9 things you need to know about Kanye West
Just what does the Abu Dhabi-bound singer spend his money on? Discuss this article
There are few stars that shine brighter than Kanye West. Since the release of 2004 debut College Dropout, Kanye has ruled the charts: with more than 30 million paid-for downloads, last year he was named one of the ten best-selling digital artists ever. Now firmly established as part of hip-hop royalty, thanks in part to 2011’s super-collaboration with Jay-Z, Watch the Throne, West returns to the UAE next week. Ahead of the gig at Abu Dhabi’s du Arena, we round up the need-to-know facts about the man they call Yeezy (among other things).
In 2002 he was involved in a car crash that meant he had to have a metal plate put in his chin.
While still in hospital he requested an electronic drum machine so he could continue composing. His debut single ‘Through the Wire’ got its name because during recording he had to sing with a wire brace around his jaw as a result of his accident.
Over the years he’s adopted (or has been given) various monikers.
Nicknames include Konman, Ye, the Louis Vuitton Don and even Martin Louis the King Jnr. The name Kanye means ‘the only one’ in Swahili.
He runs his own record label, GOOD Music.
It stands for Getting Out Our Dreams) Music, and has the likes of John Legend, Kid Cudi and Common on its roster.
His career hasn’t always been glamorous.
Before he was a star Kanye once worked as a telemarketer selling credit card insurance.
He’s reported to be worth more than Dhs275 million.
Following his early success, he bought himself an 18th-century aquarium containing 30 koi fish. It reportedly features a cherub-shaped gold fountain on a marble base in the centre.
He does his bit for charity.
West is putting a signed and worn pair of his Nike Air Yeezy II sneakers up for auction to raise funds for the Re/Create New York charity, which is helping with the ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief. An original non-signed, non-worn pair recently sold for Dhs330,000.
Last year his second short film, Cruel Summer, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
The screening’s unusual setup featured seven screens to show the same shot from different angles simultaneously. Shot in Qatar, producer-director-star West also considered using the UAE as a location. He starred alongside ‘the first Qatari female to star in a movie’.
He’s visited the UAE a couple of times already.
Kanye performed at Dubai’s Desert Rhythm Festival in 2007 (pictured above), returning to the UAE in 2010 to open the after-race concerts at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He tweeted to fans: ‘Stage in Abu Dhabi… Craze!’ While in the UAE, he had the chance to experience what he called ‘Abu Dhabi hobbies’, including ‘skydiving, dune buggies, vintage jewellery and the fastest rollercoaster’.
He’s pretty popular on Twitter.
As @kanyewest he has more than nine million followers, sharing insights such as ‘You can’t look at a glass half full or empty if it’s overflowing’, ‘Some people have really big foreheads. Not in a bad way’ and ‘Classical music is tight yo’.
Kanye West plays du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, on Thursday January 31. Tickets, Dhs295-695, plus VIP packages. www.thinkflash.ae (800 35274).
Time Out Dubai,
- Atlantis Beach, The Palm(1)
- Bliss Lounge(1)
- Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE(1)
- Cavalli Club(1)
- Cirque du Soir(1)
- Crowne Plaza Dubai(1)
- Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre(1)
- Dubai World Trade Centre(5)
- Emirates Golf Club(1)
Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards 2013 The best nightlife in Dubai revealed
Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013 Revealed: The best places to eat in Dubai
Most viewed galleries
- Florence and the Machine and Keane in Dubai
- Martinez Brothers at Blue Marlin
- Funkagenda at XL Beach Club
- Silent Disco at The Dek on Eight
- Dubai Fighting Championship
Most viewed events
- Deep Crates
- Family Fun at Bidi Bondi
- Ek Shaam Ghazal Ke Naam by Padmashree Pankaj Udhas
- SANDANCE presents The Killers, Of Monsters And Men, The Wailers & more
- MusicHall night
Our favourite features
101 best dishes of the year in Dubai Tastiest meals that have tickled Time Out’s taste buds in 2012
10 top Dubai beaches Grab your sunscreen and head for the city's best beach clubs
100 top brunches in Dubai Friday feasts plus evening and Saturday brunch for all wallets
55 ways to party in Dubai Celebrate our 11th birthday with an alternative activity
10 must-try nights in Dubai The ultimate checklist for the city’s party people
Best cupcakes in Dubai We give in to our cravings to taste the city’s sweetest offerings
14 Wi-Fi hotspots in Dubai Ditch the office in favour of these Wi-Fi cafés and venues in the city
24 top pizzas in Dubai We tuck into the city’s best slices of Italy
24-hour dining in Dubai We stay up to try 12 of the city's best round-the-clock eateries
Where to watch Premier League football in Dubai Great spots to catch the English Premier League soccer on TV
28 top Dubai takeaways We rate the city's best delivery food
Dubai's luxury hotel suites Live like a king at the city's most extravagant rooms
24 brunches to try in Dubai Time Outers share their favourite Friday feasts in the city
10 top Dubai breakfasts The best spots to enjoy the most important meal of the day
Pay less rent in Dubai The ultimate property guide to help you relocate and save cash