Kanye West is without a doubt the most polarizing figure in music for almost the past decade. Currently, he’s busy doing guerrilla marketing and surprise performances to promote his new album Yeezus, which is due June 18th. While we all initially knew Kanye as that in-house super producer for Roc-A-Fella records, today his role is a bit different. Now, Kanye is more of a beat editor than one who creates from start to finish. While he is still hands on in the creative process, Kanye has evolved into a complete artist where his input is just as valuable as creation.

Kanye’s initial talent that set him apart from other producers was speeding up soul samples to a point where they were hard to recognize or sounded similar, yet distinctively separate from the original sample. To celebrate just how far Mr. West has come, we need to understand where he began. So below is one my favorite Kanye produced songs, and one Kanye song that shows the uncompromising talent that would lead him to be the greatest hip-hop artists of our generation.