mus204 paper on kanye west and how he s built

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This Paper is about Kanye West and how he has built his brand throughout his career. I was asked to make a proposal first, so here it is as shown below:

  1. The topic of your paper, in economic terms.
  2. The argument that you plan to make: how your topic has affected the history of music.
  3. One musical exle (not from class) that will help to support your argument.
  4. A complete citation (author, title, date, etc.) for at least one source related to the exle that you describe above.


  • Topic: Brand Building
  • For my final paper, I would like to talk about how brand building has had a key role in the history of music. Brand building is very important in the music industry because if nobody has every heard of the brand you’re trying to promote, you’re likely not going to be very successful until you get the name out there. Some of today’s artists are known to change their styles of music up throughout their career, but they rarely have to worry about lacking in sales because they have already established their brand in the industry, and they know it will sell anyway. Throughout history, all of the most successful artists in the industry are names we’ll never forget. They’re names that even in 100 years from now people will still be talking about them and how good their music was back in the day. These are the brands that will stick around forever. These brands will likely profit for many years even after the artist has stopped making music.
  • One great exle of an artist that has built their brand to become one of the most well-known, highest profiting brands out there, is Kanye West. Although Kanye West can be considered somewhat controversial for his behavior over the last few years, his name and brand will forever be known in history. From producing songs for local rappers in Chicago in 1996, to releasing his debut album “The College Dropout” in 2004, to building his multiple Grammy-winning career, to being the first hip-hop artist to release his own shoe brand in 2009, to producing albums for other all-time great artists such as Jay-Z, Nas, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, and more, Kanye has arguably seen and done it all. He’s engraved his name in the music industry forever. Even though Kanye is famously (or infamously) known for his antics, you can argue that it’s all been positive for Kanye West and his brand, creating a lot of publicity and media coverage, even further promoting his music and his shoe company.
  • Greenburg, Zack O’Malley. “Kanye’s Second Coming: Inside The Billion-Dollar Yeezy Empire.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 12 Nov. 2019,
  • Hanbury, Mary. “Kanye West’s Secret to Building a Footwear Empire to Compete with Nike.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 26 Apr. 2018,

— My professor has added some additional comments below on some things he’d like to see on the paper. I suggest tying in Jay-Z’s brand and other artists who have followed similar paths to Kanye West.

I like the concept that you’ve chosen (brand building) and how you plan to relate it to a specific exle from the music world (Kanye). Be sure to take this beyond the scope of the brand report by finding another exle or two, to demonstrate how/whether Kanye’s success fits a pattern. Other relevant concepts may include competition, celebrity capital, and income diversification.

Here are a few general suggestions for the final paper itself:

  • After writing a general introduction, I recommend that you spend a paragraph or two presenting a concise summary of your economics concept itself before moving on to explore its impact on the music. Remember to assume that your reader is unfamiliar with the concept.
  • For the musical exles, I recommend introducing a series of related exles so that you can either (a) demonstrate that you have discovered a consistent trend or (b) discuss how each exle interacts with the concept differently.
  • A strong paper will cite sources from the fields of both economics and music. For the latter, I encourage you to cite some actual recordings (e.g. YouTube videos) in addition to articles, interviews, or other informational sources.

— One more thing I would like to add is that this is mixture of Economics and a Music paper, somewhere in the paper I would like to include the famous Jay-Z lyric to tie it into my concept. The line is “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!!”

This paper is due at 10:59 on 12/05/2019, It would be greatly appreciated if someone could help me out. Thank you.


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