Chicago hip-hop artist Kanye West is one of the most prominent figures not just in hip-hop but music. Winning 21 Grammys in his career, creating his own fashion line and collaborating with Adidas on shoes, at the age of 39, West is being mentioned amongst legends. On top of this, Kanye West has run five international tours and produced videos for the majority of his releases. Teaming up with celebrities and artists his entire career, Kanye West is known inside and outside the music industry.
Kanye West came on the hip-hop scene in 2003 with his debut single ‘Through the Wire‘ and from that point the rest is history. Since then Kanye has released seven full-length solo albums and won a myriad of awards for all of them. West is also part of one of the most important power couples in the industry in being married to mogul Kim Kardashian. Having his influence in main circles here are five fast facts to bring you up to speed on the prolific hip-hop artist.
1. Kanye West’s Net Worth & Debt
Last year Kanye West tweeted out before the release of his album ‘The Life of Pablo’ for help from billionaires concerning his personal debt of about $53 million. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the mogul is worth at least $145 million. So far during the span of his 17-year career West has sold 21 million physical copies of music and over 66 million digital downloads worldwide. All but Kanye’s most recent album ‘The Life of Pablo’ topped Billboard’s R&B charts at #1 and all but Kanye’s first album ‘The College Dropout’ charted #1 on Billboard overall music chart.
That being said Kanye’s earnings come from a lot more than album sales. West has a chain of Fatburger restaurants in his hometown of Chicago, he has his line of Yeezus shoes in collaboration with Adidas and runs a successful line of merchandise for all of the international tours he’s ran. In fact during the album tour for ‘The Life of Pablo,’ Kanye West sold just under $800,000 worth of merch at his Madison Square Garden show last year.
2. Kanye West has 11th Most Grammies of All Time
Amongst all artists, across all categories, Kanye West has the 11th most Grammys of all time with 21. This is tied with his partner in crime and Watch the Throne collaborative partner Jay-Z, and both have the most Grammys among hip-hop artists. West has won Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album, Best R&B Song, Best Rap Solo Performance, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Performance by a duo or group.
Over the years Kanye West has won Grammys with over the top talent including Nelly, The Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Lil Wayne and over other projects and albums. In fact, each of Kanye’s first three albums which include ‘The College Dropout’ ‘Late Registration’ and ‘Graduation’ all won Rap Album of the Year.
He’s currently nominated for eight Grammys for 2017 despite announcing that he won’t be attending this year. These nominations include his seventh album ‘The Life of Pablo’ as well as collaborations with Drake on his album ‘Views from the 6’ and Schoolboy Q for his verse on the hit single ‘That Part.’
3. Kanye West was in a Near Fatal Car Accident
In October of 2002, Kanye West was involved in a near-fatal car accident after leaving the studio on a late night. Eventually, he was cut off by another driver, and this caused Kanye to drive straight into traffic. The accident led to Kanye having to get reconstructive surgery for his face.
This all happened just two weeks after Roc-A-Fella announced signing the talented Chicago artist. What spawned from this was the lead single “Through the Wire” for Kanye West’s debut album titled ‘The College Dropout.’ The title “Through the Wire” is based on Kanye West’s experience recording the first version of this song with his mouth wired shut from the surgery. Lines like “How do you console my mom or give her light support/telling her son’s on life support” and even if you listen back to the hook you can hear Kanye ad-libs talking about the pain and struggles that stemmed from the accident.
4. Kanye West’s All-Star Collaborations
Kanye West has worked with the likes Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Jamie Foxx, Adam Levine, Mary J. Blige and so much more. The 2017 Grammys gives Kanye West the chance to win Grammys in collaborations with Jay-Z, Drake, Schoolboy Q, Rihanna and Chance the Rapper.
Notably being “Slow Jamz” and “Gold Digger” where Foxx sang the hook on both songs. This happened to be Foxx’s debut in the music industry. Also, Kanye decided to feature the World’s Fast Rapper Twista on “Slow Jamz” as well. More recently on Kanye’s ‘The Life of Pablo,’ he gave singer Frank Ocean his own track, signifying Ocean’s return to music. This year collaborations with Chance the Rapper and Post Malone signaled some of Kanye’s best work with ‘Ultralight Beam’ and ‘Fade’ respectively.
Another notable collaboration includes ‘No More Parties in L.A’ with California natives Kendrick Lamar and Madlib. Another that gets lost sometimes are the two singles that Kanye West did with Paul McCartney. These include ‘Only One’ and ‘FourFiveSeconds’ the latter also includes Rihanna.
5. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
Kanye West married Kim Kardashian in May of 2014, and one of the understated parts of their marriage is the influence they have when brought together. The couple could be considered the royal family of hip-hop. Between her mobile app: Hollywood, her continued work in the fashion and fragrance industry and her reality shows on E! Kim Kardashian’s Net Worth is calculated at $150 million. Put the two together and you have an estimated Net Worth of around $250 million.
Towards the end of 2016, the power couple almost split. Kim met with a divorce lawyer after Kanye had been hospitalized for mental health issues and exhaustion. This came after Kim Kardashian was robbed in Paris back in October. Rumors of the split have gone quiet as the couple prepares to continue filming and collaborating on the E! Network show ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians.’