Nah". On October 29, a remix was previewed over Twitter, featuring American rappers DaBaby and 2 Chainz. The remix was released November 13. On December 25, 2020, exactly one year after the release of Jesus is Born, West's Sunday Service released a new EP entitled Emmanuel. The mini-album, executively produced by West, consists of 5 songs entirely in Latin based in the style of Gregorian chant. On that same date, Playboi Carti's Whole Lotta Red was released, with West serving as executive producer of the album and appearing on the track "Go2DaMoon".On March 7, 2021, Cyhi the Prynce stated in an interview with VladTV that West had once again begun working on his upcoming album amid his divorce from Kim Kardashian. On July 17, Consequence posted a video of West in the studio with Tyler, the Creator on Instagram. The caption of the post suggested a late 2021 album release.On July 19, 2021, American rapper Pusha T announced on Instagram that West would be holding a listening event for the album on July 22 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The following day Beats Electronics premiered a commercial during game six of the 2021 NBA Finals featuring athlete Sha'Carri Richardson, edited and scored by West using the track "No Child Left Behind". French producer Gesaffelstein later stated that he produced the song, which featured Cory Henry playing the organ. Immediately following the commercial's debut, Def Jam Recordings confirmed the album's July 23 release date and revealed that the listening event in Atlanta would be globally live-streamed on Apple Music. The album ultimately remained unreleased on that date.At the July 22 listening party at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, West had taken up temporary residence in one of the stadium's locker rooms, converting it in to a recording studio to finish the recording and mixing with Mike Dean. Videos and photos posted to social media also showed featured artists Playboi Carti and 2 Chainz recording vocals in the locker room a day before the listening party. A second listening party event at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium took place on August 5, 2021, with West stating that the album would be released on the same day. However, this did not materialize.On August 18, 2021, he announced a third listening party scheduled for August 26, 2021, at the Soldier Field Stadium in Chicago. After multiple delays, Donda was eventually released on August 29, 2021. West claimed the album was released early without his approval. He also alleged that Universal had removed "Jail, Pt. 2", a song with features from artists with recent controversy, DaBaby and Marilyn Manson. The song was added to online music services soon after the release.On November 4, 2021, West appeared on Revolt TV's "Drink Champs" podcast and announced that he would soon release a deluxe version of Donda. The deluxe edition was released to streaming services on November 14, 2021, which included five new songs with new features from artists André 3000, Kid Cudi, and KayCyy. On November 20, 2021, days after ending their long-running feud, West and rapper Drake confirmed that they would stage the "Free Larry Hoover" benefit concert on December 9, 2021, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.On January 5, 2022, West was announced as one of the 2022 headliners of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Later the same month, West revealed the cover for his upcoming single "Eazy" with rapper the Game on Instagram. The picture prominently displays the corpse of a skinned monkey, which received criticism from the animal rights organization PETA, though it was originally taken by English photographer and occasional West collaborator Nick Knight in 1997. The song released on January 15.On January 27, 2022, West announced the release date of Donda 2, the sequel to Donda, on February 22 and that it would be executive produced by American rapper Future.On February 13, 2022, West announced an event for the sequel to Donda, Donda 2 at the LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida, on February 22. He also announced that Kid Cudi would not be on the album due to his friendship with "you know who" and saying "we all speak in Billie language now" referencing an apparent jab against Travis Scott.On February 22, 2022, West performed the Donda Experience Performance at LoanDepot Park. This performance consisted of tracks from Donda 2, Donda, and the Sunday Service Choir, and had special guest Performances from The Game, Migos, Pusha T, Jack Harlow, Alicia Keys, Fivio Foreign, and Playboi Carti
West's musical career is defined by frequent stylistic shifts and different musical approaches. In the subsequent years since his debut, West has both musically and lyrically taken an increasingly experimental approach to crafting progressive hip hop music while maintaining accessible pop sensibilities. He has introduced new musical elements and unconventional reference points into his sonic palette with each album. Over time, West has explored a variety of music genres encompassing soul, baroque-pop, stadium rock, electro, house-music, indie rock, synth-pop, progressive rock, industrial, punk and gospel.West's approach to record production is consistently rich, nuanced and thought-provoking. His productions are akin to musical compositions, bearing an ornate style with more depth typical of hip hop artists while making use of an ear for hooks. He incorporates live instruments, manipulated vocal samples and dramatic arrangements to supplement his beats. His later musical works increasingly relied on the application of digital audio workstations and computerized synths, bass, and drums.West also surveys and analyzes lyrical trends in the continuously evolving landscape of hip hop culture, often changing his approach to rhyming couplets for his songwriting and delivery. Lyrically, West's wordplay generally contains a proliferation of puns and inventive, multi-syllabic rhymes. Both his songwriting and vocal delivery rely on lines laden with transformative and slant rhymes, with West, often altering the pronunciation of his words.West admits his rapping ability is not as dexterous as peers Jay-Z, Eminem and Nas, so he compensates with the subject matter. He elaborates, "the songs offer melody and message. That's the main goal. I saw it as a simple math project: If I can rap 70 to 80 percent as good as the beats are, I'll be successful." West drew influence from mainstream rappers such as Mase and his Roc-A-Fella labelmates Jay-Z and Cam'ron in conjunction with underground hip hop artists like Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Dead Prez. Kanye stated that Dead Prez in particular helped him discover a style of making "raps with a message sound cool".
With his debut album, West managed to strike a balance between smart and savvy rap lyrical themes. As his songwriting injects pop melodies into raw hip hop beats, West's lyrics find him rapping about substantial issues in addition to amusing topics ranging from Jesus and weight loss in a way that resulted in widespread commercial appeal. They successfully struck a chord with both mainstream hip hop audience as well as its alternative sector. His rhymes have been described as funny, provocative and articulate, capable of seamlessly segueing from shrewd commentary to comical braggadocio to introspective sensitivity. West imparts that he's conscious of the circumstances of his surroundings and strives to speak in an inclusive manner so groups from different racial and gender backgrounds can comprehend his lyrics, saying he desired to sound "just as ill as Jadakiss and just as understandable as Will Smith".Asked about his early musical inspirations in 2008, he named artists such as A Tribe Called Quest, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, George Michael, LL Cool J, Phil Collins and Madonna. Regarding the influence of A Tribe Called Quest producer Q-Tip, West stated, "Midnight Marauders, 'Electric Relaxation', Low End Theory—a lot of the melodies and the type of chords they would sample ... was what I was going for when I did The College Dropout. When I felt like I was at my highest level was when I was closest to a Tribe record. So, a record like 'Heard 'Em Say' was an accomplishment for me—to even have something that was close to what they did." Other musicians West has invoked as general inspirations include David Bowie, Miles Davis and Gil-Scott Heron.West was formatively mentored by Chicago producer No I.D., who introduced him to record production in the early 1990s, allowing a teenage West to sit in on recording sessions. West has cited Wu-Tang Clan producer and leader RZA as a prominent influence on his style. He stated, "Me and my friends talk about this all the time ... We think Wu-Tang had one of the biggest impacts as far as a movement. From slang to style of dress, skits, the samples. Similar to the [production] style I use, RZA has been doing that." On his behalf, RZA has responded favorably to comparisons between him and West. He said, "All good. Kanye West, I got super respect for Kanye. He came up to me about a year or two ago. He gave me mad praising and blessings. He had a lot to say about things I did. ... It's like when I met Isaac Hayes."West's early sound was largely influenced by 1990s hip hop music, particularly that of the East Coast. Despite hailing from Chicago, West expressed a preference for New York artists, tailoring both his lyricism and fashion sense after rappers such as Raekwon and Nas. He recalled, "I used to love people like Wu-Tang Clan, Biggie, and Nas—people that sold records. I liked Common okay, you know, since he was from Chicago, but I wanted to dress like Nas." Regarding production, according to No I.D., who mentored him from age 14, West "made Puffy-style poppish beats."Sharing similar sentiments, West's close friend and collaborator singer-songwriter and musician John Legend once described him as "the singsongy rapper/producer with the overtly pop sensibility." West also claims that he used to make beats reminiscent of Timbaland and DJ Premier. Alongside DJ Premier, the soulful nature of his early production bears an influence of Prince Paul, while the slightly off-kilter drum-machine beats he crafted for tracks reflect J Dilla. While speaking on the late producer, West praised Dilla's ability concerning drums. He asserted, "That man was a genius. Whatever he could do to tweak that MPC the way he worked. He worked it in a different type of way."West subsequently developed a hip hop production style driven by melodic and rhythmic hooks derived from samples of classic soul records. He would take cues from the traditional sounds of early 1990s New York City hip hop, with an emphasis on infectious looped samples and dense drums or percussion, and channel the aesthetic through contemporary record production while polishing it to a pop sheen.
Early in his career, West pioneered a style of hip-hop production dubbed "chipmunk-soul". His method of sampling technique is reminiscent of record production from the 1990s, involving the manipulation of tempo in order to chop and stretch pitched-up samples from vintage soul songs. According to mixing engineer Craig Bauer, the co-owner of Hinge Studios, a downtown Chicago recording and mixing facility where West has been a client, "He knew what he wanted, and he was always striving to make his beats sound like no one else's. He would lift samples and manipulate them—twist them around, turn them up an octave—until he got something fresh out of something that was made twenty or thirty years ago. He never wanted to be like someone else." This is typically done on an Akai MPC or an Ensoniq ASR-10 and combined with his own instrumentation.Prior to his first studio album, West worked closely and collaborated with music star John Legend on his mixtape Get Well Soon (2002). West further developed his style on his debut studio album, The College Dropout (2004). On the album, West formed the constitutive elements of his style: intricate hip-hop beats, topical subject matter, and clumsy rapping laced with inventive wordplay. After a rough version was leaked, West meticulously refined the production, adding string arrangements, gospel choirs, and improved drum programming. Alongside soul samples, the record was characterized by its relatable lyrics. West drew from his own experiences after leaving college to pursue music and recovering from a near-fatal car accident. The record saw West diverge from the then-dominant gangster persona in hip hop in favor of more diverse, topical lyrical subjects. His songs found him rapping about higher education, materialism, self-consciousness, minimum-wage labor, institutional prejudice, class struggle, family, sexuality, and his own self-doubts and personal struggles in the music industry in a manner particular to his middle-class upbringing.West progressed forward towards more musically adventurous, maximalistic production on his subsequent albums, beginning with his sophomore effort, Late Registration (2005). For his second album, West collaborated with film score composer Jon Brion and drew influence from diverse influences such as English trip hop group Portishead. Blending West's primary soulful hip hop production with Brion's elaborate chamber pop orchestration, the album experimentally incorporated a wide array of different genres and prominent orchestral elements, including string arrangements, piano chords, brass flecks, and horn riffs, amid a myriad of foreign and vintage instruments. Critic Robert Christgau wrote that "there's never been hip-hop so complex and subtle musically". In addition, West's flow improved since his debut album. He became more adept at syncing his phrases up with beats instead of merely coasting over them to deliver punch lines. With his lyrics, West displayed an aptitude for personalizing what would otherwise be political, dwelling on matters close to heart.On his third album, Graduation (2007), West moved towards and atmospheric soundscape influenced by rock music, electronics, and europop—with all three influences on display in the album's break-out single "Stronger" which prominently features Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". West retracted much of the soulful sampling and rich live instrumentation that characterized his previous albums and replaced them with loud, gothic synthesizers. He incorporated layers of distorted synth-chords, house beats, electro-disco rhythms, and a wide array of modulated electronic noises and digital audio-effects into his hip-hop production. West was primarily influenced by arena rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, U2 and Led Zeppelin.Drawing from his experiences on stadium tours, West progressed to a more anthemic style of composing rap songs that would function well when performing in large arenas. He also drew musical inspiration from European Britpop and Euro-disco, American alternative and indie-rock, and his native Chicago house. Lyrically, Graduation is more introspective in comparison to predecessors. West dedicated much of his songwriting towards providing inspirational messages directed at individuals while exploring personal issues surrounding his own fame and media scrutiny.
West's fourth studio album, 808s & Heartbreak (2008), marked a radical departure from his previous releases. He largely abandoned rapping over hip-hop beats in favor of emotive, melodic singing within a stark synth-driven electropop soundscape. West stripped away samples and relied almost entirely on droning synthesizers as instruments while singing with the use of Auto-Tune. Throughout the album, he juxtaposes the electronic feel generated by Auto-Tune and distorted Roland TR-808 drum machine with lengthy strings, somber piano and tribal rhythms. Impacted by the death of his mother, Donda West, as well as the broken engagement from his fiancée, designer Alexis Phifer, he wrote more sensitive pop songs about love and relationships. West was inspired to sing thanks to words of encouragement from famed pop artist Michael Jackson.Prior to its release, West also cited inspiration from 1980s synthpop artists such as Phil Collins, Gary Numan, and Boy George and confessed an affinity with the work of post-punk and new wave groups such as Joy Division, The Police and TJ Swan. He would later describe 808s & Heartbreak as "the first black new wave album". Discussing the album's subsequent influence on popular music, journalist Matthew Trammell for Rolling Stone described 808s as "Kanye's most vulnerable work, and perhaps his most brilliant".
West recorded his fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), with a wide range of collaborators. The album engages with themes of excess, celebrity, and decadence, has been noted by writers for its maximalist aesthetic and its incorporation of elements from West's previous four albums. Entertainment Weekly's Simon Vozick-Levinson noted that such elements "all recur at various points", namely "the luxurious soul of 2004's The College Dropout, the symphonic pomp of Late Registration, the gloss of 2007's Graduation, and the emotionally exhausted electro of 2008's 808s & Heartbreak." In a positive review, Andy Gill of The Independent called it "one of pop's gaudiest, most grandiose efforts of recent years, a no-holds-barred musical extravaganza in which any notion of good taste is abandoned at the door."Describing his sixth studio album Yeezus (2013) as "a protest to music", West embraced an abrasive style that incorporated a variety of unconventional influences. Music critic Greg Kot described it as "a hostile, abrasive and intentionally off-putting" album that combines "the worlds of" 1980s acid-house and contemporary Chicago drill music, 1990s industrial music, and the "avant-rap" of Saul Williams, Death Grips and Odd Future. The album also incorporates elements of trap music, as well as dancehall, punk, and electro. Inspired by the minimalist design of Le Corbusier and primarily electronic in nature, Yeezus also continues West's practice of eclectic and unusual samples. Rolling Stone called the album a "brilliant, obsessive-compulsive career auto-correct".West's seventh album The Life of Pablo (2016) was noted for its "raw, occasionally even intentionally messy, composition" in distinction to West's previous album. Rolling Stone wrote that "It's designed to sound like a work in progress." Carl Wilson of Slate characterized the album as creating "strange links between Kanye's many iterations—soul-sample enthusiast, heartbroken Auto-Tune crooner, hedonistic avant-pop composer, industrial-rap shit-talker." West initially characterized the release as "a gospel album". Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune wrote in his review of The Life of Pablo, "West's version of gospel touches on some of those sonic cues—heavy organ, soaring choirs—but seems more preoccupied with gospel text and the notion of redemption."
Early in his career, West made clear his interest in fashion and desire to work in the clothing design industry. In September 2005, West announced that he would release his Pastelle Clothing line in spring 2006, claiming "Now that I have a Grammy under my belt and Late Registration is finished, I am ready to launch my clothing line next spring." The line was developed over the following four years—with multiple pieces teased by West himself—before the line was ultimately cancelled in 2009. January 2007 saw the release of West’s first sneaker collaborations, a special-edition Bapesta from A Bathing Ape. Unlike subsequent co-branded releases in which West created an entirely new silhouette from the ground up, this joint venture utilized an existing model. The design featured the ”Dropout Bear" mascot from The College Dropout, on the heel, as well as using the brown, orange, and tan color scheme that appeared on the cover of the aformentiated album.In 2009, West collaborated with Nike to release his own shoe, the Air Yeezys, with a second version released in 2012. He became the first non-athlete to be given a shoe deal with Nike. In January 2009, he introduced his first shoe line designed for Louis Vuitton during Paris Fashion Week. The line was released in summer 2009. West has additionally designed shoewear for Italian shoemaker Giuseppe Zanotti. In fall 2009, West moved to Rome and did an internship at Italian fashion brand Fendi where he gave ideas for the men's collection. In March 2011, West collaborated with M/M Paris for a series of silk scarves featuring artwork from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.On October 1, 2011, Kanye West premiered his women's fashion label, DW Kanye West at Paris Fashion Week. He received support from DSquared2 duo Dean and Dan Caten, Olivier Theyskens, Jeremy Scott, Azzedine Alaïa, and the Olsen twins, who were also in attendance during his show. His debut fashion show received mixed-to-negative reviews, ranging from reserved observations by Style.com to excoriating commentary in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Elle UK, The Daily Telegraph, Harper's Bazaar and many others. On March 6, 2012, West premiered a second fashion line at Paris Fashion Week. The line's reception was markedly improved from the previous presentation, with a number of critics heralding West for his "much improved" sophomore effort.
On December 3, 2013, Adidas officially confirmed a new shoe collaboration deal with West. After months of anticipation and rumors, West confirmed the release of the Adidas Yeezy Boosts. In 2015, West unveiled his Yeezy Season clothing line, premiering Season 1 in collaboration with Adidas early in the year. The line received positive critical reviews, with Vogue observing "a protective toughness, a body-conscious severity that made the clothes more than a simple accessory." The release of the Yeezy Boosts and the full Adidas collaboration was showcased in New York City on February 12, 2015, with free streaming to 50 cinemas in 13 countries around the world.An initial release of the Adidas Yeezy Boosts was limited to 9000 pairs to be available only in New York City via the Adidas smartphone app; the Adidas Yeezy Boosts were sold out within 10 minutes. The shoes released worldwide on February 28, 2015, were limited to select boutique stores and the Adidas UK stores. He followed with Season 2 later that year at New York Fashion Week. On February 11, West premiered his Yeezy Season 3 clothing line at Madison Square Garden in conjunction with the previewing of his album The Life of Pablo. In June 2016, Adidas announced a new long-term contract with Kanye West which sees the Yeezy line extend to a number of stores and enter sports performance products. The Yeezys will be seen in basketball, football, soccer, and more.In February 2017, West unveiled the Yeezy Season 5 collection to favorable responses from critics. In May 2017, West, alongside wife Kim Kardashian, launched a clothing line for children titled "Kids Supply". A second collection was released in July 2017. In February, West tweeted "Yeezy is no longer a fashion company we should be referred to as apparel or clothing or simply YEEZY."West's Yeezy shoe line is considered one of the most influential sneaker brands in the world. Tim'm T. West has expressed how West's “creative flair for fashion parallels his musical risk-taking.” Another source, comparing West to an orisha, identified how his ability to undertake a multitude of projects has eroded traditional categories for creative output.In January 2018, a series of influencers posed as Kim Kardashian clones on Instagram advertising Yeezy Season 6. This stunt questioned whether West needed or cared to engage with the fashion industry. Whether or not it was a playful ode to his wife or a comment on consumerism through social media. The stunt schemed to upend the top-down nature of the fashion industry, the models ranged from influencers to porn stars to Paris Hilton, all in platinum blonde, wearing Yeezy season 6.
In May 2021, West signed a 10-year deal, linking Yeezy with GAP. The collection is being led by 25-year-old Nigerian-British designer Mowalola Ogunlesi. The first piece from the collection was released in June 2021, a blue, seamless, down jacket and it was very well received, selling out almost instantly.
West founded the record label and production company GOOD Music in 2004, in conjunction with Sony BMG, shortly after releasing his debut album, The College Dropout. West, alongside then-unknown Ohio singer John Legend and fellow Chicago rapper Common were the label's inaugural artists. The label houses artists including West, Big Sean, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor, Yasiin Bey / Mos Def, D'banj and John Legend, and producers including Hudson Mohawke, Q-Tip, Travis Scott, No I.D., Jeff Bhasker, and S1. GOOD Music has released ten albums certified gold or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In November 2015, West appointed Pusha T the new president of GOOD Music.In August 2008, West revealed plans to open 10 Fatburger restaurants in the Chicago area; the first was set to open in September 2008 in Orland Park. The second followed in January 2009, while a third location is yet to be revealed, although the process is being finalized. His company, KW Foods LLC, bought the rights to the chain in Chicago. Ultimately, in 2009, only two locations actually opened. In February 2011, West shut down the Fatburger located in Orland Park. Later that year, the remaining Beverly location also was shuttered.On January 5, 2012, West announced his establishment of the creative content company DONDA, named after his late mother Donda West. In his announcement, West proclaimed that the company would "pick up where Steve Jobs left off"; DONDA would operate as "a design company which will galvanize amazing thinkers in a creative space to bounce their dreams and ideas" with the "goal to make products and experiences that people want and can afford." West is notoriously secretive about the company's operations, maintaining neither an official website nor a social media presence. In stating DONDA's creative philosophy, West articulated the need to "put creatives in a room together with like minds" in order to "simplify and aesthetically improve everything we see, taste, touch, and feel." Contemporary critics have noted the consistent minimalistic aesthetic exhibited throughout DONDA creative projects.On March 30, 2015, it was announced that West is a co-owner, with various other music artists, in the music streaming service Tidal. The service specialises in lossless audio and high definition music videos. Jay-Z acquired the parent company of Tidal, Aspiro, in the first quarter of 2015. Sixteen artist stakeholders including Jay-Z, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Madonna, Chris Martin, Nicki Minaj co-own Tidal, with the majority owning a 3% equity stake. The idea of having an all artist owned streaming service was created by those involved to adapt to the increased demand for streaming within the current music industry, and to rival other streaming services such as Spotify, which have been criticised for their low payout of royalties. "The challenge is to get everyone to respect music again, to recognize its value", stated Jay-Z on the release of Tidal.On June 6, 2016, West announced the Yeezy Season 2 Zine. The Adidas Yeezy Boost 750 sneakers were
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