Kanye West is arguably one of the greatest artists to have graced the rap scene, and his influence extends far beyond the microphone and drum machine. His career began in the late 1990s, when he perfected his skills as a producer, making an undeniable stamp on music for heavyweights such as Jermaine Dupri, Foxy Brown, Mase and Goodie Mob. However, it was West’s vital involvement on Roc-A-Fella Records' roster around the turn of the millennium that finally propelled him into the spotlight. He became one of the label's top producers as he routinely creating hits that became synonymous with the Roc sound.

The journey for the critically acclaimed artist was not easy. A devastating car accident in 2002 threatened the demise of his fledgling solo career, leaving his jaw wired shut and his future uncertain. However, perseverance and creativity emerged from the wreckage, as shown by the release of "Through The Wire" and its accompanying video. This adversity-inspired tune would serve as a prelude to his ground-breaking debut album, The College Dropout, which he released in 2004. The project’s critical acclaim and commercial success brought Ye to the forefront of Hip Hop and earned him most of his 10 Grammy nominations at the 47th annual ceremony in 2005 — and the rest is history.

West's career took off from that point. With each succeeding album, he pushed the boundaries of his talent, constantly expanding his sound and integrating his legacy as a true genre pioneer. The star's discography reflects his unlimited innovative thinking and everlasting commitment to his craft. Let's tour West's musical discography below.

10. ye

To mark the release of ye, the rapper threw an exclusive listening event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which was attended by industry heavyweights and celebrities such as Chris Rock and Jonah Hill. Featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR on two songs, the seven-track album addressed major themes ranging from the Russell Simmons sexual assault allegations to the Tristan Thompson-Khloé Kardashian disputes and West’s own controversial thoughts. The project reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and became his 8th consecutive chart-topping album — an achievement only matched by The Beatles and Eminem. Each track from ye reached the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, with "Yikes" reaching No. 8.

9. Donda

The buzz around Donda is partly because of how West unveiled it. He didn't just drop the album. He threw a release party in Atlanta. However, instead of releasing it right away, he stayed inside of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium tweaking it. The eccentric artist even asked fans for feedback and polled a fan Discord server to make small changes based on their input. Throughout the process, West gave fans a peek behind the scenes. After a few weeks and three big listening parties, the lyrical talent finally dropped the LP.


In early 2019, West started his Sunday Service sessions, which featured gospel interpretations of his classics performed in secret locations. Intriguing glimpses of the weekly event were only revealed via social media. Later that year, he released JESUS IS KING along with a 35-minute IMAX video that captured one of these moving gatherings. Then, in November of that year, he performed Nebuchadnezzar, an opera that combined Sunday Service-inspired choir harmonies with his reading of biblical scriptures. This inventive production marks another milestone in the A-lister's creative path, fusing spirituality and artistic expression in unconventional ways.

7. 808s & Heartbreak

West's 808s & Heartbreak is more than a mourning record; it's a breakup album created from the anguish of losing the two most important ladies in his life. While the 12-track offering is an honest statement of loss and bitterness, it goes deeper than that. The project reflects how everything can go wrong just when it starts right. It is a tale of a man who achieved everything he desired — fame, riches, critical acclaim and a place in music history — only to discover too late that it came at a hefty cost. Taking the listener on a melodic journey through pain and suffering, the 2008 project captures the burden of living with regrettable decisions.

6. The Life Of Pablo

Prior to the release of The Life Of Pablo on Feb. 14, 2016, West made waves with a string of controversial tweets that stirred the media into a frenzy. However, once the album hit the airwaves, it was clear that the "Famous” rapper shifted gears once again and emerged victorious. The project showcased a diverse sonic palette, spanning various genres including trap, gospel, avant-pop, classic soul, dancehall and even Auto-Tune ballads. Featuring guest appearances from heavyweights like Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, Rihanna, Desiigner and Kid Cudi, the drop solidified West's streak of six consecutive solo albums to debut at the top of the Billboard 200.

5. Graduation

On the same day that 50 Cent dropped Curtis, West released his third album, Graduation. It was like a showdown between the smart guy and the tough guy of Hip Hop. However, West’s fresh mix of electronic beats and clever lyrics made his 2007 album a clear winner. It sold nearly 1 million copies in just six days and snagged the top spot on the charts. As the music industry worried about the internet's impact on profits, the famed celebrity rolled with the changes, dropping the video for "Can't Tell Me Nothing" featuring comedian Zach Galifianakis, which blew up on the newly launched YouTube.

4. Yeezus

Yeezus was abrasive and unfiltered in terms of sound, with little melody and an almost aggressive rawness. Just days before the album’s release, the decorated artist tapped in producer Rick Rubin to make substantial last-minute changes. Lyrically, West deviated into territory that some considered uncomfortably self-centered and paranoid, particularly on tracks like "I Am A God." He defined the album as an "attack on the commercial," which is an accurate statement considering its lack of radio-friendly songs — excluding the startling glam-rock vibes of "Black Skinhead," one of the project’s only two singles. Despite its departure from mainstream appeal, Yeezus received critical acclaim, and it remains West’s only album to sell less than 1 million copies.

3. Late Registration

Released in August 2005, Late Registration has truly remained a timeless gem that often flies under the radar. The lineup of features on this project is simply unparalleled. From Adam Levine's captivating opening hook to Jamie Foxx’s unforgettable Ray Charles impression on "Gold Digger," each collaboration feels like an instant classic. Plus, let's not overlook Nas' powerful contribution to "We Major," especially given the context of the East Coast giant’s feud with JAY-Z, who also appears on the album. Along with additional appearances from Cam’ron, Brandy, Lupe Fiasco, and the guiding hand of producer Jon Brion throughout, Late Registration evidently played a pivotal role in West's artistic evolution.

2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

The G.O.O.D. Music founder made his musical comeback in November 2010 with his fifth studio album. The 13-track offering produced four major singles, including the legendary "Monster," which included powerful bars from West, JAY-Z and Rick Ross that were only outdone by Nicki Minaj's explosive verse. Boldly transcending genres and combining the experimental sounds of art-rock classics such as The Beatles and Pink Floyd, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy easily became a landmark in Ye's catalog. From the dramatic nine-minute trip of "Runaway" to the project’s accompanying 35-minute short film, West showed his talent and passion for all forms of artistic expression.

1. The College Dropout

The star released his debut album in February 2004, which shot him to the top. Selling over 2.6 million copies, The College Dropout strayed from the standard gangster rap mold, addressing subjects such as consumerism, racism, higher education and the rapper’s religious beliefs. It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart and gave West an astonishing 10 Grammy nominations and three wins, including Best Rap Song for "Jesus Walks" and Best Rap Album. Moving as quickly as his success came, West quickly established the record label G.O.O.D. Music — an acronym for “Getting Out Our Dreams” — in partnership with Sony BMG. Through the label, he helped develop artists such as John Legend, Big Sean, Common, Pusha-T and many others.