The Story Behind the Controversial Kanye West

photo+by+Peter+Hutchins
photo by Peter Hutchins

photo by Peter Hutchins

photo by Peter Hutchins

Tim Sanchez (10th), Reporter

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What is happening with Yeezus?  To some, it seems as if he has lost his mind, while to others, he has emerged a genius. Over the past few months, popular culture giant Kanye West has made some remarks on political issues and on crimes against humanity. Many of his detractors have disagreed with such claims, while others acclaim that Kanye is a genius in defense of the rapper.

Throughout the years, a discussion has ensued on the changing Kanye West, his transition from the “Old Kanye” to the “New Kanye”, and what caused such changes. Some argue that the proof of his change is in his work as a rapper. He has been known to cover various issues ranging from fame, social life, and real life struggles in his music.

Kanye West is more than just a rapper; he is also a singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur and fashion designer. Before Kanye’s rap career started, he was a well known producer, famous for producing artists for Jay-Z’s record label, Roc-A-Fella Records. The first song he produced for Roc-A-Fella was “The Truth” by Beanie Sigel, from which he gained a little attention. After that, he produced one song called, “This Can’t Be Life” on the Roc-A-Fella compilation album, The Dynasty. His buzz gained higher status when he produced five songs for Jay-Z’s sixth album The Blueprint. West’s first album, The College Dropout, was released in 2004. It was recorded from 1999 to 2003. In 2003 during the album’s production, Kanye was involved in a fatal car accident while falling asleep behind the driver’s seat of a car and recorded his song “Through the Wire” while his jaw was wired shut.

After Kanye’s success with the release of The College Dropout, he began recording his second album, Late Registration, which was released in 2005. That album sold 3.1 million copies worldwide. Kanye began making his third album titled Graduation which was released in 2007. Two months after Graduation was released Kanye’s mother Donda West passed away and the death of his mother tore him apart musically and physically. In 2008, Kanye released his fourth album 808’s and Heartbreaks, which consisted of auto tuned music and non soul production unlike his other three albums.

Kanye West became a controversial figure to society from 2009 and beyond. At the 2009 MTV Music Awards, Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift after she won the award for Best Female Video, claiming Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” video was one of the best videos of all time and walked off the stage. Beyonce later in the show let Taylor Swift finish her speech while Kanye was removed from the remainder of the show. In 2010, he released his fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Sales for this album were lower than his previous albums.

Kanye then disappeared from the music scene for three years. He returned in 2013 with his sixth album, Yeezus, which was considered a flop by most critics and a success with others. He also made a compilation album with Jay-Z titled, Watch the Throne.  In 2016, Kanye released The Life of Pablo, which stirred up controversy with some songs but was ultimately recognized by fans and people in the industry.

Fast forward to April and May of 2018, where Kanye took to Twitter to make remarks about US president Donald Trump and Slavery among other topics. Kanye received criticism for his support of Trump and for saying that black folks are beginning to, in his opinion, make slavery seem like “a choice.” The same person that once said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” is supporting Trump, which is a sentiment that has confused and upset many. Others, however, are pleased with Kanye’s message of free thinking. Despite all of the criticism, Kanye has released a couple of songs for his upcoming album, “Lift Yourself” and “Ye vs. the People,” ft. T.I.. He has also appeared on TMZ about his comments on slavery, causing a TMZ associate to assert himself and repudiate Kanye for morphing into something unrecognizable.

Kanye West may have attracted attention, but this game being played will dissolve. For now we’ll just see what happens next.

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