Quick facts about Kanye West
PLACE OF ORIGIN
Who is Kanye?
Kanye West is a Christian musician from Chicago, Illinois. He is also a singer, rapper, record producer, songwriter, entrepreneur and fashion designer. You may recognise him from his hit songs ‘I Love It’, ‘Stronger’ and ‘Runaway’.
Kanye mostly makes hip-hop music but has also made music from styles such as baroque pop, indie rock, industrial, soul, electro, gospel and synth-pop. Kanye has 29.4 million Twitter followers, 5.84 followers on YouTube and over 32 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Ironically, he does not have an official Instagram account.
Early Days of the Christian Musician
Kanye was born in Atlanta, Georgia but moved to Chicago with his mother when he was three, due to his parent’s divorce. From an early age, the future Christian musician showed talent in the arts.
At the age of five, Kanye had started writing poetry and when he was in grade three, Kanye started rapping. In grade seven, Kanye had started making musical compositions which he would later go on to sell to other artists.
After managing to convince his mother to pay for some time in a recording studio after writing a rap song called ‘Green Eggs and Ham’, Kanye crossed paths with producer and DJ, No I.D., with whom he formed a close friendship. No I.D. became Kanye’s mentor and taught him how to sample and program beats with a sampler when Kanye was only 15.
Upon graduating from high school, Kanye took painting classes at Chicago’s American Academy of Art on a scholarship. He then transferred to Chicago State University to study English but realised that his busy schedule was making it difficult to continue with his work in the music industry.
At 20, much to his mother’s disappointment, Kanye dropped out of college so he could work towards his musical goals. Kanye’s mother later said, “It was drummed into my head that college is the ticket to a good life… but some career goals don’t require college.” She was especially proud that Kanye had the guts to embrace who he was and what he wanted to be.
THE CREDIBLE SUCCESS OF A “BORN AGAIN CONSERVATIVE“ CHRISTIAN MUCISIAN
The Career Achievements of Kanye
Kanye’s most recent album is ‘Jesus Is King’ which released in October 2019 under the ‘GOOD Music’ and ‘Def Jam Recordings’ labels. The Christian musician described the album as “an expression of the gospel” because it follows a Christian theme.
‘Jesus Is King’ debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, the Top Christian Albums chart, the Top Gospel Albums chart, the Top R&B / Hip-Hop Albums chart, and the Top Rap Albums chart. ‘Jesus Is King’ also topped the charts in Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia and New Zealand. All of the tracks from ‘Jesus Is King’ charted on the Billboard Hot 100, with the lead single, ‘Follow God’, debuting the highest at No. 7.
Kanye has made 9 studio albums so far in his career. ‘The College Dropout’ in 2004, ‘Late Registration’ in 2005, ‘Graduation’ in 2007, ‘808s & Heartbreak’ in 2008, ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ in 2010, ‘Yeezus’ in 2013, ‘The Life of Pablo’ in 2016, ‘Ye’ in 2018, and ‘Jesus Is King’ in 2019.
In January 2019, this Christian musician formed his own choir group called ‘Sunday Service’ that performs gospel themed versions of his music. They have released one studio album called ‘Jesus Is Born’ which followed the release of Kanye’s album ‘Jesus Is King.’ The album peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart.
Kanye is said to be one of the most critically acclaimed musicians of the 21st century. With over 100 million records sold across the globe, Kanye is also one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 2005 and 2015, Time magazine named Kanye one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Kanye has won an impressive 255 awards so far in his career, most notably; 21 Grammy awards, 5 MTV Video Music Awards, 8 XXL Awards, 12 HipHopDX Awards, 36 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, 6 Billboard Music Awards, 10 BET Awards, 19 BET Hip Hop Awards, 32 ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Awards, 8 ASCAP Pop Awards, 3 Antville Music Video Awards, 2 American Music Awards and 2 People’s Choice Awards. This makes him one of the most awarded artists of all time.
Kanye has headlined and supported many tours since he started his music career. In 2004, Kanye headlined his School Spirit Tour and supported the Truth Tour with Usher. In 2005, Kanye performed his Touch the Sky Tour. Kanye then went on to support U2 on their Vertigo Tour in 2005-06. In 2006, Kanye supported The Rolling Stones on their A Bigger Bang tour. In 2008, Kayne performed his Glow in the Dark Tour. In 2011-12, Kayne went on his Watch the Throne Tour with Jay-Z. In 2013-14, Kanye performed his The Yeezus Tour and in 2016, he went on his Saint Pablo Tour.
Kanye and Christianity
Kanye is very open about his belief in Christ; during a concert in 2014, he openly referred to himself as Christian. After re-affirming his Christian faith on Twitter in January 2019, his wife Kim Kardashian West, said that, “Kanye started this to really heal himself and it was a really personal thing, and it was just friends and family…He has had an amazing evolution of being born again and being saved by Christ.”
Kanye didn’t always openly Christian, though. In an interview in 2009, Kanye stated that he believed in God but felt like he “would never go into a religion.” Ten years later, Kanye spoke about his past beliefs saying, “When I was trying to serve multiple gods it drove me crazy” referencing the “god of ego, god of money, god of pride, the god of fame”. Kanye said that back then, he, “didn’t even know what it meant to be saved.”
Now, after going through his own faith transformation, the ‘born again’ Christian musician openly says, “I love Jesus Christ. I love Christianity”.