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Kanye West


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Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, singer, and record producer. West first rose to fame as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, where he eventually achieved recognition for his work on Jay-Z's album The Blueprint, as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and Janet Jackson. His style of production originally used pitched-up vocal samples from soul songs incorporated with his own drums and instruments. However, subsequent productions saw him broadening his musical palette and expressing influences encompassing '70s R&B, baroque pop, trip hop, arena rock, folk, alternative, electronica, synth-pop, and classical music.

The College Dropout is the debut album of American hip hop artist Kanye West, released February 10, 2004 on Roc-A-Fella Records. It was recorded over a period of four years, beginning in 1999. Prior to the album's release, West had worked on rapper Jay-Z's The Blueprint (2001), which showcased his melodic and soulful style of hip hop production. Produced entirely by West, The College Dropout features musical contributions from Jay-Z, John Legend, Ervin "EP" Pope, Miri Ben-Ari, Syleena Johnson, and Ken Lewis. Discarding the then-dominant gangster persona in hip hop, West's lyrics on the album concern themes of family, religion, self-consciousness, materialism, and personal struggles.
The album debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 441,000 copies in its first week. It was a massive commercial success, producing five singles that achieved chart success. Upon its release, The College Dropout received general acclaim from most music critics and earned West several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 47th Grammy Awards. It is West's best-selling album in the United States, with domestic sales of over 3.5 million copies and worldwide sales of over four million copies. Rolling Stone named it the tenth-best album of the 2000s decade.

Late Registration is the second studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released August 30, 2005 on Roc-A-Fella Records. Recording sessions for the album took place over the course of a year at various recording studios located New York City and Hollywood. West collaborated with American film score composer Jon Brion to produce Late Registration, and the album features guest contributions from artists including Lupe Fiasco, Jamie Foxx, Nas, Brandy, and Adam Levine of Maroon 5.
The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 860,000 copies in its first week. It ultimately sold three million copies in the United States and spawned five singles that attained chart success. Upon its release, Late Registration received general acclaim from most music critics and earned West several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 48th Grammy Awards. It appeared at the top of several publications year-end lists of top albums. Initially naming it the best album of 2005, Rolling Stone ranked the album number 40 on its list of the best albums of the 2000s decade.

Graduation is the third studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released September 11, 2007 on Roc-A-Fella Records in the United States. Recording sessions for the album took place during 2005 to 2007 at Chung King Studios and Sony Music Studios in New York City and at Chalice Studios and The Record Plant in Los Angeles, California. It was primarily produced by West and DJ Toomp, and features guest contributions from artists including Mos Def, Dwele, T-Pain, Lil Wayne, and Chris Martin of Coldplay. The album's cover artwork was designed by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.
Inspired by Irish rock band U2 and other musical groups to make more inspirational, anthemic hip hop music, West incorporated synthesizer sounds into his production and dabbled with electronic music, while sampling a wide spectrum of musical genres. Lyrically, Graduation is more introspective in comparison to its predecessors, as West dedicated much of the album towards analyzing himself and conveying his ambivalent outlook on his newfound fame. It concludes the college theme of West's previous two studio albums, The College Dropout (2004) and Late Registration (2005).
The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 957,000 copies in its first week. The coinciding release dates of Graduation and rapper 50 Cent's Curtis generated much publicity over the idea of a sales competition, resulting in record-breaking sales performances by both albums. Graduation received generally positive reviews from most music critics and earned West several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. The album has sold 2,966,000 copies in the U.S. and has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

808s & Heartbreak is the fourth studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released November 24, 2008 on Roc-A-Fella Records in the United States. Recording sessions for the album took place at Glenwood Studios in Burbank, California and Avex Recording Studio in Honolulu, Hawaii during September to October 2008. It was primarily produced by West, No I.D., and Jeff Bhasker. Conceived in the wake of multiple events that affected and distressed him during the previous year, 808's & Heartbreak marked a major musical departure for Kanye West from his previous work, lyrically, vocally, and production-wise.
Classified by West as a pop album, 808s & Heartbreak incorporates elements of synthpop, electronica, R&B, and electropop, while its tracks are primarily sung rather than rapped by West and contain lyrical themes such as love, loneliness, and heartache. The album also contains a predominant use of the Auto-Tune voice processor and the Roland TR-808 drum machine, which was utilized and manipulated by West to produce a distorted, electronic sound. Approaching the album's production in a minimalist fashion, West intended to contravene the typical sound of hip hop beat and instead evoke a presence of tribal drums.
The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 450,145 copies in its first week, and it produced four singles that attained Billboard chart success. 808s & Heartbreak became his fourth album to sell 1 million copies in the United States and was certified platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Good Ass Job is the fifth studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, due to be released in September 2010 on Roc-A-Fella Records. Production will come from West himself, Q-Tip, RZA, DJ Premier and Pete Rock. Good Ass Job will complete a planned tetralogy West began with his first three albums, The College Dropout, Late Registration and Graduation.

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