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FEATURE ARTICLE

 
2007 KANYE WEST

 

“I am the No.1 human being in music.  That means any person living or breathing is No. 2.  Bow in the presence of greatness, family.”  Kanye West on himself

 

Claim to fame:  Topping 50 Cent  

 

2007 started out like any other year for Kanye West.  To no surprise, fans caught the rapper throwing a tantrum on YouTube at the MTV’s Video Awards when he failed to nab the infamous “moon man.”  “Give a black man a chance” he screamed backstage after he lost to Timberlake.  But he didn’t stop there.  You see West also didn’t take to kindly to Britney Spears performing as the opening act for the awards ceremony – especially when his single, “Stronger” sat atop of the charts.  I guess it didn’t help that Spears’ performance resulted in a debacle.  The next day he went on the attack claiming the video giant exploited Spears.

 

"I wasn't mad that I just didn't win any awards," West says. "For me, [MTV] made it seem like performing on the main stage was a bad thing, and the suites were just so great. It was my dream when I made 'Stronger' to open up the VMAs with a real power performance.

"And I just feel like I got betrayed by them," the rapper continues.

Another sticking point: Pamela Anderson's racy introduction on the telecast. (
Anderson appeared in a music video for West's single "Touch the Sky.") Before West performed "Good Life" from his suite, the former Baywatch star told viewers, "One of the best times I've ever had was making out with the next performer in the middle of the desert. I think I had my tongue so far down his throat I could taste his fiancée – and I might need a repeat performance later tonight."

"I'm engaged, and I feel like it's disrespectful to my relationship," West says of Anderson's remarks, which he claims the network assured him would not happen.

 

Still his normal tantrums was nothing compared to what 9/11 would bring.  Things got interesting for the Louis Vuitton Don when his label moved the release date of his third album, Graduation, to September 11 – the same day as 50 Cent’s’ release.  Insiders predicted 50 as a clear winner and 9/11 quickly became one of hip-hop’s biggest stories of the year. 

 

To much surprise, West came out victorious over 50 by more than 250,000 copies with sales of 950,000 in the first week, the 15th highest sales week in Nielsen SoundScan history. 

 

Despite his success, West was not immune to the reality of life.  His mother, Donda West, and former chairwoman of Chicago State University's English department, passed away in November. She was 58.  Reports alleged that her death may have been the result of complications from a surgical procedure.

 

Read Class Superlatives

 

 



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