Sure, he has plenty of haters and detractors, but when has that ever stopped Kanye West from being the most Kanyest Kanye he can be at all times?
No matter which side of the Kanye likeability scale you rest on, there is no denying that he has been doing it to death for the greater part of a decade - creating good music and plenty of water cooler conversations along the way.
This past year might represent some of his most Kanyest times ever, as we witnessed him release the soon-to-be-classic Watch The Throne with Jay-Z, wife up the queen of reality TV, talk the most trash in lyrics that he's talked in years ("The media crucify me like they did Christ/ They wanna find me not breathin' like they found Mike" - oh, word?), and put the final touches on a diabolical movement he calls G.O.O.D. Music...
...not to mention his 17 BET Hip-Hop Awards nominations in 2012.
In honor of his hella award nominations, the way he keeps us talking, and his epic, past year as a rapper, producer, entrepreneur, and fashion mogul, AllHipHop.com is proud to present the "2012 Yeezy Awards":
2012 Yeezy Award #1
"Best/Worst in Show: Awards Show Jacking for No Good Reason"
We really hate to dig this back up on Yeezy, but it truly personifies the unpredictable character that has captivated us for years. It wasn't at BET, but during another awards show - the 2009 MTV VMAs - that Yeezy decided that sweet, little Taylor Swift didn't deserve that award of hers. In his Hennessy-filled mind, the kudos belonged to Beyonce' that night - because God knows, Beyonce' hasn't received enough accolades during the course of her gigantic career and awesome life. This wasn't one of the Chi-Town producer's shining moments, and he spent a good deal of time trying to rebound from the bad PR that ensued. In the end, he prevailed with 808s and Heartbreak, a decidedly emotional and transformative side of Yeezy. He grew after that, people. That deserves an award.
2012 Yeezy Award #2
"(Second) Best Swagger When Coupled With Ego on a Bazillion"
It's not often that an artist is awarded for being second best. But the top swag award - just above Yeezy - goes to his close friend and collaborator, Jay-Z. Let's face it - Jay personifies cool. But Yeezy comes in at a close second when it comes to creating his own lane, and then owning that lane like nobody's business. He has ventured into the world of international haute couture (a.k.a. high fashion), cleaning out Kim Kardashian's old closet full of clothes in the process and making her his creative muse. His lyrics of late have also taken a turn for the more egotistical - if that's even possible - and he has taken to comparing himself to world figures and well, describes himself as just the greatest, freaking guy that ever walked the planet. Ever. And he does it convincingly. He believes it. And if you're honest...so do you.
2012 Yeezy Award #3
"Most Prolific Hip-Hop Deal Taker and Deal Maker"
Yeezy said it himself. No one, like no one, wanted to give him a record deal in the early days. He had already started making a name for himself, being seen in producer circles with people like his Chicago brethren, No ID. Yeezy's perfectly sampled and soulful beats were becoming highly sought after - so no one was really checking for him as a rapper at the time. Then, a desperate, last ditch effort to woo Jay-Z and then-partner Dame Dash worked in his favor. Soon after that, the labels - including Columbia - who had overlooked Yeezy were lamenting their poor judgment. He threw up the Roc sign, kicked in the door with The College Dropout in 2003, and the rest is Hip-Hop History. Jump in a time machine to 2012. Now, Yeezy's own G.O.O.D. Music imprint is signing some of the best talent in the game - like Big Sean and Pusha T. Way to silence the doubters and get yours, Yeezy.
2012 Yeezy Award #4
"Best Public Rebound from a Traumatic Life Incident"
Even Yeezy's biggest haters couldn't hate when he lost his beloved mother, Donda West, in 2007 after complications from cosmetic surgery. We all watched sadly as he mourned - making massive mistakes along the way - and then disappearing for a much-deserved timeout. The cool thing is that he did come back, and keeps coming back, no matter what the bad news of the day is. He even admitted in a recent song that he battled with depression at the time, and contemplated suicide at one point. Rest in peace, Mama West, and cheers to you, Yeezy, for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and continuing to make her proud.
[Ahem, ahem. We won't spend much time harping on the fact that he's currently in a legal fight against the release of two possible sex tapes. Wow. Keep your head (and your pants) up, Yeezy.]
2012 Yeezy Award #5
"Most Courage Under Fire (or Underwater)"
"George Bush doesn't care about Black people."
With those six words, Yeezy may have cemented himself as an outspoken personality for the ages. He was saying what a lot of other people were feeling during that September 2005 Red Cross telethon to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Yeezy was right - the federal government's response to the natural disaster was deplorable. But, it was his shaky-throated voice that spoke for all of Hip-Hop that day, when he let the establishment know (as millions watched) that we weren't going to keep overlooking the BS anymore.
Bravo, Yeezy. Bravo.
BONUS: 2012 YEEZY'S PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD
"Best Bad B*tches By the Boatload"
It was 2011's "You know how many bad b*tches I own?" that underscored Yeezy's prowess for pulling in some of the world's most beautiful and talked about women. There was Alexis from way back, the good girl who was clearly down for Yeezy, but possibly not loving the blinding glare of his newfound spotlight.
Then, of course, there was Amber Rose, and their uber-public and eventually torrid relationship. These days, Kim K is ruler of Yeezy's heart, and the media sensation they've already created is more than we could have imagined (or wanted, in some cases). Yeezy seems happy, though, and if he likes it, we love it.
CONGRATS TO KANYE WEST ON HIS 17 BET HIP-HOP AWARDS NOMINATIONS! Tune in for the show on October 9 on BET.