- 11:40 AM, Feb 20
Being the son of a photojournalist and an English teacher, Kanye Omari West was properly raised in Chicago after his birth on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia. It was probably due to the influence of his parents, Ray and Donda West, that he gradually showed interest in poetry as well as visual arts. As he discovered a new attraction to music in his early teens, the boy started to spend most of the time harmonizing his rhyming skills with experimental beats produced through his keyboard. Under the guidance of the renowned Chicago producer, NO I.D., he afterwards uniquely created his own style which relies on the use of sped up vocal loops and sweeping strings. A promising chance to break into music industry approached in 1998 when Jermaine Dupri used one of Kanye's beats on his album entitled "Life in 1472." The unusual rhythm satisfyingly caught the attention of the hip-hop community, marking his initial success.
Looking upon his early attainment, Kanye decided to quit his study at Columbia College with the desire to pursue career as a music producer. Throughout 1999 and 2000, he had been involved in the album productions of some well-known singers, such as Trina & Tamara, Harlem World, The Madd Rapper and Lil' Kim. However, it was not until the following year that he came into popularity as he took part in Jay-Z's album, "The Blueprint." Inserting his beat-making style which has become his trademark in the hit tracks like "Takeover", "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" and "Never Change", he instantly became one of the most wanted producers when the album reached the top position of the Billboard Hot 200. This huge achievement apparently did not satisfy him for he then looked forward to develop another career as a performer. Nevertheless, the process was not easy since he had to face rejection from many record companies due to his appearance and overall style.
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. Since it was fractured in three places, his mouth