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Kanye West: From Producer to Rapper

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Kanye Omari West is a rapper and hip hop producer from Chicago, Illinois. He was born on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia and his artistic name is Kanye West. He attended a local art school in Chicago called the International Academy of Art and Design and Technology as well as Chicago State University before dropping out to work on his career. He began to gain recognition as a producer of major hit singles for Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Brandy, Janet Jackson, Ludacris, Talib Kweli, John Legend and Dilated Peoples. For a long period of time, Kanye West worked on his first solo album but its release kept being pushed back on several occasions.

He produced four songs of an album of Jay-Z's called The Blueprint. Kanye had a hard time getting his voice on a record; mainly because of his appearance and style. Even Jay-Z recognized that he saw West just as a producer. Many record companies were not willing to support Kanye West as a rapper because he was not as marketable as other rappers. On October 23, 2002, Kanye suffered a car crash that left his jaw fractured in three places. This experience inspired his first single: “Through the Wire.” This song was recorded just two weeks after the car crash, at that time West had his mouth still wired shut. “Through the Wire” is included in The College Dropout album along with “Jesus Walks”, a hit song of his benefit performances. Despite the success of The College Dropout, many fans still believe that he was better off as a producer.

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