From controversy to online rampages, Kanye West is like no other. So, why not study the rapper’s life and career at college?
“Welcome to Graduation”
Everyone has their own 2 cents about the outspoken artist. It is safe to say, however, that Kanye West is one of the most influential rappers of our generation. This is the way of thinking for Yassin Alsalman, of Concordia University in Montreal. The professor has launched the class called “Kanye vs. Ye: Genius by Design”.
“I want to bring something new and fresh to students. An opportunity to bring more amazing guests to the University and to discuss the world through the lens of the most influential artists of our generation.”
The course is set to follow West’s career from the very beginning, including his early producing days in Chicago, his rise to fame with albums like “College Dropout”, to his most recent album “Donda”. “Kanye vs. Ve: Genius by Design” has a limited capacity of just 200 lucky students who will deep dive into “the unique complex and controversial natures and contexts of Kanye’s body of work”.
In 2004, Kanye West released his first album “College Dropout” and was immediately launched into stardom. The rapper won ‘Best Rap Album’ of the year in 2005 at the Grammy Awards for his debut album. In comparison to other notable rap artists of the time (50-Cent, Nelly), West normalised socially conscious lyrics that swayed away from songs about violence and gang culture.
Most notably, the album includes the hit song and first single ‘Through the Wire’ which followed West’s car accident where he broke his jaw in 3 places. The severe injury meant the rapper had to have his mouth wired shut for over a month. Per Ebony, he says,
“So simply, the accident gave me the opportunity to do what I really wanted to do. I was a music producer, and everyone was telling me that I had no business becoming a rapper, so it gave me the opportunity to tell everyone, ‘Hey, I need some time to recover,”
Other Influential Artist Courses
While unconventional in the realm of the standard university curriculum, this isn’t the first time an artist has been studied in university. At UC Berkley, students can take a class on Frank Ocean, a singer-songwriter who is best known for his albums ‘Channel Orange’ and ‘Blonde’.
Taylor Swift’s evolution from a small-town country music star to a global pop sensation can too be studied at NYU.
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