Kanye West, more recently known as "Ye," is an American rapper, songwriter, singer, record producer, and fashion designer. Ye was born on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia. Ye has experienced great success over the years, and his net worth was once over $1 billion. However, it has recently been reported that Kanye West net worth has recently diminished to $400 million, as of 2022. Here is an overview of how Ye has attained his wealth, as well as what is causing his net worth to decrease.
The Early Days of Kanye West
Despite being born in Atlanta, Georgia, Kanye grew up in Chicago, Illinois, because his mother relocated there after she and Kanye's dad divorced when Kanye was three years old. It was apparent from an early age that Ye was talented in the arts, and he began writing poetry at the age of five. By the time he was eight, he began rapping, and at the age of twelve, he was creating music which he sold to various artists.
Starting a Rap Career
Although he and his mother moved to China for a while when Kanye was ten, he attended the Chicago American Academy of Art after graduating high school, but later dropped out to pursue a rap career. His mother, who was a college professor, was very disappointed, although she supported Kanye in whatever he wanted to do.
It was in his teens that Kanye's involvement in music and rap enabled him to meet No ID, a prominent DJ who took the youngster under his wing and became his agent.
Getting Started in the Music Industry
In 1996, Ye began his career by producing music for various artists. He eventually developed a special talent to speed up these artists' vocal samples, which accelerated his career. By 1999, Kanye West had produced a number of singles and albums for various artists.
He gained so much experience producing music for so many artists that by 2000, he began producing music for Roc-A-Fella, and he was so successful that he was given credit for reviving Jay Z's souring career. He helped make Jay Z big again. Jay Z's album that was produced by West was one of the most successful and lucrative hip-hop albums that was highly-rated.
Signing a Deal to Become a Rapper
Although Ye enjoyed producing music, his real dream was to become a rapper himself, even though it was initially quite a struggle for him. Ye lacked the typical "gangsta rap" persona, so many record companies turned him down.
After many rejections, Ye was becoming desperate and was considering leaving Roc-A-Fella to pursue his dream of becoming a rapper and to get signed by a major record label. However, despite the fact that Roc-A-Fella felt that Ye was a great producer that did not have rapper potential, they reluctantly signed him.
Kanye Finds His Inspiration
One year later, Kanye became famous as a rapper after becoming involved in a head-on collision with another driver. He stated that the accident, which resulted in his jaw being wired shut, inspired him to record "Through the Wire," which he recorded while his jaw was still wired shut. At the same time, Kanye made an announcement that he was working on another album, "The College Dropout."
Success and Accomplishments
Kanye West continued to record his albums fervently as he recovered from the car accident. When his album, "The College Dropout" was finally released in 2004, after several postponements, it quickly rose to the top, reaching number two on the Billboard 100. He experienced similar success with subsequent albums, and "The College Dropout" nearly received universal critical acclaim. The album was voted the top album of the year by two major music publications, and the success of Ye's rap career is how he attained some of this great wealth.
The fame and success didn't stop with his first few albums, as his achievements and success continued to mount. With each album or single that he released, it seemed that Ye became more and more acclaimed. He competed against more established rappers like 50 Cent, and often won.
Other Wealth-Building Business Ventures
Rapping and producing music weren't the only ways that Ye built his wealth. He actually had a strong interest in breaking into the fashion industry, which is exactly what he did. First of all, he released his own fashion line in 2006, but it was subsequently canceled in 2009. Kanye West's first sneaker collaboration was released in 2007, and it was a great success. He collaborated with Nike to produce his own sneakers, the Air Yeezys. This made him the first person who wasn't an athlete to strike up such a deal with Nike or any other shoe company.
Kanye as a Shoe Consultant
Ye also opted to move to Rome, where he provided feedback and suggestions for an Italian men's line of shoes. He also collaborated with M/M Paris to promote silk scarves that featured artwork from "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," one of the rapper's albums.
Adidas Yeezy Boosts
Kanye collaborated with Adidas, and the Adidas Yeezy Boosts, a custom sneaker, was released. The Adidas Yeezy Boosts are considered to be one of the most influential shoe brands in the world. This increased Ye's net worth significantly, as his income increased like he never expected.
Starting His Own Record Label
Kanye started his own record label, GOOD Music, in 2004, and the record label has been quite successful. GOOD Music has produced songs and albums by some well-known artists, such as Big Sean, Mos Def, John Legend, among many others. In November of 2015, West appointed Pusha T as president of this record label.
Hamburger Restaurant Stint
Kanye West had plans to open 10 Fatburger restaurants in the Chicago area, but only two ended up successfully opening. However, those two restaurants weren't a success and subsequently closed down.
Ownership of a Music Streaming Service
West is one of the many co-owners of Tidal, a music streaming service that several other artists, like Madonna, Jay Z, Rihanna, Beyonce, and others, are also co-owners of.
Adidas Yeezy Sneakers
Additionally, Ye announced that the Yeezy Season 2 Zine was being released on June 6, 2016. The Adidas sneakers were released to various retailers the following week. Adidas Yeezy Season Two Zine are high-top shoes with glowing dark soles.
Earning Income in Other Ways
West has also dabbled a bit in acting, architecture, and politics, and even ran for president in 2020. Despite the fact that his attempt to run for president in 2020 wasn't successful, the rapper and music producer has announced plans to run again in the 2024 election.
Loss of Sponsorship, Declining Net Worth, and More
In spite of Kanye West's immense amount of success in the production of music, his rap albums, and even his collaborations in the fashion industry, Kanye's net worth is rapidly declining. The reason for this is due to the fact that West is constantly making some very public, insulting comments.
Not only has West made various antisemitic comments or posts on social media, but he continues to make these offensive comments publicly on a regular basis. As a result, several sponsors have ceased doing business with the rapper, including Adidas, GAP, and many others.
Blocked from Instagram Due to Unsavory Posts
Some of these antisemitic comments involve other celebrities, and for instance, in October of 2022, West created an Instagram Post that stated that Puff Daddy was being controlled by Jews. As a result of this post, Instagram locked West's account. West also made similar posts on Twitter, which caused a major upheaval. The rapper/music producer was also locked out of Twitter as a result of his behavior.
West's antisemitic comments haven't been limited to merely social media, and he has made derogatory comments during interviews and public events. Kanye was escorted out of Skecher's headquarters building after showing up unannounced, and Skechers stated that they would never collaborate with West, and they have no idea why he showed up.
Kanye West and His "Love" for Hitler
He continually makes comments about Adolph Hitler and how he loves him, while constantly making derogatory statements about those of Jewish decent. West posted a disturbing and insulting image on Twitter before he was locked out of the social networking platform, and Twitter's new CEO, Elon Musk, stated that West was locked out due to ignoring the rules of not causing "incitement to violence."
Kanye West and Mental Illness
One reason for Kanye West's recent vile behavior could be due to possible mental illness. During a concert in November of 2016, Ye abruptly ended a concert and had to be convinced to seek psychiatric treatment due to his peculiar behavior. He was said to have been experiencing hallucinations and delusions.
Ye was subsequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and placed on psychotropic medication. He remained in the psychiatric hospital for two weeks before he was released. Despite being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Kanye West reports that it is a misdiagnosis and frequently adds lyrics regarding mental illness and taking medication to his rap songs.
No one knows for sure if it is related to his bipolar disorder or something else, but in August of 2021, Kanye West positioned the courts to have his legal name changed from Kanye Omari West to "Ye," with no last name. The court approved his request, although many people still refer to him as Kanye West.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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