As Kanye West would doubtless tell you himself, he is a 21st-century phenomenon — a producer turned rap superstar who has reinvented hip hop several times over in the course of a stellar career; but whose creative genius is sometimes eclipsed by his talent for putting his entire foot in his own mouth. But when West channels his hubristic impulses into his music, the results have rarely been less than thrilling: hence eight solo albums debuting at No. His father, Ray, was a photojournalist for the Atlanta Journal newspaper and was also politically active in the Black Panthers; he later became a Christian counselor. West's mother, Donda, was a teacher who became a professor of English at Chicago State University, and eventually, her son's manager before she died at the age of 58 from heart disease after cosmetic surgery in
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Born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago , West was first known as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early s, producing singles for several mainstream artists. Intent on pursuing a solo career as a rapper, West released his debut album The College Dropout in to critical and commercial success, and founded the record label GOOD Music. Drawing inspiration from maximalism and minimalism , respectively, West's fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and sixth album Yeezus were also critical successes. West's outspoken views and life outside of music have received significant media attention. He has been a frequent source of controversy for his conduct at award shows , on social media , and in other public settings, as well as for his comments on the music and fashion industries, U. His Christian faith, as well as his marriage to television personality Kim Kardashian , have also been a source of media attention. He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards , making him one of the most awarded artists of all time.