Kanye West's Top 5 Now Moments
Ah, Yeezy season is back and we can’t be happier. It all started midway through May when Kanye decided to ditch the radio and the Internet all together by projecting his new single “New Slaves” on over 60 buildings throughout the world. Following the weekend when fans ran block to block to catch a visual of his new hit, West gave us a surprising SNL performance that included the debut of his second single “Black Skinhead.” On that very same night, Kim Kardashian (Kanye’s girlfriend) showcased the album cover, the title of the album Yeezus, and a glimpse at the new Yeezy II colorway. In anticipation of the release of the new album, Mr. West broke his three-year media hiatus in an interview with The NY Times, giving us a glimpse into the production of his new album and thoughts on his career.
Finally, Kanye West released his sixth studio album Yeezus on June 18. He presents us with a body of work that is daring and complex, yet entertaining at the same time. Despite its lack of radio play--a platform Kanye isn't concerned with anymore--the album has taken the Internet by storm with countless reviews and quotes of favorite lyrics. Yeezus hasn’t even been out for a month yet and it's already shaping up to be one of the most buzzed-about albums of the year.
Whew! It’s been a jam-packed season. Kanye leaves us with surprising moments and unforgettable memories. In honor of the season we took a look back at the Chicago rapper’s career and chose Kanye West’s Top 5 Now Moments.
1. Teaming Up With Daft Punk for “Stronger”
Kanye’s “Stronger” is still to this day one of the biggest hits of his career. Teaming up with French house duo, Daft Punk, to mix one of their most popular songs “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” into a more hip-hop driven beat without losing the aesthetic of the original. It was genius. It was game changing. It was stadium music exposing Kanye to a broader audience and opening up new creative possibilities in the hip-hop genre. The song went on to top the Billboard Hot 100, sell over 5 million digital copies in the US, and win Best Rap Solo Performance at the 50th Grammy Awards.
2. Glow In The Dark Tour
One of Kanye’s most unforgettable moments came after the success of his third solo album Graduation. Selling over 900,000 copies in the first week meant West was able to beat rap superstar 50 Cent in a friendly album sale competition. Mr. West decided to travel around the globe performing his critically acclaimed Glow In The Dark Tour. The tour also included Rihanna, Lupe Fiasco, N.E.R.D., Nas, a few surprise guests and Ye as the final act.
When it was time for Kanye’s main act he performed the entire show solo. No dancers, no ballerinas, no hype men, and the band hidden underneath the stage. His performance was inspired by a space ship crash landing on an alien planet. He began the show with hit “Good Morning” and perfectly transitioned from song to song.
Aside from a few controversies, like tour date mix-ups and Rihanna leaving, the tour was highly praised and grossed around $30 million over the course of 49 shows. Kanye proved he wasn’t just a master in the studio, but a gifted performer as well.
3. 808’s & Heartbreak
Kanye was undoubtedly in a dark place after his breakup with longtime fiancée and the passing of his mother, but that darkness helped created one of the most influential albums of the past decade. 808s was undoubtedly a musical and creative departure from Kanye’s previous work. It was a daring approach at expressing himself through an 808 drum machine and Auto-Tune.
The album consists of a 12-track therapy session filled with loud tribal drums, 808s and dark self-loathing emotional lyrics utilized and manipulated by Kanye to create a distorted, electronic sound. Its the most vulnerable portrait we have ever seen of Kanye but we couldn’t be more most impressed. Kanye isn’t a gifted singer but 80 percent of the album is him singing and people loved it. At the time, Auto-Tune was highly scrutinized for being overused in hip-hop, but Kanye was able to provide a new artistic approach and gave fans something completely fresh.
Musically, 808’s & Heartbreak was the turning point in Kanye’s career. It demonstrated that his artistic ability and talent could go far beyond the realm of hip-hop and appeal to a more mainstream audience. Like his hit single “Stronger,” 808s further opened the creative possibilities in hip-hop and inspired many successful artists today. Drake, anyone?
4. Nike Air Yeezy’s Drop
Back in 2009, Kanye had the sneaker world in amazement with the release of his Nike “Air Yeezy” sneaker. With a retail cost of $215, sneakerheads lined up for days at the nearest sneaker spot just to get their hands on the glow in the dark shoe.
In the past there have been several hip-hop artists who have collaborated with sneaker companies to create their own brand of shoes including 50 Cent’s G-Units, Jay-Z’s S. Carters, and Pharrell’s Ice Creams, but none of them amounted to the hype of the Air Yeezys. With the success of both models released in the Air Yeezy brand (Yeezy I & II) comparisons to the dynasty brand Air Jordan can be easily be made, at least Mr. West thinks so.
Kanye has shown us all that, not only can he dress well but also design some of the best products.
After Amber Rose we thought Kanye would take things slow and enjoy the single life for a while. Wrong! He surprised us all by dating none other than reality TV megastar, Kim Kardashian. Since they started dating, photographers and reporters have been super glued to the couple no matter the scenario. Whether it’s shopping, red carpet appearances, or keeping an eye out for street signs, paparazzi is always on the scene. But nothing grabbed more attention from the couple than Kanye’s announcement of Kim’s pregnancy at an Atlantic City concert in December.
Nine months later, Kim has reportedly given birth to a newborn baby girl. In a recent article with the NY Times Kanye states, “Like, this is my baby. This isn’t America’s baby.” So don’t expect much news on Baby North West, but prepare to witness one of the most stylish infants OF ALL TIME!