Kanye WestKanye West
Kanye West (pronounced CON-yay) (born June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American music producer and rapper from Chicago, Illinois.
Previously best known for producing hit singles for Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, and Ludacris, Kanye himself worked on a solo album for a long period of time, having the release pushed back time and time again. A car crash in October 2002 left his jaw fractured in three places. With his mouth still wired shut and only weeks after having an encounter with death, Kanye West began recording "Through The Wire," reliving his near-fatal accident. "Through The Wire", which sampled Chaka Khan's classic track "Through The Fire", would eventually become his lead single off The College Dropout in 2004, released on Roc-a-Fella Records. The album received almost universal acclaim for its balance of mainstream commercial appeal and conscious (at times verging on Afrocentric) lyrics, along with Kanye's signature style of taking samples from sped-up classic soul and R&B tracks.
The College Dropout reached #1 on Billboard magazine's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album Chart, and reached #2 on the Billboard 200 - it also peaked at #12 on the UK album chart, where it spent several months in the Top 20 during 2004. "Through The Wire" peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, and its successor "All Falls Down", which features R&B singer Syleena Johnson, peaked at #7. The third single from the album, the inspirational quasi-epic "Jesus Walks" peaked at #11 on the Hot 100, while a fourth extract, "The New Workout Plan", made a minor impression on the US R&B / Hip-Hop charts (see list of Billboard chart positions below).
In the UK, "Through The Wire" peaked at #9 on the official singles sales chart, "All Falls Down" peaked at #10, and "Jesus Walks" peaked at #16. "Jesus Walks" as of late has been subject for controversy, as the fact that the song was bought from Indianapolis-based MC Rhymefest and re-recorded has infuriated some hip-hop fans who decry such practices. He has also collaborated with Twista on a couple of his songs, such as "Overnight Celebrity" and "Slow Jamz" (also featuring Jamie Foxx) which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. He also appears on Brandy's single, "Talk About Our Love". His other collaborations with other artists include Dilated Peoples, Mariah Carey and John Legend.
In 2004, Kanye West received ten Grammy Award nominations, making him the most nominated artist of 2004. He received two nominations in the Album of the Year category, one for The College Dropout, and one for his work on Alicia Keys's album The Diary of Alicia Keys. His work with pop icon Janet Jackson also earned a nomination for her single I Want You, produced by West, was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
At the 47th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony held on February 13, 2005, his album The College Dropout won for Best Rap Album; and his single "Jesus Walks" won for Best Rap Song. Somewhat surprisingly, he did not go home with the Best New Artist Grammy (which instead went to Maroon 5); this snub was a repeat of the shut-out he received at the 2004 American Music Awards, where he lost to Gretchen Wilson.
Plus Janet Jackson's "I Want You" produced by West nominated in Best Female Recording (R&B).
Billboard Chart positions, by song
This page about Kanye West includes information from a Wikipedia article.
Additional articles about Kanye West
News stories about Kanye West
External links for Kanye West
Videos for Kanye West
Wikis about Kanye West
Discussion Groups about Kanye West
Blogs about Kanye West
Images of Kanye West
Plus Janet Jackson's "I Want You" produced by West nominated in Best Female Recording (R&B). He
has also appeared in cartoons such as EEK! The Cat, The Simpsons, The Brak
Show, Johnny Bravo and The Grim Adventures of Billy and
Mandy, lending his voice to that of the Squid Hat, a parody of the Sorting Hat in the Harry
He received two nominations in the Album of the Year category, one for The College Dropout, and one for his work on Alicia Keys's album The Diary of Alicia Keys. However, since the taping, Al has married. In 2004, Kanye West received ten Grammy Award nominations, making him the most nominated artist of 2004. (Also, the commercial failures of UHF and Polka Party). His other collaborations with other artists include Dilated Peoples, Mariah Carey and John Legend. Al is so clean-cut that the producers couldn't find any of the typical angst-laced problems that make many rock stars' stories compelling (as Al noted in an interview with BTM), so their angle was on Al's life as a bachelor and (what they presumed was) his loneliness. He also appears on Brandy's single, "Talk About Our Love". VH1 produced a Behind the Music episode on Al.
He has also collaborated with Twista on a couple of his songs, such as "Overnight Celebrity" and "Slow Jamz" (also featuring Jamie Foxx) which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. The most popular part of AL-TV is Al manipulating interviews especially commissioned for AL-TV by the network for comic effect. "Jesus Walks" as of late has been subject for controversy, as the fact that the song was bought from Indianapolis-based MC Rhymefest and re-recorded has infuriated some hip-hop fans who decry such practices. For Poodle Hat, however, AL-TV appeared on VH1. In the UK, "Through The Wire" peaked at #9 on the official singles sales chart, "All Falls Down" peaked at #10, and "Jesus Walks" peaked at #16. Al has hosted AL-TV on MTV many years, generally coinciding with the release of each new album. The third single from the album, the inspirational quasi-epic "Jesus Walks" peaked at #11 on the Hot 100, while a fourth extract, "The New Workout Plan", made a minor impression on the US R&B / Hip-Hop charts (see list of Billboard chart positions below). Though the show appeared to be geared at children, the humor was really more for adult fans of Al.
"Through The Wire" peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, and its successor "All Falls Down", which features R&B singer Syleena Johnson, peaked at #7. Weird Al had a short-lived TV series called The Weird Al Show, which aired from September 1997 to January 1998 on CBS. The College Dropout reached #1 on Billboard magazine's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album Chart, and reached #2 on the Billboard 200 - it also peaked at #12 on the UK album chart, where it spent several months in the Top 20 during 2004. Originals such as "Melanie" and "Albuquerque" are favorites of many of his fans. The album received almost universal acclaim for its balance of mainstream commercial appeal and conscious (at times verging on Afrocentric) lyrics, along with Kanye's signature style of taking samples from sped-up classic soul and R&B tracks. In addition to parodies such as these, most of Al's albums include a medley of popular songs played in polka style, as well as original songs with his own lyrics and words. "Through The Wire", which sampled Chaka Khan's classic track "Through The Fire", would eventually become his lead single off The College Dropout in 2004, released on Roc-a-Fella Records. The following is a comprehensive list of his albums to 2003:.
With his mouth still wired shut and only weeks after having an encounter with death, Kanye West began recording "Through The Wire," reliving his near-fatal accident. Since Al got a record contract in 1983, he has released many albums and parodies. A car crash in October 2002 left his jaw fractured in three places. It has been argued that this not only deprives the real artists involved of credit for their creations, but sometimes associates Al's name with types of music he would never produce and would not want to be known for. Previously best known for producing hit singles for Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, and Ludacris, Kanye himself worked on a solo album for a long period of time, having the release pushed back time and time again. One major victim of this seems to be Bob Rivers, but so many wrongly attributed tracks exist that several fans have set up websites attempting to list such tracks along with their real artists. Kanye West (pronounced CON-yay) (born June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American music producer and rapper from Chicago, Illinois. The popularity of Al's music among users of Internet file sharing networks has led to many parody or comedy songs shared in this manner being identified as "Weird Al" tracks which in fact have no connection to him.
The New Workout Plan, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks, #60. The article also referred to one real-life indication of Yankovic's status: Kurt Cobain, the lead singer for Nirvana stated that he felt that he had "made it" after Yankovic recorded "Smells Like Nirvana" (parodying Cobain's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"). Through the Wire, Top 40 Tracks, #25. Yankovic has been called a "cultural barometer" by The Onion's recurring fictitious dweeb character Larry Groznic (10 November 2004), who called Weird Al's music "the consummate pastiche of popular songwriting styles for our times". Through the Wire, Top 40 Mainstream, #32. Yankovic has received three Grammy Awards and became eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, although he says, "I think my chances of ever making it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are about as good as Milli Vanilli's.". Through the Wire, Hot 100, #15. He also directed the title sequence to Spy Hard, in which he sang the title song.
Through the Wire, Rhythmic Top 40, #10. Weird Al has directed many of his own music videos, as well as several by such artists as Hanson, The Black Crowes, Ben Folds, and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Through the Wire, Hot Rap Tracks, #4. He also contributed the song "Dare to Be Stupid" to Transformers: The Movie. Through the Wire, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks, #8. He has contributed songs to several films, including the original song "This Is The Life", featured on the soundtrack for Johnny Dangerously; the title track to his own movie, UHF; and a parody of the James Bond title sequences in "Spy Hard", the title track to a 1996 Leslie Nielsen movie directed by Rick Friedberg. Jesus Walks, Hot 100, #11. Examples include "Alternative Polka", "Angry White Boy Polka" and "Polka Power.".
Jesus Walks, Rhythmic Top 40, #16. In addition to his parodies, Al also includes a medley of various songs on most albums, each one reinterpreted as a polka, with the choruses of various songs juxtaposed for humourous effect. Jesus Walks, Hot Rap Tracks, #3. Popeil"), Talking Heads ("Dog Eat Dog"), Nine Inch Nails ("Germs"), The Beach Boys ("Trigger Happy"), Oingo Boingo ("You Make Me"), The Police ("Velvet Elvis"), James Taylor ("The Good Old Days"), The Beastie Boys ("Twister"), and They Might Be Giants ("Everything You Know is Wrong"). Jesus Walks, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks, #2. Some of his original songs are pastiches or "style parodies," where he chooses a band's entire body of work to honor/parody rather than any single hit by that band; some bands so honored have been Devo ("Dare to Be Stupid"), The B-52's ("Mr. All Falls Down, Top 40 Tracks, #12. Yankovic's humor lies more in creating unexpected incongruity between an artist's image and the topic of the song, contrasting the style of the song with its content, or in pointing out trends or works which have become pop culture cliches.
All Falls Down, Top 40 Mainstream, #22. Although many of his songs are parodies of contemporary radio hits, it is rare that the song's primary topic of lampooning is that artist. All Falls Down, Hot 100, #7. Yankovic's work depends largely on the satirizing of popular culture, including television, movies, food, popular music, and sometimes issues in contemporary news. All Falls Down, Rhythmic Top 40, #7. Though he is best known for his song parodies, Yankovic has recorded a greater number of original humorous songs, such as "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?" and "Hardware Store". All Falls Down, Hot Rap Tracks, #2. The night after their bodies were found, Al went on with his concert in Mankato, Minnesota, saying that since his music had helped many of his fans through tough times, maybe it would work for him as well.
All Falls Down, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks, #4. On April 9, 2004, Al's parents, Nick Louis Yankovic, 86, and Mary, 81, were found dead in their Fallbrook, California home, apparently the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. Best Rap Album for The College Dropout. In January 1998, Yankovic had LASIK eye surgery and shaved off his mustache, radically changing his trademark look. Best Rap Song for Jesus Walks. Since the mid-1990s, Al has performed annually at the Minnesota State Fair. Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for Slow Jamz. Al claims to have been inspired by Allan Sherman, whose portrait in miniature (with name) can be found by the observant on the cover of Al's first album.
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for All Falls Down. The movie was co-directed by Jay Levey, who would direct UHF (see below) three years later. Best Rap Solo Performance for Through The Wire. In 1985, Al co-wrote and starred in a mockumentary of his own life entitled The Compleat Al that intertwined fact and fiction of his life up to that point. Best R&B Song for You Don't Know My Name (as a songwriter). The live version of "School Cafeteria" is also to be found on Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes. Best New Artist. Yankovic's vaults, such as "Pacman", "It's Still Billy Joel To Me", or the demos for "I Love Rocky Road".
Song of the Year for Jesus Walks. Demento Society, which issues yearly Christmas re-releases of material from Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes, often includes among these unreleased tracks from Mr. Album of the Year for The College Dropout. The Dr. Album of the Year for The Diary Of Alicia Keys (as a producer). With Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz on drums, the band was complete. Steve Jay became Al's bass player, and Jim West the lead guitarist.
Jay insisted that the act would sound better if Al had a full band, so he held auditions. His stage act caught the eye of manager Jay Levey, who loved it and became Al's manager. His performances were particularly interesting as few, if any, people at the time were doing parodies of rock and roll songs on accordion. Demento's act.
1981 brought Al on tour for the first time as part of Dr. The rare 1981 Placebo EP release of this song has as its B-Side the subtle track "Happy Birthday.". The resulting performance of "Another One Rides the Bus" was a parody of a Queen hit, "Another One Bites the Dust". Jon Schwartz was also there, and he was a percussionist, so he was recruited to bang on Al's accordion case.
Demento's radio network at the time, when he announced he had another parody. In 1980, Al was working the mail room at Westwood One, Dr. Demento's listeners put this track atop his "Funny Five" list. Dr.
Since "My Sharona" by The Knack was on the charts and The Knack was going to play at Cal Poly, Al took his accordion into the bathroom across from the listening booth and recorded a parody entitled "My Bologna", with a B-side called "School Cafeteria". The Knack thought it was funny, and arranged for the song to be released on their label, Capitol Records, which gave Al a six-month contract. Three years later, Al was an architecture student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a disc jockey at the university's radio station (KCPR). Al was a senior at Lynwood High School in Lynwood, California at the time, but that tape was the start of his eventual career. Demento's radio show (a comedy radio program featuring humorous music), Al sent the Doctor a tape of a song entitled "Belvedere Cruising" in 1976.
After hearing Dr. Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic, the son of Nick & Mary Yankovic, first started playing the accordion one day before his seventh birthday, mastering the instrument by age ten. His works include four gold and four platinum records. He is known in particular for humorous songs which satirize popular culture and/or parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts.
Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic (born October 23, 1959) is an American musician, parodist and accordion player. Because of the potentially crippling amount of royalties requred for this, Weird Al's record labels have had to engage in endless negotiation and diplomacy. Because of his polka-medleys, Wierd Al can wind up performing works by dozens of artists on a single album. Licensing issues for Weird Al's works are some of the most complicated in the music industry.
He only asks for permission to maintain good relationships and avoid nuissance law suits. Because parody is recognized as fair use by copyright laws, Wierd Al is actually free to make fun of any artist's work without permision. Interestingly, Weird Al has only backed down from artists like Prince and Eminem out of courtesy and convenience. Says Al: "Last year, Eminem forced me to halt production on the video for my 'Lose Yourself' parody because he somehow thought that it would be harmful to his image or career ...".
Al was also requested to change the video for his remake of Eminem's "Lose yourself". Also, Prince has refused to allow parodies, though Weird Al has stated that he continues to "check back with him to see if he has developed a sense of humor" in interviews. Al apologized for the misunderstanding. Coolio was very displeased since his management told Weird Al to go ahead with the parody without consulting him.
While artists are generally pleased with Weird Al, there are three notable exceptions. On November 10, 2004, The Onion published an editorial titled "I Must Take Issue With The Wikipedia Entry For Weird Al Yankovic.". Examples are Al wearing a 27 on the cover of the Running With Scissors album and including 27 photos in the photo gallery on the "Weird Al Yankovic Live!" DVD. Al often hides the number 27 somewhere in his songs, album art, and memorabilia.
Al has put two backwards messages into his songs: the first, in Nature Trail to Hell, said "Satan Eats Cheez Whiz"; the second, in I Remember Larry, said "Wow, you must have an awful lot of free time on your hands."  (http://www.al-oholicsanonymous.com/faq/#secret). Side two of the album is "Carnival of the Animals, Part II" which is a sort of homage to The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens, with Weird Al taking the role of Edward Lear in writing humorous poems about the slug, the shark, etc. Don Ameche! What? He can't make it?", while the music features various innovations by Wendy Carlos over the original by Sergei Prokofiev. Weird Al's text modifies the original story considerably: "The Grandfather will be played by..
Peter and the Wolf - 1988: "This warped classical children's record featuring narration and poems written by "Weird Al" Yankovic and music arranged, composed and performed by synthesizer whiz Wendy Carlos" - WeirdAl.com (http://weirdal.com/). Babalu Music - 1991: A collection of I Love Lucy music. UHF- 1989: A commercially unsuccessful movie satirizing the television industry, starring Yankovic, Michael Richards, Fran Drescher and Victoria Jackson. "It's All About the Pentiums" (Parody of Puff Daddy's "It's All About The Benjamins").
"Amish Paradise" (Parody of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise"). "Living with a Hernia" (Parody of James Brown's "Living In America"). "Fat" (Parody of the title track from Michael Jackson's Bad album). "Grapefruit Diet" (Parody of Cherry Poppin' Daddies' "Zoot Suit Riot").
"Like A Surgeon" (Parody of Madonna's "Like a Virgin"). "Phony Calls" (Parody of TLC's "Waterfalls"). "Bedrock Anthem" (Parodies of Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under The Bridge" and "Give It Away"). "Gump" (Parody of the Presidents of the United States of America's "Lump").
"Theme from Rocky XIII" (Parody of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger"). "Jerry Springer" (Parody of Barenaked Ladies' "One Week"). "Cavity Search" (Parody of U2's "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me"). "Smells Like Nirvana" (Parody of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit").
"Pretty Fly for a Rabbi" (Parody of The Offspring's "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)"). "I Love Rocky Road" (Parody of Joan Jett's "I Love Rock N' Roll"). "Eat It" (Parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It"). "The Saga Begins" (Parody of Don McLean's "American Pie"; tells the story of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace).
"Couch Potato" (Eminem's "Lose Yourself" from the movie 8 Mile). "Ricky" (a parody of "Mickey" by Toni Basil, humorous lyrics themed from I Love Lucy; a parody of and tribute to the series). "Albuquerque" an extremely funny, but long, song, about Al's weird ventures into the city of Albuquerque - it's 11 and a half minutes long!. "Headline News" (Parody of "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" by Crash Test Dummies) - 1994.
Theme from "Spy Hard" (Spy Hard soundtrack - 1996). "Polkamon" (Pokémon The Movie 2000 (soundtrack) - 2000). The Saga Begins - 1999. The TV Album - 1995.
Greatest Hits - Volume II - 1994. Permanent Record - Al in the Box - 1994. The Food Album - 1993. The Best Of Yankovic - 1992 (Korean LP).
Greatest Hits - 1988. Poodle Hat - 2003. Running With Scissors - 1999. Bad Hair Day - 1996.
Alapalooza - 1994. Off the Deep End - 1992. UHF (movie soundtrack) - 1989. Even Worse - 1988.
Polka Party - 1986. Dare to Be Stupid - 1985. "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D - 1984. Weird Al Yankovic - 1983.