Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is a ten-time Grammy Award-winning American rapper, record producer and singer. He released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004, his second album Late Registration in 2005, and his third album Graduation in 2007. His first three albums have received numerous awards, critical acclaim, and commercial success. West also runs his own record label GOOD Music.
West's mascot and trademark is "Dropout Bear," a teddy bear which has appeared on the covers of his three albums as well as the singles "Stronger" and "Homecoming."
West's parents divorced when he was three years old, and he and his mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. He enrolled at Chicago State University but later dropped out to continue pursuing his music career. He later gained fame by producing hit singles for musical artists including Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, and Janet Jackson. West's style of production often utilizes pitched-up vocal samples, usually from soul songs, with his own drums and instruments. Some controversy has also surrounded West, such as an incident during a live telecast of a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina relief, when he deviated from the script and told the audience, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
On May 16, 2008, Kanye West was crowned by MTV as the year's #1 "Hottest MC In The Game."