Kanye West: Celebrating Black Excellence In Music And Business

by Duke Magazine

A total of 22 Grammy awards, clinching title of one of the world’s most awarded artists of all time, selling more than 20 million albums and 140 million singles worldwide and counting, this Titan isn’t here for games most definitely.

From producer to rapper, label head and fashion icon!  Kanye West through pure hard work and drive mounts the stage as one of the influential hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in the 21st century. 

American rapper, singer, record producer, businessman, politician, and fashion designer, Kanye West is building his empire and there’s no stopping him.

The creative genius born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago, gained mainstream popularity in the early 2000s as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records producing singles for several A-list acts. West with his influence spread across music and  fashion, boasting of a staggering 1.8 billion USD net worth comfortably earns his seat amongst the world’s richest people and proudly amongst the rarer African American billionaires club.

One of the world’s best-selling music artists, the music star kicking off his solo career as a rapper in 2004 released his debut album The College Dropout, it was met with critical and commercial success. Same year during the fall, West founded G.O.O.D Music in conjunction with Sony/BMG.

More than his mega Influence in the music world, Ye has proven to be a force in the fashion industry. He is the face behind the hugely successful Yeezy brand. Amongst his lists of accomplishments in the fashion scene, Kanye West most notably signed a lucrative multi-year deal to design sneaker brand Yeezy for German sportswear giant Adidas in 2013 and yes he gets an annual royalty. Worthy of note is his Yeezy brand pulled in an impressive estimated $1.7 billion in sales in 2020. Recall Yeezy line first made headlines in 2009 when he launched with Nike. West as a fashion designer, has collaborated with Nike, Louis Vuitton, and A.P.C. on both clothing and footwear.

In 2020, Kanye West and Gap announced a partnership deal stating the highly anticipated Yeezy Gap line would be unveiled in 2021, update by Gap Inc.’s reveal that the Yeezy line is expected to launch by the end of this June.

In April this year, Forbes reported that the original pair of Yeezy sneaker prototypes donned by Kanye West at the 2008 Grammys sold for $1.8 million, setting a world record for footwear within the fashion market place. 

West, who is founder and head of the creative content company DONDA also owns a small stake in her shapewear brand Skims. Super confident and unafraid to voice out unpopular opinion, West has severally earned controversy.

Kanye West apart from the Grammys has racked up prestigious awards such as the Billboard Artist Achievement Award, a joint-record three Brit Awards for Best International Male Solo Artist and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

Named by Time magazine among one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and 2015, six of his albums included on Rolling Stone’s 2020 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list; the same publication named him one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time, West is also the tied holder for the most albums (four) topping the annual Pazz & Jop critic poll, a distinction he shares with Bob Dylan.

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