American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and fashion designer, Kanye Omari West, has officially changed his name to “Ye.”
This comes after a Los Angeles judge, today Monday, October 18, 2021, approved a petition by the rapper to officially change his name with no middle or last name.
One of the most influential and critically lauded artists of the early 21st century, Ye went from hip-hop beatmaker to worldwide hitmaker as his production work for artists such as Jay-Z led to a major-label recording contract and, ultimately, a wildly successful solo career that counted an unbroken string of chart-topping, multi-platinum albums and nearly two dozen Grammy Awards for classic sets like 2005’s Late Registration, 2007’s Graduation, and 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Born June 8, 1977, Ye’s production abilities seemed boundless, as he not only racked up impressive hits for himself (including number one singles “Gold Digger” and “Stronger”) but also collaborated on smash hits with longtime collaborator Jay-Z (on their 2011 Watch the Throne track “Ni**as in Paris”) and even Paul McCartney (along with Rihanna on 2015’s “FourFiveSeconds”).
As his career progressed throughout the early 21st century, Ye became a superstar on his own terms without adapting his appearance, his rhetoric, or his music to fit any one musical mold.
A proud and vocal Chicagoan, West was actually born in Atlanta, moving to the Windy City with his English professor mother after his parents split when he was three years old. One of his major inspirations, Donda West helped shape young Kanye, bringing him to China in the late ’80s on education exchange and establishing a strong base that made him a top pupil in high school.
On January 6, 2019, West started his weekly “Sunday Service” orchestration which includes soul variations of both West’s and others’ songs attended by multiple celebrities including the Kardashians, Charlie Wilson, and Kid Cudi. Ye previewed a new song, “Water” at his “Sunday Service” orchestration performance at weekend 2 of Coachella.
On October 25, 2019, he released Jesus Is King, a Christian hip hop album. On the US charts, the album became the first to ever top the Billboard 200, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Top Rap Albums, Top Christian Albums and Top Gospel Albums at the same time.
Ye also collaborated with Vanessa Beecroft on two operas, Nebuchadnezzar and Mary. On December 25, 2019, West and Sunday Service released Jesus Is Born, containing 19 songs including several re-workings of older West songs.
On June 30, 2020, West released the single, titled “Wash Us in the Blood”, featuring fellow American rapper and singer Travis Scott, along with the music video, which was set to serve as the lead single from his tenth studio album Donda, and draws similarities to the sound of his 2013 album Yeezus.