In the span of three short years, Kanye West went from hip-hop beatmaker to worldwide hitmaker, as his stellar production work for Jay-Z led to a major-label recording contract and, ultimately, a wildly successful solo career. West pairs his beats with tongue-twisting raps and a self-assured, flamboyant personality.
After a successful career as one of the most sought-after producers in the world, West suffered in a traumatic car accident that almost cost him his life. However he capitalized on the traumatic experience by using it as the inspiration for "Through the Wire" (and its corresponding video), which would later become the lead single for his debut album, 2004's The College Dropout. This album was a breakout success, earning him ten nominations at the 47th annual Grammy Awards. His success has continued to this day as West is one of the best-selling and among the most awarded artists in popular music. Several of his studio albums, most prominently Late Registration and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, have been ranked by music critics as among the greatest records of all-time.
His most recent album, Yeezus, was one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of 2013, and was released to rapturous reviews from critics. Described as his most confrontational and bravest album to date, West touched upon controversial and sensitive topics and delivered an astonishing and bold record. Despite leaking four days early upon its release, Yeezus sold almost 327,000 copies during its first week.