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Artist Spotlight: Kanye West

By: Gabe Rosario

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Music has always been something people can strongly connect with.  These articles will be taking you through time and exploring different artists past, present, and possibly even future. Since this is the first edition of the artist spotlight here’s an artist who most should be familiar with, Kanye West.

West has been soaking up the limelight for a pretty long time now, but he wasn’t always the person you see today. His production debut on the 1996 album, Down To Earth by Chicago rapper Grav, set the foundation for what would be an extremely successful music career. West wasn’t thrust into stardom until he started producing for artists signed to Roc-A-Fella Records, at age 23, where he produced some tracks on The Blueprint. The Blueprint is now recognized amongst the greatest albums in hip-hop history. Previously having been an in house producer for the label, west was looked at as a producer first and rapper second, which is why he was eventually, reluctantly signed to Roc-A-Fella Records.

In 2004, West released a hit single, “Through the Wire”, after being in a nearly fatal car accident and having his jaw wired shut. This song helped lay a foundation for his rap career, and first album, College Dropout. The title of course alluding to his leaving Chicago State University, to pursue a career in music. His mother, who was a professor at the university at the time, was not very happy about his decision. However, years after she came out in support of her son, saying that not all dreams require college education. This would be the start of a very successful musical career, leaving the eye of the public on West and eventually his family.

My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.”

Of course, many antics have taken place over the years, from claiming “President Bush does not like black people,” and even more recently with the since resolved twitter feud between West and fellow rapper Wiz Khalifa, who said in a recent interview, “the way that we settled it, and the way that we bounced back is all that matters.” Ever since his rise to fame, he has always had a certain eccentricity that has almost pandered to the paparazzi. West married fellow celebrity icon Kim Kardashian in May of 2014, shortly after the birth of their first daughter, North West. North, thrust into a celebrity lifestyle, has been pictured with Kim and Kanye on many occasions.

West has made it clear that he feels the paparazzi hasn’t been fair towards him and his family, but it obviously comes with the territory.  That is, being a renowned producer, rapper, and now designer, doesn’t keep you far from the spotlight.

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Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Extraordinary
Artist Spotlight: Kanye West