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At the age of 10, West moved for a year with Donda to China, where she taught as part of a university-exchange program; he was the only foreigner in his class.
After returning to Chicago, West was drawn to the South Side's hip-hop scene, and he befriended the DJ and producer No I. West graduated from Polaris High School and won a scholarship to study at Chicago's American Academy of Art — but dropped out of college altogether to pursue music, an act that would inform the title of his first solo album years later.
He caused a national media storm — his first, but by no means his last — when he opined live on air that "George Bush doesn't care about black people," articulating widespread criticism of the president for not visiting the devastated city of New Orleans right away.
Bush was deeply stung by West's comment, later calling it a "disgusting moment." Of the two men, West probably lost less sleep: he would later say that dissing Taylor Swift in 2009 was "bigger than the Bush moment." After touring with U2 in 2005-06, West was inspired to make hip hop more anthemic, to be performed in stadiums and arenas.
But when West channels his hubristic impulses into his music, the results have rarely been less than thrilling: hence six out of seven solo albums debuting at No.
1 and a total of 34 million albums sold; 21 Grammy awards — no rapper has won more; two inclusions in Time magazine's 100 most influential people list; and plaudits from Lou Reed, Prince, Elon Musk — and, most frequently of all, from West himself.
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.During his first concert following the funeral, he dedicated a performance of "Hey Mama" to her.Months later, West broke up with his fiancée, Alexis Phifer.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.He has made headlines for his bizarre tweets and his grand pronouncements, his award-show stage invasions, his outré fashion sense and his flashbulb-popping marriage to Kim Kardashian.