Not a lot of rapper can pull off clothes with logos and there are but very few of them who successfully launched and sold units after units of $500 shoes. You may know him as Ye, Yeezy, the other half of Kim Kardashian, or that rapper who called Taylor Swift b**ch and you may hate him or love him but it is safe to say that he is popular in many ways.

Many get turned off by the way he carries himself around people: brash, braggadocious, overconfident, and sneering. No bad publicity is too bad for him (Remember that time he stole Taylor’s moments at the 2009 VMAs?).

While it doesn’t sit so well with many, there are still a few things about Yeezy that you may want to know about:

1. Kanye means “the only one” in Swahili.

Yeezy was born in 1977 and was named Kanye Omari West. Kanye is a Swahili word which means “the only one” which probably explains why he believes he is indeed the only one.

2. He was born from well-to-do parents.

Kanye is the only son of Ray and Donda West. His mother is an English professor while his father is a Black Panther who worked as a photojournalist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When he was three, his parents divorced which prompted him and his mom to relocate to Chicago. His mom was eventually hired as a professor at Chicago State University.

3. He loves Chicago so much that it is always in the lyrics of his songs.

things to know about Kanye West

Since Chicago plays a great part in his life, he would always mention the Windy City in many of his songs.

4. He would have wanted to follow in his mother’s footsteps.

Kanye would have wanted to follow in his mom’s footsteps that he also took English classes at the University of Chicago but then he knew that this would get in the way of his music. He eventually dropped out despite knowing his mother’s wishes for him to finish a degree. When he finished his first album, he named it The College Dropout – a reflection of his mixed feelings about leaving school.

5. He had a tough journey to becoming a well-established rapper.

Roc-A-Fella Records of Jay-Z and Damon Dash was first hesitant about signing him as a rapper. After he produced five of 13 tracks of Jay-Z’s The Blueprint album, they signed him up, still unsure if he will hold up as a rapper. It was a right decision after all.

6. A near-death experience gave him a new sense of purpose.

A car crash that nearly killed him in 2002 left him with a smashed jaw. While he was recovering in the hospital, he continued to work on tracks and penned the single “Through the Wire” which was about his experience.

7. The death of his mother was painful for West.

He had a very close relationship with his mother. After she died in 2007 apparently from complications from plastic surgery, he was left with so much grief. In 2012, he started a creative content and design company which he named DONDA in her memory.

8. His tweets amuse fans so much.

He is the 43rd most followed artist on Twitter. In 2010, during his early Twitter days, people couldn’t help but be amused by his innocent yet hilarious tweets. His tweets were later featured on late night shows.

9. Despite his tough public image, he is not shy about his religious beliefs.

In his album The College Dropout, he has a song “Jesus Walks” which talks about his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Although it may seem like his religious beliefs are more ambiguous now, he maintains that he believes in God.

10. He is a philanthropist.

In 2003, he established the Kanye West Foundation even when his resources were actually scarce. In 2011, his management has decided to shut down the organization. He still maintained his active involvement in other charities like Live Earth, Hurricane Katrina Relief, World Water Day, and many others.

Now that his net worth is estimated to be $145 million, he became more charitable than ever.

BONUS:

Kanye actually has a sweet spot. He famously sent Taylor Swift unique flowers during the time when they were still good friends. He also had a flower wall given to his wife Kim during her first mother’s day.

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