Is there a more captivating figure in pop culture right now than Kanye West? Whatever Yeezy does, he makes waves. It’s been that way for years, but as we wind down 2013, there’s no denying that Kanye has had an explosive year. He dropped Yeezus, released a pricey collaboration with the French ready-to-wear brand A.P.C., had a baby, got engaged and headlined his first solo tour in five years.
Of course, things haven’t been all smooth. Yeezus struck up some controversy, him and Kim are suing YouTube founder Chad Hurley for leaking the news on their engagement and the Yeezus Tour has had some postponements because of stage production issues. The thing is, if you knew the skinny on Ye, you would realize that the dude has had one interesting and wild ride that we all call life.
Here are 25 things you didn’t know about Kanye West.
25. Meet Jay Z sometime in 2000 after Hov finished the track Kanye-produced track “This Can’t Be Life”. Yeezy wasn’t impressed.
24. Tour merchandise from the Yeezus Tour is available at PacSun.
23. After that incident with Taylor Swift at the VMAs, Mos Def visited Yeezy and encouraged him to move out of the country.
22. Kanye paid for production of the ‘Glow in the Dark Tour’’ DVD after Best Buy backed out the sponsored deal.
21. Thought about becoming a male adult entertainer “once or twice”.
20. 808 is an area code in Hawaii. Kanye recorded some of 808s and Heartbreaks in Honolulu.
19. Spent $35,000 of his own money to shot the video for “Through The Wire”.
18. Wanted to release all of the videos from Late Registration in movie theaters.
17. Following the success of The College Dropout, Kanye bought an 18th-century aquarium that had about 30 koi fish in it. In the middle of the tank was a cherub-shaped gold fountain resting on a marble base.
16. Kanye met Kim Kardashian back in 2004, but didn’t get closer until both were featured in a sketch for the failed Comedy Central show “Alligator Boots” in 2008.
15. Those infamous ‘Shutter Shades’ had been around since the 1950s, but became popular in the 1980s. Kanye wore a pair from French-Armenian designer Alain Mikli in the 2007 “Stronger” video.
14. There’s an unreleased Kanye record featuring Jay Z, Jack White and samples from the Broadway musical Wicked.
13. Created his first beat back in the 7th grade for a “very sexual” video game he attempted to program himself.
12. Was named “International Man of the Year” at the 10th Annual GQ Awards on September 4, 2007.
11. Had the nickname “Deep House” because he wore baggy pants and had lots of backpacks.
10. Worked as a telemarketer selling insurance to Montgomery Ward credit card holders after dropping out of Chicago State University.
9. Sold his first beat to a local Chicago rapper Gravity for $8,800. He spent the money on a Jesus Piece and Polo clothes.
8. The King of Pop Michael Jackson called him to ask about the jacket he wore in the video for “Stronger”.
7. Kanye met A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou sometime in 2001. Touitou was introduced to Yeezy as ‘Kenny’.
6. Mixed the track “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” 14 times.
5. In Swahili, Kanye means “the only one”.
4. Following Late Registration, Yeezy said: “I TiVo rap videos so I can study them. To learn what steps to take to crush them all.”
3. He once told ‘Entertainment Weekly’ that he likes finalizing a song’s post-production “more than sex.”
2. Kanye met him mentor, No I.D. (Dion Ernest Wilson), through his mom Donda West. Both mothers taught together in Chicago.
1. Kanye actually lived in Nanjing, China for a year when he was 10 years old while his mother was a visiting professor.