Breaking traditional mainstream hip-hop guidelines, Kanye West's latest release features epic raps and long instrumental variations for his most innovative album to date.
An autopsy was scheduled for the mother of Kanye West after preliminary information suggested she died of surgical complications, a coroner’s investigator said Monday.
West also displayed his political passions with two benefit performances in the summer of 2005. First, he performed at the Live 8 concert, meant to raise awareness about poverty and debt in the Third World. Then, after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States in late August, West joined the benefit A Concert for Hurricane Relief. It was broadcast on NBC–TV four days after the storm, when the country was still watching terrifying news footage of evacuees stranded and even dying in downtown New Orleans. West criticized the federal government's response to the crisis in remarks carried live on national television. "George Bush doesn't care about black people," he charged, according to the Associated Press, adding that the country is set up "to help the poor, the black people, the less well–off as slow as possible."
West reportedly spent $2 million putting his second album together, breaking his production budget. He surprised many by working with producer Jon Brion, whose previous work had been mostly with alternative singer–songwriters, such as Fiona Apple and Aimee Mann. West aimed to have more musicianship on the new album: 40–piece string sets and 30–piece horn sections grace some tracks. Guests on the album included Jay–Z, Foxx, R&B singer Brandy, Adam Levine of the band Maroon 5, and the rapper Nas.
Later that year, West released his second solo album, Late Registration, which spawned a series of hit singles ("Diamonds in Sierra Leone," "Gold Digger," "Heard 'Em Say," "Touch the Sky"). The album topped the charts, as did the "Gold Digger" single, and Late Registration eventually won a Grammy for Album of the Year.
In the wake of his breakout success, West earned a whopping ten nominations at the 47th annual Grammy Awards, held in early 2005. The College Dropout won the Best Rap Album award, "Jesus Walks" won Best Rap Song, and a songwriting credit on "You Don't Know My Name" for Best R&B Song award was shared with Alicia Keys and Harold Lilly.
After a frequent delay, "The College Dropout" made its way to touch the market on February 10, 2004. The result was beyond Kanye's expectation as this first album sold for 440,000 copies in its first week, garnering two times Platinum plus huge praise from both critics and fans. Furthermore, it quickly went to the second rank of Billboard 200 while its three singles, namely "Through The Wire", "Jesus Walks" and "All Falls Down" gloriously entered the top 20 of Billboard Hot 100 chart. This achievement led him to collect 10 nominations at the 47th annual Grammy Awards held in early 2005.
Supported by Kyambo "Hip-Hop" Joshua and G. Roberson who were the heads of a production and management company named Hip-Hop Since 1978, Kanye finally was signed to Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella as a recording artist. Unfortunately, before he could move further to complete the materials for his debut album, a tragic incident happened to him on October 23, 2002. Almost losing his life in a car crash, he was brought to the hospital with a broken jaw.
After spending time rapping and working with local artists, West moved to New York in 2001 to pursue his music career full time. Respected rapper Jay-Z hired him to produce songs for his album The Blueprint, which sold more than 420,000 copies in the first week alone. West went on to produce for a handful of stars including rapper Ludacris and singer Beyonce.
Rapper, record producer and singer. Kanye Omari West was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 8, 1977. His parents divorced when he was three. He was raised on Chicago's South Side by his mother, an English professor, and spent summers with his father, an award-winning photographer who became a church counselor.