Kanye West sometimes gets a bad rap (no pun intended) for speaking his mind. But in the year since North West was born and he crowned himself “Yeezus,” he tied the knot and became an all-around family man. In that vein, here are 5 times in his career when Kanye showed us his softer side:
5. Kanye West is often is seen as just a rapper, but it is clear that he wants to be seen as an artist. On “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the self-proclaimed “Louis Vuitton Don” explained that he should be allowed to be a fashion designer if he wants and that he shouldn’t be held back creatively because people see him as a rapper – all before sweetly mentioning how his mom taught him to believe in himself.
4. Kanye made the song “Big Brother” as a tribute to Jay Z, who signed him and gave him a shot as a rapper. The song is great because Kanye purposely didn’t produce the song himself just so he could focus more on his message. He opens up about his relationship and rivalry with Jay Z, and it’s great to see him be inspired by someone other than himself.
3. While it wouldn’t be the first time Kanye went over-the-top, his proposal to Kim Kardashian was also incredibly romantic. With their friends and family in the stands, he rented out San Francisco’s AT&T Park and got the Chicago Symphony to perform as he got down on one knee. This surprise romantic gesture shows he has come a long way since he made “Drunken Hot Girls” and “Gold Digger.”
2. This was eventually overshadowed by another award show surprise from the rapper, but back in 2007, Kanye gave back an award he felt he didn’t deserve. The BET Hip-Hop Award for best video went to him for “Stronger,” but he felt UGK and Outkast were more worthy for “International Players Anthem.” If only he hadn’t tried to give someone else’s award away two years later.
1. Not long after Kanye’s mother, Donda West, died in 2007, he performed his song “Hey Mama” at the Grammys. The song from “Late Registration” was already an awesome tribute to his mom, but from his stripped-down performance it was clear how hard her passing had hit him emotionally.