One of the most divisive figures in the music industry, Kanye West blurred the line between ego and artistry with his critically acclaimed albums, groundbreaking music videos, and over the top public persona. West began his career as a music producer, collaborating with high-profile talents such as Jay-Z and Janet Jackson before making his mark as an award-winning rapper. West's musical repertoire was a culmination of real life tragedies - from a debilitating car crash in 2002 to his mother's untimely death in 2007 - which he turned into emotional and intellectual lyrics that punctuated albums such as <i>The College Dropout</i> (2004) and <i>Graduation</i> (2007). His light-speed rap delivery, auto-tuned hooks, and pulse-pounding beats made him one of the most exciting and innovative artists of any genre. However, West's public outbursts and outlandish, arrogant behavior, including a notorious stunt at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards where he rudely interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech, also turned off even his most loyal fans. Facing public scrutiny, West took time out of the limelight and reemerged a year later, more humbled by fame and with a new album that solidified his status as an envelope-pushing artist who was truly ahead of his time. As his music grew progressively more experimental, however, West became better known as a tabloid fixture due to his romance with reality TV star Kim Kardashian, whom he married in May 2014 following the birth of their daughter North West.