Everybody knows about Kanye West’s latest controversies, but most know very little about Kanye West himself. Below are some facts about Kanye West that may deepen your appreciation of his music and his larger-than-life persona.
1. The name “Kanye” translates to “the only one” in Swahili.
2. West’s father, Ray West, was a Black Panther during the 60s civil rights movement, and his mother was an English professor.
3. After dropping out of college, West worked a slew of odd jobs. He even once worked as a telemarketer to pay the bills.
4. West’s first foray into the music world was a producer. He produced 5 tracks and 2 bonus songs on Jay-Z’s hit album The Blueprint.
5. West has won 21 Grammy Awards to date, making him the eighth-most successful artist in Grammy history.
6. After the success of his first album The College Dropout, West treated himself by purchasing an 18th century aquarium with 30 koi fish.
7. West lived in China for a year with his mother while she taught at Nanjing University.
8. In October 2002, West had a nearly fatal car crash that left him with a shattered jaw. He underwent reconstructive jaw surgery and started working on song demos while still in the hospital.
9. He recorded his hit song “Through the Wire” while still wearing a wire brace through his jaw.
10. West’s fashion line DONDA is named after his late mother, who was an enormous influence on his life, outlook, and art.