Kanye West


Manage episode 302079599 series 1301252
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The seminal rapper and billionaire fashion mogul Kanye West's new album Donda is named after his late mother, who was an influential figure in his life. It's gone straight to number one in many countries, it's the most successful album of the year already, clocking up over 180 million streams in just 24 hours. Some consider Kanye West - who also calls himself Ye - a creative genius. Others have been put off by controversial behaviour. President Obama called him a "jackass", after Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for a video music award to say Beyoncé "had one of the best videos of all time", implying she should have won instead. He apologised later. The hip hop artist doesn't lack self-belief. He has called himself a "God", and compared himself to the likes of Picasso and Shakespeare. But could he have a point? Even Barack Obama admitted that Kanye is "very talented" too. And experts say he has changed the genre, both as rapper and as producer. There is "hip hop before Kanye West, and hip hop after Kanye West". And then there is fashion - his designs of popular trainers and clothes have made him a billionaire. So what drives the controversial yet highly successful artist? Mark Coles dives into Kanye West's life and work to find out. Producer: Arlene Gregorius Researcher: Maia Lowerson

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