Kanye West: Success and Failure

Essay by jwang815High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2006

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Kanye West, both a contemporary producer/songwriter and a rapper, "is undoubtedly one of the most talented and accomplished young producers to have emerged in recent years" (VH1 Biography). He boasts many themes and inspirational ideas in his song lyrics; one particular motif that recurs in several of his tunes is the apparent notion of success and failure and the contrast between the two. West shows through his lyrics that he himself has succeeded because of determination and faith in God, whereas others have failed to achieve such success because of apathetic attitudes and abject life conditions.

To make it to the top of the hip hop charts, one must have great physical and mental determination. One must go through a myriad of struggles and demoralizing aspects of life before knowing what it is like to get a taste of success. West maybe had to take one of the toughest routes to success after being involved in a "near fatal car accident in which he sustained injuries that left his jaw fractured in three places" (VH1 Biography).

Any ordinary man would have given up and quit from the music industry after such a devastating event. However, West's soul was in music, and he was determined to make a difference in the hip hop industry. In fact, "[he] used the accident as an inspiration for one of the most arresting and triumphant creative statements rap music has ever seen" (VH1 Biography). Consequently, many of the lyrics he writes are about how determination eventually leads to success. Take, for example, after his accident, he knew that if he continued on in the music industry, he would be risking it all. He writes down "I'll gladly risk it all right now/It's a life or death situation man," ("Through the Wire") that he would...