Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Alan Diaz / AP Photo
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Alan Diaz / AP Photo

Kanye West heads East



The producer

Production is power. West entered the hip-hop game as a gifted young beat-maker, lending his talent to rappers from his local Chicago hip-hop scene. From his first production work, for Grav’s 1996 debut album Down to Earth, West has been fine-tuning his sound, which saw him use speeded-up soul samples over sturdy drum beats. His production work turned heads in 2001 when enlisted to produce the lion’s share of Jay-Z’s acclaimed The Blue Print, including the big single Izzo (H.O.V.A.). Over the years, West opened up his sound to include electro, trip-hop, classical music and rock.

The rapper

West always fancied spitting some of his own rhymes, but it took a lot to convince his Roca-A-Fella label boss Jay-Z that he had more to offer than dope beats. Jay-Z had a point; the middle-class-raised West was simply not street enough. After being eventually signed, West made his official rapping debut in the self-produced track The Bounce off Jay-Z’s 2003 album The Blueprint: The Gift and The Curse. West’s influence in the hip-hop game was apparent to him even then: “I did take over the game, brought back the soul,” he rapped. “Got tracks to go, got plaques that’s gold.”

The music

Over the course of six albums, including Watch the Throne – his 2011 collaboration with Jay-Z – West has arguably built one of the most interesting and varied bodies of work of any hip-hop artist. Where most mainstream rappers focus on producing a fistful of hot singles, West was always an album man. Each record possesses a distinctive lyrical and musical style. West's debut The College Dropout was a masterclass on how to marry soul samples with gritty beats. Late Registration had epic production values with classical music and baroque pop added to the mix. Graduation saw West explore electro music territory, even teaming up with the French dance duo Daft Punk in the process. 808s & Heartbreak saw him veering off towards almost dub-ish type minimalism before exploring cinematic territory in his latest solo album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Lyrically, each album finds West looking inward as he comes to term with his increasing fame.

The ego

West doesn’t like to lose. His mouth has been responsible for as many high-profile misses as hits. His biggest gaffes seem to happen at awards shows, with West visibly upset when his name is not mentioned as a winner. West stormed out of the 2004 American Music Awards when he lost the Best New Artist Award to the country singer Gretchen Wilson. In 2006, he stormed off the stage of the MTV Europe Music Awards when the dance groups Justice and Simian pipped him in the Best Video Award. His biggest faux pas, however, was at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards, where West took the microphone from the Best Video award winner Taylor Swift to berate the judges for not awarding the gong to Beyoncé instead. That last action proved too much for even the US president Barack Obama who, when asked, called West “a jackass”.

The live shows

West doesn’t do the normal DJ and rapper stage set-up. In previous tours, West came along with a mini-orchestra in order to tease out the dense sound of his productions – that’s if you get to see them. In his previous Yas Island show in 2010, the ensemble was mostly hidden behind giant screens, much to the bemusement of the crowd. Whether or not West returns with a similar set-up, his personality and bag full of hits should keep the crowd entertained.

West wields fashion power

When you are rolling with Kanye West, he is in charge.  Kim Kardashian – and millions of television viewers – have been finding this out gradually over the past year. Any chance the "Kimye" romance would be a low-key affair was tossed aside when West appeared in his partner's reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians last July. One episode found West quiet and almost humble as he met Kardashian in a New York hotel room, limiting his responses to platitudes including "you look great", when Kardashian paraded her choice of apparel for their evening date. Ironically that comment signalled the beginning of West's enthusiastic – or some would call controlling – involvement in Kardashian's fashion choices. In August West expressed his distaste for Kardashian's fashion taste, offering her a brand-new wardrobe if she threw her rags away. Ever since, the couple has been seen wearing carefully coordinated outfits or Kardashian has been donning KW earrings and, recently, Kanye West Giuseppe Zanotti pearl heels.

Kanye West performs on Thursday night at du Arena, Yas Island. Tickets begin from Dh295 from www.thinkflash.ae

sasaeed@thenational.ae

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Scoreline

Germany 2

Werner 9', Sane 19'

Netherlands 2

Promes 85', Van Dijk 90'

The specs

Engine: four-litre V6 and 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo

Transmission: six-speed and 10-speed

Power: 271 and 409 horsepower

Torque: 385 and 650Nm

Price: from Dh229,900 to Dh355,000

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

360Vuz PROFILE

Date started: January 2017
Founder: Khaled Zaatarah 
Based: Dubai and Los Angeles
Sector: Technology 
Size: 21 employees
Funding: $7 million 
Investors: Shorooq Partners, KBW Ventures, Vision Ventures, Hala Ventures, 500Startups, Plug and Play, Magnus Olsson, Samih Toukan, Jonathan Labin

Abu Dhabi traffic facts

Drivers in Abu Dhabi spend 10 per cent longer in congested conditions than they would on a free-flowing road

The highest volume of traffic on the roads is found between 7am and 8am on a Sunday.

Travelling before 7am on a Sunday could save up to four hours per year on a 30-minute commute.

The day was the least congestion in Abu Dhabi in 2019 was Tuesday, August 13.

The highest levels of traffic were found on Sunday, November 10.

Drivers in Abu Dhabi lost 41 hours spent in traffic jams in rush hour during 2019

 

Brief scores:

Toss: South Africa, chose to field

Pakistan: 177 & 294

South Africa: 431 & 43-1

Man of the Match: Faf du Plessis (South Africa)

Series: South Africa lead three-match series 2-0

Adele: The Stories Behind The Songs
Caroline Sullivan
Carlton Books

Cinco in numbers

Dh3.7 million

The estimated cost of Victoria Swarovski’s gem-encrusted Michael Cinco wedding gown

46

The number, in kilograms, that Swarovski’s wedding gown weighed.

1,000

The hours it took to create Cinco’s vermillion petal gown, as seen in his atelier [note, is the one he’s playing with in the corner of a room]

50

How many looks Cinco has created in a new collection to celebrate Ballet Philippines’ 50th birthday

3,000

The hours needed to create the butterfly gown worn by Aishwarya Rai to the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

1.1 million

The number of followers that Michael Cinco’s Instagram account has garnered.

How to wear a kandura

Dos

  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester

Don’ts 

  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
  • Buy a kandura only based on how it feels; ask questions about the fabric and understand what you are buying
WRESTLING HIGHLIGHTS
The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

Williams at Wimbledon

Venus Williams - 5 titles (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008)

Serena Williams - 7 titles (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016)

THE 12 BREAKAWAY CLUBS

England

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur

Italy
AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus

Spain
Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid

Tips for SMEs to cope
  • Adapt your business model. Make changes that are future-proof to the new normal
  • Make sure you have an online presence
  • Open communication with suppliers, especially if they are international. Look for local suppliers to avoid delivery delays
  • Open communication with customers to see how they are coping and be flexible about extending terms, etc
    Courtesy: Craig Moore, founder and CEO of Beehive, which provides term finance and working capital finance to SMEs. Only SMEs that have been trading for two years are eligible for funding from Beehive.
Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Stage results

1. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) Deceuninck-QuickStep  4:39:05

2. Michael Matthews (AUS) Team BikeExchange 0:00:08

3. Primoz Roglic (SLV) Jumbo-Visma same time 

4. Jack Haig (AUS) Bahrain Victorious s.t  

5. Wilco Kelderman (NED) Bora-Hansgrohe s.t  

6. Tadej Pogacar (SLV) UAE Team Emirates s.t 

7. David Gaudu (FRA) Groupama-FDJ s.t

8. Sergio Higuita Garcia (COL) EF Education-Nippo s.t     

9. Bauke Mollema (NED) Trek-Segafredo  s.t

10. Geraint Thomas (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers s.t

How to vote in the UAE

1) Download your ballot https://www.fvap.gov/

2) Take it to the US Embassy

3) Deadline is October 15

4) The embassy will ensure all ballots reach the US in time for the November 3 poll

Keep it fun and engaging

Stuart Ritchie, director of wealth advice at AES International, says children cannot learn something overnight, so it helps to have a fun routine that keeps them engaged and interested.

“I explain to my daughter that the money I draw from an ATM or the money on my bank card doesn’t just magically appear – it’s money I have earned from my job. I show her how this works by giving her little chores around the house so she can earn pocket money,” says Mr Ritchie.

His daughter is allowed to spend half of her pocket money, while the other half goes into a bank account. When this money hits a certain milestone, Mr Ritchie rewards his daughter with a small lump sum.

He also recommends books that teach the importance of money management for children, such as The Squirrel Manifesto by Ric Edelman and Jean Edelman.

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5


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