|One of the most polarizing figures in all of music, Kanye West has become recognizable among the biggest stars of his generation as an icon of pop, rap and hip hop. Attempting to describe his style in a single word is somewhat cumbersome, as West has bridged elements of many different sounds and styles throughout a career that has spanned more than a decade. His roots exist in production of popular rap, R&B and hip hop songs during the late 1990s, but his music has blossomed into a sound that takes from jazz, rock and many more genres. Take in this wonder of modern style, music and culture by purchasing your Kanye West tickets today!
Early years and career beginnings
Though he was born in Atlanta, West was raised in Chicago for the vast majority of his childhood and adolescence. The Windy City has become a recurring theme in his music, and he often uses his lyrics to reminisce on some of the hardships he underwent throughout his youth. West became interested in the city’s hip hop scene from a very young age and desired to become a part of it. He? started writing raps while he was still in elementary school. He continued to pursue this ambition through his late adolescence, ultimately becoming involved in the popular music scene as a producer. West quickly gained prominence by designing and assisting with the production of tracks for a number of high-profile artists. One of his first big breaks came with the release of Jay-Z’s The Blueprint in 2001, on which he was a credited producer. Still, West maintained dreams of being a rapper, and was finally able to gain a contract with Jay-Z’s label, Roc-A-Fella, the next year.
Celebrity and fame
Through Roc-A-Fella, West released his first full-length studio album, The College Dropout in 2004. The title of the record is an homage to West himself, who attended art school very briefly before leaving to follow his dream of making it in music. The album was a smash hit, and was received exceptionally well by both critics and fans. The College Dropout included several of West’s greatest hits, such as “Jesus Walks,” “Never Let Me Down,” “Slow Jamz,” “Get ’Em High” and “All Falls Down.” Since then, West has gone on to release five other studio albums: Late Registration, Graduation, 808’s & Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus. He has also been included as a co-artist on a number of high-profile collaborations, most notably Watch The Throne with Jay-Z.
Critical reception and awards
From a perspective of commercial success, few artists can stack up the resume that West has accrued. His musical acumen has been recognized time and time again, cumulating in a staggering total of 21 Grammy awards. He has sold more than 21 million records and upwards of 60 million digital downloads, placing him firmly among the best-selling musical artists of all time, regardless of genre. His music is routinely used in a plethora of films and television series, and he himself has become a beacon of international fashion.