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Kanye West At Bumbershoot 2006

Source: Anthony Pidgeon / Getty

Dating back to the late ’90s, Kanye West emerged as a sought-after collaborator by Jay Z and the Roc-A-Fella clique. Though West’s name was thrown around as an in-demand producer, he envisioned his own lyrics flowing atop the soulful instrumentals he created. All he needed was an opportunity. With The College Dropout, West seized that opportunity. The album went triple platinum stateside, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and spawning a No. 1 single with Twista’s “Slow Jamz,” featuring West and Jamie Foxx.

In celebration of West’s 40th birthday, revisit how the rapper followed his passion and graduated with honors to become one of the top GRAMMY winners of all time. Read the full story here.

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