Happy Birthday, Kanye West!
Today (June 8), we wish a happy birthday to a Chicagoan you might have heard of. His name is Kanye West, a self-proclaimed creative genius. The famed artist turns 38 years old.
West's biography is the most well-known and transparent of rap's superstars. By now, you've heard of his rise from an aspiring creative with a middle class background to a Polo-wearing star who broke black hyper-masculinity's grasp on mainstream hip-hop. The College Dropout was excellent, and Late Registration pushed that soulful sound into ambitious, orchestral territories. Graduation attempted and achieved stadium status, and the Auto-Tune emotion of 808s & Heartbreak laid the sound bed for Drake's career.
You also probably heard about the Taylor Swift incident, and how West responded by owning up to that polarizing image with the grandiose, narcissistic My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which rivals Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city as the greatest album of the past five years. Yeezus dropped in 2013, and had the critics clamoring. Now we wait for West's next album, SWISH.
In addition to having perhaps the most impressive catalog of studio albums in hip-hop history, West is known as a fashion trendsetter. Shutter shades are played out, but it's because so many people excessively wore the accessory after West rocked them in the "Stronger" video. Then there are the Yeezys, the most sought-after kicks in recent memory.
Besides West's rap career, he mentors the likes of Big Sean and oversees a variety of creative projects with DONDA. These days, he's trying his hand at being a father. North West is already a star, and she has a sibling on the way.
See Worst to First: Every Kanye West Album Ranked