We Commemorate Birthday Boy Kanye West With These ‘Old Kanye’ Throwback Pics

Today is Kanye’s birthday, and though he is 39 years old, still relevant and shutting down New York City, sometimes we can’t help but miss the old Kanye. To commemorate Ye’s day, we decided to throw it back to some photographs that remind us of what Kanye West was like before he became Yeezus.

2003 Kanye

Back in 2003, Kanye West actually smiled for photos. He went to events like the Mercedes-Benz Fall Fashion Week and founded the Kanye West Foundation, an organization whose mission was to counteract the dropout and illiteracy rates in Chicago.

Squad: Alexis Phifer, Capone, Pharoahe Monch, La La Anthony, Rosario Dawson, Jay Z and the Roc-A-Fella Records crew.
Bae: Alexis Phifer–full-time fashion designer and Kanye side-kick.
Swag: Gold chains, oversized denim, and hats tilted to the side
Music Highlights: Roc-A-Fella Records and The College Dropout
Overall Mood: Smiley Miley

2004 Kanye

Ah, 2004, back when Kanye wore too much colour. Kanye officially began his career with The College Dropout in 2004 and later that year stormed out of the American Music Awards when he lost the award for Best New Artist.

Squad: Donda West, Jay Z, and Alexis Phifer
Bae: Alexis Phifer
Swag: Polos and backpacks
Music Highlights: The College Dropout
Overall Mood: Mariah Carey

2006 Kanye

In 2006, Kanye told the world that he would, “really have a problem” if he didn’t win Album of the Year. He also became engaged to his long-time bae, Alexis Phifer.

Squad: Pharell, Hov, Snoop Dogg, and Bey
Bae: Alexis Phifer
Swag: Sunglasses indoors and all-white errthang
Music Highlights: Late Registration, “Touch the Sky” music video
Overall Mood: Charged up

2007 Kanye

In 2007, Kanye’s September release of Graduation debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard charts, outselling 50 Cent’s Curtis. Later that year, Kanye’s life took a turn following the death of his momager and best friend, Donda West. Kanye and his finance Alexis ended their long-term engagement a few months later.

Squad: Common, Jay Z, Donda West
Bae: Alexis Phifer
Swag: Shutter shades
Music Highlights: Graduation, “Stronger”
Overall Mood: Adele, 21

2008 Kanye

2008 marked the beginning of auto-tuned Kanye, a drastic departure from his previous sound. Kanye West stopped smiling and also announced his plan to open 10 Fatburger restaurants in his hometown of Chicago. In our eyes, 2008 marked the death of Old Kanye.


Squad: Jay Z, Beyonce, Amber Rose
Bae: Amber Rose–American model, actress, and fashion designer
Swag: Glasses and a slight ‘fro
Music Highlights: 808s and Heartbreaks
Overall Mood: Drake

Happy birthday, Kanye! We love you like new Kanye loves new Kanye.