Kanye West was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Ray West, a former Black Panther who was one of the first black photojournalists at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Dr. Donda West, a Professor of English at Clark Atlanta University.
Kanye means "the only one" in Swahili.
When Kanye was three years old, his parents divorced, and he and his mother moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she was the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University. Donda was a constant presence at his side and later retired to serve as her son's manager. In 2005 West recorded "Hey Mama" as a tribute to his mother, who used this song as her ringtone on her cellphone.
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