Kanye West: The Evolution of…
The name has different meanings to different individuals. To some, Kanye West is the greatest of all time and a true hero to the world. To others, he is a fool who has continued to make himself more of a fool over the years of his career. And of course there are some who fall in between these two extremes. Well, we are here to tell you that although ‘Ye has made some foolish decisions, these do not take away from his genius, and he still deserves at least some recognition for the accomplishments he has made over his time in the spotlight.
In 2004, Kanye West broke onto the scene with his debut album, The College Dropout. The album skyrocket West to fame, with hits like Jesus Walks, Slow Jamz, and the classic Through the Wire, a track West recorded after a near-fatal car crash in which his lower jaw was wired shut. From there, Kanye West’s career skyrocketed with his following albums Late Registration (2005), Graduation (2007), 808’s and Heartbreak (2008), and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010).
Each of these albums showed an evolution of West’s mindset. While the early albums like Late Registration and Graduation explored West’s early life and familial relationships (like in Roses and Hey Mama) as well as his new life as a superstar (songs like Good Life), West’s later albums showed more of his life as a successful celebrity and the lifestyle change that took place.
Following his major success as a musician, West began to venture into the fashion industry by partnering with the Nike brand, while continuing to produce music. His later, less successful albums such as Yeezus, The Life of Pablo and Ye, received much criticism from fans, claiming it “wasn’t the old Kanye they were used to.” These albums, like the others, showed a change in Kanye’s mindset and moved more toward an experimental sound that, while uncomfortable to some, found an audience in fans that chose to grow with Kanye.
In 2009, West signed with major sneaker giant, Nike, and thus began West’s work in the fashion industry. The Nike Air Yeezy was one of the most sought after shoes of it’s time period, reselling for thousands of dollars with it’s “Red October” iteration, which sold out on Nike’s website in seconds.
In late 2014, West left Nike citing that his reason for leaving was a “lack of control” from the Nike higher-ups, and in early 2015, Yeezy began work with Adidas, which later lead to West’s multiple releases of the Adidas Yeezy Boost, which is currently one of the most popular sneakers on the market, and are widely more successful than the Nike Air Yeezy due to a more mass production and a more affordable price point. During his time with Adidas, West was also able to release his own fashion line, simply titled, “Yeezy.” At this point not only had Kanye combined the music industry with the sneaker industry, but cemented his spot as a high-end designer as well.
In his personal life, West is known for making many faux-pa’s, such as the Grammy incident involving Taylor Swift, which caused many of his fans to lose respect for the rapper, although West later apologized for the incident, blaming his actions on his over-consumption of alcohol. He also has received backlash for dating Amber Rose, whom gained a high degree of fame from dating West. West originally also received much criticism for dating and later marrying “wanna be” celebrity and “scandalous” Kim Kardashian. This criticism however has fallen away, ever since the arrival of the couple’s children North West and Saint West. It seems that although at first both celebrities were wild, married life has helped both of them settle down and stay out of trouble.
Even though Kanye has come far from his humble beginnings, he has become widely successful in nearly every venture he has tried, and has found a beautiful family to build a life with. He has always sought to “make his mama proud” and even though he still to this day receives criticism for decisions he has made, his mother is probably still looking down on him with a smile, proud of her son and how far he has come from South-Side Chicago.