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Kanye West: Life Of The Progressive Hip Hop Star

1208 words - 5 pages

as Author Ben Sweetland once said, “Success is a journey, not a destination.”
Kanye West has been an icon in American hip-hop culture for over a decade. His music, fashion line, producing skills, and flamboyant personality has influenced many people for generations to come. Coming out of Chicago, many people in the music industry didn't even think Kanye had a chance to become a figure in hip-hop, but his hard work and persistence paid off. Kanye started off his music career as a producer. He produced music for the likes of major artists such as Common and Jay-Z. His first major breakthrough came from producing Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint”— which is certified 2x platinum. Kanye believed he could be a successful rapper as well, but music executives didn't believe he had it in him. That all changed when Roc-A-Fella records signed Kanye to their label, and gave him a chance to shine as a rapper. Kanye’s background, critical analysis, and importance all shows that he has become one of the most important characters in American hip-hop culture to this day.
Kanye Omari West was born in Atlanta, Georgia on June, 8 1977. His mom and him soon relocated to Chicago, Illinois after his parents divorced. Kanye spent all of his youth life in Chicago. He spent his time during the school year with his mother, who was an English professor, and spent summers with his dad, who was an award-winning photographer then turned church counselor. “I was taught to think on my own growing up, that’s what a lot of black kids don’t get” (Newsmakers 2). During his time in high school he became friends with producer No I.D., who was working with the rapper Common prior to him becoming famous. This is where Kanye got his beginnings in the producing industry. Kanye went on to graduate from Polaris High School in Chicago. He then completed one year of college at Chicago State University, but he dropped out after that one year. "I dropped out because I wasn't learning fast enough... I learned from real life better" (Kanye West Biography 2). He also believed he didn't need college because he grew up with a college professor as his mother.
After he dropped out of high school, he started to work with local artists to help launch his music career. In 1998 Kanye moved to New York City to further his career. Kanye's big breakthrough came to him when he produced 5 songs on Jay-Z's "The Blueprint". He then began to work with other artists within Jay-Z's label. Kanye has now produced for more than 40 artists including DMX, Beyoncé, and Ludacris. In 2001, West began to work on an album of his own, but record label executives were not so open to the idea.
"Kanye wore a pink shirt with the collar sticking up with Gucci loafers. We all grew up street guys who had to do whatever we we had to do to get by. Then there's Kanye, who to my knowledge has never hustled a day in his life. I didn't see how it could work" (Newsmakers 2).
West decided to name his debut album "The College Dropout". A near...

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