Kanye West unveils his “favourite artist of all time”
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Kanye West unveils his "favourite artist of all time"

Earlier this year, the Italian authorities were after Kanye West for allegedly breaching the country’s anti-terror laws by wearing a full-face covering while out in public, and his shenanigans with his wife, Bianca Censori, are ongoing. 

But as problematic as Kanye is, nobody can deny that he is a fantastic musician who has contributed a tremendous amount to the culture. From College Dropout to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, West has reinvented himself many times and has continually progressed with his sound.

That said, when he first erupted onto the scene in 2002, it was evident that the producer loved 1960s and 1970s music as he sampled a lot of material from this era. From Nina Simone to Shirley Bassey, the beatmaker’s influences reached far and wide. 

His initial production style was coined chipmunk-soul as he played around and integrated soul music into his hip-hop beats. Although, at first, he listened to soul solely for sampling, West grew to love the genre and, in an interview with WPWX Power 92 Chicago, Kanye unveiled his biggest musical influence and how it changed over time.

During his conversation with DJ Pharris, West was asked who his biggest musical inspiration was, to which he replied, “My favourite artist of all time is James Brown, and that’s just [through] learning. Initially, when I was 14, my favourite artist was Michael Jackson.” 

He continued, “And then my favourite rapper is Jay-Z. You remember when he came down and performed at The Clique [nightclub], I opened up for him and everything, but of course, I loved Nas, Crucial Conflict and Psychodrama. But my greatest inspiration of all time musically is James Brown!” 

Kanye West has sampled James Brown on multiple occasions. Kanye West and Pusha T’s ‘Runaway’ samples ‘Introduction To Star Time’ and the 2012 Watch The Throne song ‘That’s My Bitch’ includes snippets from ‘Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved.’ You can watch West’s WPWX Power 92 interview below.