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was a professor of English at Clark Atlanta University, and the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University, before retiring to serve as his manager.

West was raised in a middle-class background, attending Polaris High School At the age of 10, West moved with his mother to Nanjing, China, where she was teaching at Nanjing University as part of an exchange program.

His first official production credits came at the age of nineteen when he produced eight tracks on Down to Earth, the 1996 debut album of a Chicago rapper named Grav.

For a time, West acted as a ghost producer for Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie.

West is among the most critically acclaimed musicians of the 21st century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time.s 2012 update of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list and he ties with Bob Dylan for having topped the annual Pazz & Jop critic poll the most number of times ever, with four number-one albums each.

Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 20.

Her second effort subsequently became the very first hip-hop album by a female rapper to debut at the top of the U. His songs featured rappers Nas, Drag-On, and R&B singer Carl Thomas.

The ninth track from World Party, the last Goodie Mob album to feature the rap group's four founding members prior to their break-up, was co-produced by West with his manager Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie.

Over the course of his career, West has been responsible for cultural movements and progressions within mainstream hip-hop and popular music at large.

Accompanying him to the studio and despite discovering it being "a little basement studio" where a microphone hung from the ceiling by a wire clothes hanger, West's mother nonetheless supported and encouraged him. D., with whom he quickly formed a close friendship. After graduating from high school, West received a scholarship to attend Chicago's American Academy of Art in 1997 and began taking painting classes, but shortly after transferred to Chicago State University to study English.

He soon realized that his busy class schedule was detrimental to his musical work, and at 20 he dropped out of college to pursue his musical dreams.

Because of his association with D-Dot, West wasn't able to release a solo album, so he formed and became a member and producer of the Go-Getters, a late-1990s Chicago rap group composed of him, GLC, Timmy G, Really Doe, and Arrowstar.

His group was managed by John "Monopoly" Johnson, Don Crowley, and Happy Lewis under the management firm Hustle Period.

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