With over 75 grammy nominations and 22 wins, Ye, previously known as Kanye West, is widely perceived as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of the 21st century. Born in 1977 in Atlanta. Ye grew up with a passion for music and started producing beats in the mid 1990s. He began to receive recognition for his work after the album “The Blueprint” by Jay Z, which he helped produce, gained international acclaim.
His first album, “The College Dropout,” came out in early 2004 with many of its songs charting on the Billboard Hot 100, and the album becoming triple platinum. After winning a plethora of awards for the college dropout, Ye started working on his second album, “Late Registration”, which came out in the summer of 2005. Over the next 16 years Ye would release 10 more albums, two of them collaborations with Jay Z and Kid Cudi and his latest release, Donda, released in the summer of 2021.
“I started listening to Ye in middle school, and he has since become my favorite rapper,” sophomore Andrea Benzaquen said. “His whole discography is amazing and it has helped me get through stuff.”
Ye is not only an icon in the music world, but in the sneaker game as well. In 2009 he collaborated with Nike to create the Air Yeezy and a second version of the shoe came out in 2012. The deal with Nike fell through and in 2015 Ye put out Yeezy season one, a partnership with Adidas. Since then Yeezy has become one of the biggest names in sneakers and brought in $1.3 billion in revenue in 2020, with Ye taking a rumored 5-11 percent of profits from the brand.
Meeting in 2003, but not pursuing a relationship until 2012 Ye and reality star Kim Kardashian married in 2014. The two have four children together and are widely regarded as one of the most iconic couples of the 2010s. Despite this, the two have had their fair share of problems including Ye publicly stating things like how he wanted their first child aborted and how the Kardhasians were trying to “lock him up.” Kim filed for divorce in February of 2021, and although the two are still technically married, they have both been seeing other people. Ye’s latest relationship is with actress Julia Fox,confirmed in January 2022.
Beside his relationship drama, Ye has had a substantial amount of scandals in his career including a feud with singer Taylor Swift. This feud began in 2009 when Ye interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the MTV Awards Show. Ye later apologized but the flame was reignited after Ye’s “The Life of Pablo” came out and Taylor was mentioned in a line in the song “Famous” which she claims she didn’t consent to.
In 2005 Ye said that, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on national television during a benefit concert for the Hurricane Katrina relief fund, which sparked national backlash. Ye also made a run for president during the U.S 2020 election where he went on a campaign trail to promote his movement, “Kanye 2020”.
From being an aspiring music producer to one of the most successful rappers of our time, Ye has cemented his legacy as an icon in the music industry.