Kanye West studied at Chicago State University and at Columbia College in Chicago for a short period before he made the decision to drop out and turn to hiphop music, much to the dismay of his parents. Without a talent such as Kanye’s, this could be a disastrous mistake, but in his case it proved to be an intuitively good move as he is inherently talented and business-minded, and he knew that his passion lay in writing, recording and performing music.
West started on his road to stardom by collaborating with local up-and-coming hometown artists, most notably with Jermaine Dupris and Nas. He used the song Turn it On, sample-free and straight sonic, as a base for improving and honing his musical talents with the help of Madd Rapper Derrick Angeletti, for whom he also ghost-produced. Kanye contributed to Jay-Z’s influential and critically acclaimed album The Blueprint in 2001 and is widely credited with reigniting the rapper’s career. West laced the beats for the Izzo anthem and created the lyrical shots for Takeover. He also coordinated the beats for Beanie Sigel and other artists.
Although he also dabbled in MC techniques, Kanye was not yet taken seriously in rapper terms, as record companies of the time associated rappers with dodgy, often criminal backgrounds and expected them to have a history of drug dealing and violence before being signed on, almost as a rite of passage. His relatively middle-class, college-boy background worked against him in the rapper scene. He held a string of meetings with Capitol Records executives but couldn’t cut a deal, and he was eventually signed up by Roc-A-Fella, owned by Jay-Z, when he threatened to leave and take his producing talents with him.
West’s breakthrough hit, Through the Wire, was recorded in 2003 with his mouth still wired shut following a traffic accident and featured on his groundbreaking debut album The College Dropout, which received great plaudits from the music media. Kanye West tickets at this time were selling like extremely well.
Late Registration, West’s second album, came out in 2005, produced by Jon Brion, who worked on the soundscape, whilst West contributed witty and irreverent lyrics laced with pithy social commentary. West took three awards at the Grammys in 2006, confirming his mass appeal as one of the more talented and intelligent rappers of his generation.
His album 808s and Heartbreak tried out a more electronic sound, and with that gained the attention of the organisers of Global Gathering, where he headlined in 2008. The Kanye West tickets sold well for the festival and dance lovers from the whole of the UK were bowled over by his stage presence.
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