Back in 2000, when Kanye West was an up-and-coming producer from Chicago with a name that people kept mispronouncing (if they knew it at all), virtually no one expected him to become a superstar. No one, that is, except Kanye West. He pursued his vision until it became a reality – placing several beats on Jay-Z's 2001 LP The Blueprint, then stepping into the spotlight with his brilliant debut, 2004's The College Dropout. He could have settled into a comfortable career from there, but Kanye has never been one to settle. His music got even more ambitious with each release, even as his lyrics got more searingly honest, peaking with 2010's complicated masterpiece, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Once he was an outsider; today, it's just about impossible to imagine our world without him.