9 People Who Were Kanye Before Kanye Was Kanye

H/T to @amandaMdavid for the inspiration

1. Karl Lagerfeld

Beyond his legendary work at Chanel, Lagerfeld is the head designer for Fendi and his eponymous label, Karl Lagerfeld; is the photographer behind most of the brands’ campaigns; and has a pretty heavy say in what is cool and what is not, no matter the season. He has also said some pretty outlandish stuff, and clearly, unequivocally thinks that he is a genius among men. He is not wrong.

2. Anna Wintour

The O.G. Mean Girl of the fashion world, Wintour plays a pretty hefty role in lead tastemaker, HBIC, and just general bad assery. She inspired a character that Meryl Streep portrayed in The Devil Wears Prada. MERYL. And she still tried to blacklist anyone who was in cahoots with the film at the time. Kanye wouldn’t settle for anything less than an equally as talented actor in the biopic of his life. Actually, Kanye would insist on playing himself, because nobody else could do him justice.

3. Napoleon Bonaparte

Both men tried to take over the world. Multiple times. Napoleon succeeded, multiple times. Kanye, despite his detractors criticisms, manages to win the world over time and time again with his reinventions, his concerts, and his work ethic. Napoleon might have been sent to live out the rest of his days in exile on an island, but you know that Kanye would take that fate as welcome punishment. But only if the island in question was the one owned by Sir Richard Branson.

4. Donatella Versace (The Maya Rudolph Incarnation)

I admit, even as the most stalwart and dedicated Kanye fan, sometimes I wonder where the man ends and the idea of the man begins. There is a very fine line between reality and fantasy, and Kanye is a master at blurring the two so that the myth, the legend, and the man intermingle as one. So too does Maya Rudolph’s immortal portrayal of Donatella do justice to the enigmatic, often larger-than-life persona that is Queen D. We remember where we were the first time we heard, “I am Donatella Versace, and you are nothing. Now get out.” We remember where we were the first time we heard a Kanye song. We will always remember.

5. The Phantom of the Opera

If Kanye is not channeling his inner sartorial genius through the human Barbie doll that is Kim Kardashian (#NODISRESPECTTOKIMKARDASHIAN), then either Kris Jenner is a much, much better momager than any of us could have ever imagined, or the fashion world just waiting to jump out of the wings and say we’ve all been Punk’d. His relationship with Kim goes deeper than a love you or I could imagine; he has possessed her body and soul in a way only the Phantom could entrance Christine. Keep singing his stylish song, Kim. Keep singing for him. Sing for him, angel! … Where were we?

6. Albus Dumbledore

Harken back, if you will, to the era in which the Order of the Phoenix was freshly revived. Half of the wizarding world believed Albus Dumbledore was absolutely out of his mind, but a select few believed him wholeheartedly. Kanye’s genius is mysterious and wise, and not everyone will always understand where he’s coming from. Yet he doesn’t seem to mind that, and chooses instead to reveal his grand plans when the time is right.

7. Tom Riddle

Conversely, Kanye’s full understanding of his true power and potential is a little scary. He makes no qualms over the fact that he wants to take over the world, and will stop at nothing to make his dreams a reality. A little off-kilter at times? Maybe. But he was on a quest to become immortal, and you can best believe that if there actually was such a thing as the Sorcerer’s Stone, Yeezy would be the first to try to get his hands on it. (You can also argue that his six CDs are different facets of him—horcruxes, if you will—and he will always reign immortal so long as his music may reign, amen.)

8. Madonna

The reinventions, the different musical genres, the absolute and unequivocal assertion that they are the most innovative, the most trailblazing, and the most creative musical masterminds alive. If Madonna and Kanye joined forces, it would result in such a clash of titans and musical ego, that the world might just not survive. (Either that, or a collaboration would just gloriously miss that mark by that much. 4 Minutes (To Save The World), I am looking at you.

9. Kobe Bryant

You can tell Kobe to quit. You can tell him he’s old. You can tell him his best games are behind him. But will he listen? No. Will he create multiple versions of one of the best-selling shoes of all time? Yes. Will he poke fun of himself in commercials? Most definitely. So too will Kanye be in on the joke, yet his belief in his ability is what helps him to dominate the proverbial basketball court of life. And it is that supreme belief in oneself that allows you to succeed. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Writer. Editor. Twitter-er. Instagrammer. Coffee drinker. (Okay, mostly that last one.)

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