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Five Fun Facts: Mr. Kanye West

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Kanye West
Photo Credit: Douglas Mason

Kanye West, who turns 37 on June 8, has a lot to celebrate the days. The former ESSENCE Festival headliner and 21-time Grammy winner is now a happily married man and father.  Despite his bragadocious persona, one can't deny Mr. West's musical talent. In this week's Fun Fact Friday, we hip you to some things you might not know about the rapper you love to hate the most.

1. Kanye had an exciting childhood. When he was in the fifth grade, Kanye moved to China with his mother, Donda West.

2. Kanye comes from a long line of activists and artists. His father, Ray West was a member of the Black Panther Party as well as one of the first black photo journalists of the esteemed Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Some of West's photos include President Ronald Reagan and Maya Angelou. And on his classic debut album College Dropout he speaks about his grandfather taking his mother to participate in lunch counter sit-ins in the 60s.

3. Prior to marrying his wife, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West blogged that Scarlett Johansson was his favorite "white girl."

4. His debut album College Dropout had impressive first-week sales, but his 2005 follow up, Late Registation, sold 860,000 its first week, landing at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, a first for any rapper in history.

5. The reason why Kanye West performed most of his "Yeezus" tour wearing a mask is because, according to him, it's "freeing." During an interview, West said that wearing the mask allows him to be anyone he wants to be.