There is nothing more heartbreaking than to lose your mother to death especially when it happens under suspicious circumstances. This is true for Kanye West who was devastated when his mother passed away in 2007 from complications of cosmetic surgery. The day before Donda West died she had “liposuction, a tummy tuck, and a breast reduction.” She left the surgery center on her own but took a turn for the worse after collapsing then dying that evening. Some feel that West still has not gotten over the heartbreak.
Kanye West shared a touching story about his mother with David Letterman
During an interview with Letterman, on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, West said: “This would have been the [most fun] time of her life, to have those kids running around that house, and being able to, like, go and buy them toys.”
West also shared how his mom had bought him a multicolored bear because she thought it looked like a piece from Takashi Murakami. He said he felt bad because he told her: “I don’t want that –that [isn’t a] Takashi Murakami bear.”
West’s mother died a few weeks later, and he said he “did everything I could to find that bear” so he could “place that bear on top of all the Takashi Murakami stuff I had in the house.”
Was Kanye West raised by his mother?
When West was 3 years old, his parents divorced. West’s father Ray was a member of the Black Panthers and also became “one of the first black photojournalist” who worked for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a prominent newspaper in Atlanta, Georgia.
West and his mother moved to Chicago where she worked as an English professor at Clark Atlanta University, and also was the “Chair of the English department at Chicago State University.” When West was 10 years old, he and his mother moved to Nanjing, China after she was hired by Nanjing University to teach English.
West attended school there and became prolific in the language before they move back to the United States.
When did Kanye West become interested in the arts?
According to West’s mother, “he showed an affinity for arts at 5 years old when he started writing poetry.” Sometime around the third grade West started rapping, and when he was in the 7th grade he created some musical compositions.
West then convinced his mother to pay for some studio time, so he could record a rap song he titled, Green Eggs and Ham. West’s mother was a big supporter of her son’s pursuit of the arts, and he was able to convince her that his path in life did not include getting a college degree.
Of course, she was disappointed, but she later admitted, “that some career goals don’t require [a] college [degree].”
When did Donda West start managing Kanye’s business?
In 2004 Donda resigned as a professor to become the manager of Kanye’s business affairs. She became the “chief executive of West Brands,” which is the company that oversees all of Kanye’s business projects.
Additionally, she was the chairwoman of the Kanye West Foundation, a nonprofit with a focus on literacy and decreasing school dropout rates. Together Donda and Kanye created a program called “Loop Dreams” which encourages music participation for public school students.
Until her untimely death, Donda was a staunch defender of Kanye’s “sometimes controversial comments” and of his meteoric rise as a music artist. She chronicled their life in her book, “Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar.”
How did the death of his mother affect Kanye West’s music?
Initially West found it hard to talk about the passing of his mother. However, in 2007 at a show in Brussels West said: “Every show, every song I do has a different meaning to me now, whether it’s ‘Heard Em Say,’ ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing,’ ‘Jesus Walks,’ or ‘Touch The Sky.’”
While he was saying this an instrumental version of, “Hey Mama” a tribute to his mother played in the background. Additionally, about his song, “Only One,” West said he feels that the words, “Hello, my only one…” was divine inspiration from his mom.
It is fair to say that everything Kanye does now is affected by the loss of his mother. He wrote on his website, “I don’t do anything that I don’t love anymore.” He added, ‘If there’s anything my mom taught me, it’s to enjoy life.”
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