Kanye West may have everything he wants at his disposal - money, success, fame. But, his past is actually utterly tragic...
Kanye West is one of the biggest and most successful stars right now...
via: Getty ImagesBut for all the ups, there have been plenty of downs.
His life has been far from plain sailing...
via: Getty ImagesAnd, as tragic details emerge, people's hearts are breaking for the star.
Kanye initially rose to fame in the early '00s.
via: Getty ImagesSince then, the rapper has become one of the biggest names in the music industry.
Kanye was born in Atlanta in 1977...
via: Getty ImagesAnd after being raised in Chicago, he kicked off his career by working as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, producing singles for artists such as Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.
Though he was always intent on pursuing a solo career...
via: Getty ImagesHe began experimenting with a variety of musical genres on subsequent acclaimed studio albums, including Late Registration in 2005 and Graduation in 2007.
The rapper has gone on to release numerous albums...
via: Getty ImagesThese include My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010, Yeezus in 2013, The Life of Pablo in 2016, Ye in 2018, and Jesus is King in 2019.
Kanye's music isn't the only reason he's so famous...
via: Getty ImagesKanye met Kim Kardashian back in 2003, but they didn't rekindle until October of 2011 - a mere few weeks after Kim divorced Kris Humphries after a seventy-two-day marriage.
But it seems that Kim and Kanye are the real thing...The couple got married in Italy in 2014 and they have since had 4 children together - North, Chicago, Saint, and Psalm.
Kanye is now also a fashion designer.
via: Getty ImagesHe has been working on fashion lines since 2006, and now Kanye's Yeezy collections are sold-out worldwide - despite waves of criticisms surrounding them (read all about the latest brutal trolling at the end).
The Kardashian-Wests are probably the most stylish family ever...
via: InstagramBut being a family man doesn't seem to have settled down Kanye, who is also very well known for his outspoken and often irrational personality.
Where do we start when it comes to Kanye's past behavior?Kanye isn't afraid of letting his opinion be known and he enjoys going to extreme lengths to do so.
He completely ruined Taylor Swift's acceptance of an MTV Video Music Award in 2009...Instead of allowing Swift to happily accept her award - that she won - he interrupted her on stage saying that Beyonce deserved to win more than she did.
Kanye's behavior didn't stop there...
via: Getty ImagesHe has made claims in the past that he is, in fact, a God, which didn't go down well with Christian communities around the world.
Not to mention the whole running for president thing...
via: Getty ImagesIn between a disastrous rally and eyebrow-raising twitter rants, it was certainly a drama-filled few months for the star.
But it seems behind closed doors, the star's life has been utterly tragic.
via: Getty ImagesAnd it stems all the way back to childhood.
The star hasn't shied away from opening up about his childhood.
via: Getty ImagesWhen Kanye was just eleven months old, his parents, Donda and Ray West, split up.
Both Kanye and his mother relocated to Chicago following the separation...
via: Getty ImagesAnd his parents went on to get divorced when he was 3 years old.
Of course, parents getting divorced is a pretty common thing...
via: Getty ImagesBut it seems many of his problems are deep-rooted in his strained relationship with his father. For instance, when speaking with President Donald Trump in 2018, Kanye said there was "not a lot of male energy going on" when he was growing up.
And on 2007's "Champion," he seemingly alludes to his dad struggling financially.
via: Getty Images"'Cause every summer he'd get some/Brand new harebrained scheme to get rich from," Kanye raps. "And I don't know what he did for dough/But he'd send me back to school with a new wardrobe, but ayy."
Despite this, however, Kanye revealed during his first 2020 presidential rally that he believes his father didn't want him.
via: Getty ImagesBecoming visibly emotional, he told the South Carolina crowd: "My mom saved my life. My dad wanted to abort me." He continued: "There would have been no Kanye West, because my dad was too busy."
Early on in his career, Kanye faced another hurdle.
via: Getty ImagesJust 2 weeks after he was signed to Roc-A-Fella as an artist, the rapper got into an accident that put his future career in jeopardy.
As per MTV, in October 2002, the star was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital after he got into a car crash.
via: Getty ImagesThe accident ended up leaving him with a fractured jaw, and while it wasn't life-threatening, his manager said at the time it would have to be wired shut for 6 weeks.
Which of course, is far from ideal when you rely on your jaw to rap...
via: Getty ImagesBut that wasn't all. WIUX later reported that Kanye also required "reconstructive facial surgery," "teeth replacement" and spent 2 weeks in hospital.
But what exactly caused the crash in the first place?
via: Getty ImagesMTV reported in 2004, that the rapper initially told police he fell asleep at the wheel, but then apparently changed his account to claim the driver of the other car, Miguel Villasana, cut him off.
The other driver didn't fare well...
via: Getty ImagesWIUX states Villasana was left with a broken pelvis, 2 broken legs, 2 broken knees, and a shattered ankle. According to court documents obtained by SPIN, Villasana sued Kanye, but the lawsuit was apparently dismissed.
Following the ordeal...
via: Getty ImagesThe up and coming rapper wrote and recorded his first single, "Through the Wire," while his jaw was still wired shut.
He opened up about how the accident changed his perspective in 2014.
via: Getty Images"I think I started to approach time in a different way after the accident. Before I was more willing to give my time to people and things that I wasn't as interested in." He went on to say that the accident "gave me perspective on life — that it was really now or 100 percent never."
But tragedy was just around the corner for Kanye...
via: Getty ImagesIn November 2007, his mom, Donda, died unexpectedly.
The pair were extremely close.
via: Getty ImagesWhen her son became famous, Donda retired from Chicago State University to work for Kanye full-time.
She was truly his number 1 fan.
via: Getty ImagesAnd the pair reportedly had a bond like no other.
Donda passed away just one day after undergoing a number of cosmetic procedures.
via: Getty ImagesShe was under the knife for 5 and a half hours, receiving a breast reduction, tummy tuck, and liposuction after which, as the autopsy revealed (as reported by People), she "opted to return to her home for care even though she was advised that she receive post-operative care at another facility."
The following day, she reportedly experienced a sore throat and pain in her chest. She then died that very evening.
via: Getty ImagesAccording to Reuters, "the manner of death could not be determined," but the coroner did conclude that Donda "died from some pre-existing coronary artery disease and multiple post-operative factors following surgery."
Just twelve days after the passing of Donda West, Kanye threw himself back into his music.
via: Getty ImagesAs the NZ Herald reported at the time, the rapper took to the stage and struggled to hold back the tears while performing "Hey Mama."
Many claim Kanye suffers from "unresolved grief."
via: Getty ImagesEspecially given how quickly he threw himself back into his work.
But, Kanye has managed to open up about his mom's passing more recently.
via: Getty ImagesThe rapper told MTV: "My mother was my everything." He revealed that she was his "first manager," adding, "I remember her driving me out to the suburbs that would be like an hour away to studios, and her just sitting there with me in support."
According to one source who spoke with People 2 years ago, Kanye's various breakdowns may be tied to the pain he feels over losing his mother so suddenly.
via: Getty Images"It happens every fall as we get close to the anniversary of his mom's death," the insider claimed.
It's clear Donda is very much still on her son's mind.
via: Getty ImagesIn 2018, he tweeted an image of her plastic surgeon, Dr. Jan Adams, writing, "This is my album cover." Explaining the reason behind the move, he revealed, "I want to forgive and stop hating." Despite this, however, Kanye opted to use a photo of the Teton Range instead.
It appears to be the one emotional wound that just won't heal.
via: Getty ImagesUlysses Blakeley, who dated Donda "for years," told Page Six just this year: "He has not recovered from the loss of his mother. They had such a close bond."
Sadly though, the tragedy surrounding his mom's untimely death doesn't stop there.
via: Getty ImagesBecause Kanye has repeatedly claimed that it's his fault that his mother died.
In 2015, he was asked what was the biggest sacrifice he had to make for success was...
via: Getty ImagesTo which he responded: "My mom. If I had never moved to LA, she'd be alive," adding, "I don't want to go far into it because it will bring me to tears."
This isn't the first time he's placed the blame on himself.
via: Getty ImagesOn a 2008 track named "Pinocchio Story," he rapped: "And the day I moved to LA, maybe that was all my fault/All my fault to be a real boy, chasin' the American dream/Chasin' everything we seen, up on the TV screen."
2 years later, he opened up about the impact moving to Los Angeles had on his mother's death, writing:
via: Getty Images"When I moved to LA, she moved to LA. And she wound up in a place that would eat her alive. Even if I stayed in New York, it wouldn't have been like that. "If I had lived in New York, she'd still be here."
In 2016, everything appeared to catch up with him.
via: Getty ImagesBecause the star suffered a highly publicized breakdown, that ultimately landed him in hospital.
According to TMZ, the rapper was at trainer Harley Pasternak's house when he started "acting erratically" and 911 was called.
via: Getty ImagesWhile the official reason for his hospitalization was reported to be dehydration and sleep deprivation, the incident was classified as a "psychiatric emergency," according to dispatcher audio.
Kanye opened up about the incident in 2018:
via: Getty ImagesKanye told Charlamagne tha God that "fear, stress, control, being controlled, manipulation, being a pawn and chess piece of life" led to the breakdown.
Meanwhile, he shared with TMZ Live that he had gotten liposuction...
via: Getty ImagesAnd that this allegedly resulted in an opioid addiction, eventually leading to his hospitalization.
Aside from grief, Kanye has struggled with another aspect of his life.
via: Getty ImagesAccording to CNN, the star took to Twitter in 2016 to reveal that he was "fifty-three million dollars in personal debt" and ask Mark Zuckerberg to "invest 1 billion dollars into Kanye West ideas."
Where exactly did these alleged losses come from?
via: Getty ImagesTMZ noted that the losses likely came from investments in his music career and fashion, including forking out $40 million for 3 seasons of his Yeezy line.
But, more family heartache was to follow...
via: Getty ImagesKanye West's dad, Ray, has always been around, but the pair didn't start building a real relationship until after Kanye turned forty. As he revealed on 2016's "Pt. 2: "Sorry that I ain't call you back, same problems my father had," he raps. "All this time, all he had, all he had/And what he dreamed, all his cash/ Market crashed, hurt him bad/People get divorced for that."
And, in 2019, Kanye tweeted this:
via: Getty Images"It took me forty-two years to realize that my dad was my best friend." He also revealed his father visited him on his ranch in Wyoming and they bonded as Ray "talked about his love for fishing, and how he could come here in the summers."
But, just as the pair had turned over a new leaf...
via: Getty ImagesIt was revealed that Ray has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Luckily, in 2018, according to sources, he was responding well to treatment.
via: Getty Images"Kanye doesn't really talk about it," an insider shared with People magazine at the time. "You can tell it's something that's very difficult for him."
Amazingly, by October 2018, Ray was in remission.
via: Getty ImagesSo, there you have it. There's no doubt that for all his successes, Kanye hasn't had it easy. For more on the star, scroll on for the incredible gift he gave Kim for her fortieth birthday...