This Kanye West biography, written for readers at the high school level and older (young adult), covers the rapper and producer’s early life and career, from his birth in Georgia and upbringing mostly in the Chicago area, to his breaking into rap laying tracks for other artists and as a producer, to his later success as a solo performer and recorder. Kanye West was made MTV’s Man of the Year in 2010, and voted as “Hottest MC” by MTV in 2008; he has been extremely successful as a producer and as a rap artist and, as a relative latecomer to the genre (his career as a producer began in 2000 and he didn’t record his first album until 2004), he has taken it in some different directions than it had taken in the past, both musically and philosophically.
A producer turned rapper, taking the music in new directions
Kanye West: A Biography includes a timeline of Kanye West’s accomplishments and milestones, a comprehensive list of his songs, albums, and awards, with annotations, and a bibliography listing books, magazine and newspaper articles, web articles, and interviews. West is an outspoken man, both articulate and opinionated. He has criticized President Bush as racist, hip-hop culture as homophobic (he stated that his own attitudes changed due to having a gay cousin), and blacks as failing to seize all of the opportunities available to them. He is a well-known philanthropist, contributing much of his fortune to causes he believes in and the betterment of society. He is a devout Christian and man of faith, and his faith emerges in his music. All of this makes Kanye West a bit different from the stereotypical rapper, but it’s the glory of art to evolve and my thought about him is that he represents a maturation of the genre – the gangsta image was never the soul of rap anyway. He’s an important man in music and one worth knowing about, and this Kanye West biography is a good place to start.