Kanye West is, without question, one of the most powerful forces in hip-hop, if not all of music. With 21 Grammy's to his name as both a solo act and producer, in addition to a catalog that rivals the most legendary artists of his generation, it isn’t too hard to fathom why a cosign from Yeezy would be considered to be one of the biggest boosts to an up-and-coming artist’s career. But is that always the case? Is a cosign from Kanye really the gateway to success in the business? Let’s take a look at a few of Kanye’s cosigns. —Marvin Jules

2 chainz kanye west cosign
Getty Images
loading...

2 Chainz

What Happened: The release of “Mercy,” which contained a final verse from 2 Chainz, caught the attention of many in the hip-hop world.
The Cosign: 2 Chainz brought out Kanye to BET’s 106 & Park.
When: 2012
Result: Helped his career

Without Kanye’s cosign, 2 Chainz would probably still be trying to dig out from his former alias Tity Boi. Though Kanye literally said nothing during the 106 & Park appearance in April 2012, his presence spoke volumes. Kanye’s stamp of approval—as well as Chainz's insane work ethic in 2012—helped catapult 2 Chainz’s career into what it is today. Three years after the fact, 2 Chainz is still going hard. With four platinum singles, one gold album under his belt and a bevy of feature credits to his name, it’s hard to imagine 2 Chainz attaining his current success without Yeezy’s cosign.

Big Sean Kanye west cosigns
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
loading...

Big Sean

What Happened: Sean rapped for Kanye at a Detroit radio station for 16 seconds.
The Cosign: Kanye signed Big Sean to GOOD Music.
When: 2007
Result: Helped his career

Big Sean is one of the most successful rappers, if not the most successful rapper, on the GOOD Music roster other than Kanye himself. All three of his studio albums have debuted as the No. 1 Rap Album on the Billboard charts, while his most recent album, Dark Sky Paradise, became his first-ever No. 1 overall album on the Billboard 200 in its debut week. Without 'Ye’s cosign of Big Sean, it is highly unlikely that Sean is the star he is today.

 

Chance The Rapper

What Happened: Chance had released two successful mixtapes (#10Day and Acid Rap) and was actively giving back to his native Chicago.
The Cosign: Kanye shouted out Chance as one of “the most talented young new artists” on stage at a concert this past July.
When: 2015
Result: Inconclusive

Other than some write-ups about the shoutout in the blogosphere, the cosign really hasn’t had much effect on Chance. Chano and Yeezy had already linked together last May, when the young MC brought out 'Ye and Vic Mensa as a surprise for his Open Mike Night in Chicago, which made the Yeezy shout out more inevitable than surprising. His popularity might have spiked a bit, but for the most part it served as affirmation for something that most people already agreed upon.  Whether or not Kanye’s cosign will result in the release of a collaborative effort with Chance remains to be seen, but Chance was doing fine before and he'll be fine even if it never happens.

kanye west cosigns chief keef
YouTube
loading...

Chief Keef

What Happened: Keef’s 2012 “I Don’t Like” single was on fire in 'Ye’s hometown of Chicago.
The Cosign: Kanye and his GOOD Music crew remixed the single, which ended up on GOOD Music’s Cruel Summer album.
When: 2012
Result: Didn't help

"Don't Like" was already blowing up, but Kanye’s cosign caused major labels to flock to the young Chicago rapper and Keef eventually signed to Interscope. But only two years after the signing to the label—never following up on his debut LP Finally RichInterscope dropped him. Keef would wind up appearing on "Hold My Liquor" off Yeezus and the two released a track together called "Nobody," but nothing else really came of the connection. Though Keef has released a string of loosies and mixtapes and remains one of hip-hop's most enigmatic figures, he hasn't been able to replicate the mainstream success that one would expect to come from such a big look so early in his career.

kanye west cosigns consequence
Getty Images
loading...

Consequence

What Happened: Consequence’s past work, including features on A Tribe Called Quest’s Beats, Rhymes, and Life, garnered respect among hip-hop heads.
The Cosign: Kanye signed Consequence to GOOD Music.
When: 2005
Result: Didn't help

Consequence’s shining moment with GOOD Music was the release of his debut album Don’t Quit Your Day Job, which featured the likes of 'Ye, John Legend, DJ Khaled and others. After the release of that album, Cons sporadically released non-album singles, including “Whatever You Want,” which was released in 2009 and featured Kanye and John Legend. Consequence left GOOD Music on bitter terms in 2010 and hasn’t released an album since, though he's done some behind the scenes writing for the likes of Beyoncé.

cyhi the prynce kanye west cosigns
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for VEVO
loading...

CyHi The Prynce

What Happened: Cyhi’s “Studda” and “I'm 100” singles caught 'Ye’s attention, causing Ye to endorse CyHi on his blog.
The Cosign: Kanye signed CyHi to GOOD Music.
When: 2010
Result: Didn't help

The highlight of Cyhi’s career very well may be his verse on “So Appalled” off of Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Despite releasing a string of mixtapes since signing to GOOD Music, Cyhi has yet to release his debut album. CyHi voiced his frustration with Kanye earlier this year on the “Elephant In The Room,” which went after his label boss and GOOD Music signees Pusha T, Big Sean and Teyana Taylor. He later distanced himself from the diss, but the frustration remains.

fetty wap kanye west cosigns
Instagram
loading...

Fetty Wap

What Happened: "Trap Queen" was becoming one of the most popular songs on the planet.
The Cosign: Kanye brought him on stage in NYC and called "Trap Queen" his favorite song of the moment.
When: During NYFW in February 2015
Result: Inconclusive

The cosign definitely gave Fetty Wap some mainstream credibility, although Rihanna's cosign came around the same time. It is difficult to say whether or not “Trap Queen” would have had the success it did without Ye’s cosign. But shortly after Ye weighed in, the song climbed the Hot 100 and peaked at No. 2 in mid-May, paving the way for the success of followup singles “My Way," "679" and “Again.” Fetty himself called the cosign "life-changing" and wound up sharing a stage with Taylor Swift in August. Seems like he might've been on his way already.

glc kanye west cosigns
Thos Robinson/Getty Images for TFF
loading...

GLC

What Happened: Kanye and GLC worked together as members of The Go-Getters, a group that consisted of 'Ye, GLC and Really Doe.
The Cosign: 'Ye signed GLC to GOOD Music.
When: 2005
Result: Didn't quite help

Despite the fact that GLC featured on a couple of 'Ye’s most popular songs among hardcore fans—“Spaceship” off of The College Dropout and “Drive Slow” off Late Registration—GLC’s career never really took off. The last single the two featured on together was GLC’s “Big Screen” in 2008; GLC never did release a project on GOOD Music, however. Earlier this year, though, it was announced that 'Ye and Dame Dash are producing GLC’s sophomore effort, The Book of St Ism.

kid cudi kanye west cosigns
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for VEVO
loading...

Kid Cudi

What Happened: Plain Pat introduces Kanye to Cudi’s A Kid Named Cudi mixtape which catches Yeezy's ear.
The Cosign: Kanye signed Cudi to GOOD Music.
When: 2008
Result: Helped his career

After releasing his smash double platinum debut single “Day N Nite,” which ultimately wound up on his Grammy-nominated Man on the Moon: The End of Day album, Cudi went on to help write songs on Kanye’s 808’s & Heartbreaks. Together, Cudi and 'Ye helped create a new sound; flush with auto-tuned verses and house-influenced beats; a sound that helped usher in a new generation of “rap-singers,” a la Drake, PartyNextDoor and other emulators. Cudi is no longer with GOOD Music, and has chosen to pursue more ventures in movies (he recently auditioned for a part in Star Wars) and fashion (he was the face of Coach’s Spring 2015 collection). Without a cosign from Yeezy, he probably doesn’t get to where he is today.

lupe fiasco kanye west cosigns
Getty Images
loading...

Lupe Fiasco

What Happened: Lupe’s remix of Kanye’s “Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” entitled “Conflict Diamonds,” caught 'Ye's attention.
The Cosign: Kanye invited Lupe to feature on “Touch The Sky” off of Kanye’s Late Registration album.
When: 2006
Result: Helped his career

Lupe’s feature on “Touch The Sky” helped springboard Lupe into the mainstream. A month after his verse on “Touch The Sky” dropped, Lupe released his Grammy-nominated single “Kick, Push.” Later that year, he released the critically acclaimed Food & Liquor album, which received four Grammy nods. “Daydreamin'” won him a Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. Almost a decade later, Lupe is still widely considered to be one of the premier lyricists in the game. He could have done it on his own, of course, but Lupe definitely took the Yeezy boost and ran with it.

post malone kanye west cosigns
Photo Credit: Pete Monsanto
loading...

Post Malone

What Happened: His breakout hit, “White Iverson,” has been setting the clubs on fire.
The Cosign: Kanye featured him on “Fade,” a song that also includes Ty Dolla $ign. Yeezy debuted the song during the Yeezy Season 2 fashion show.
When: 2015
Result: Inconclusive

It is way too early to determine what this feature will do for the rap game newcomer, but having a Kanye feature in your discography so early in your career is definitely a good look. It certainly helped fans overlook that other controversy Post had stirred up.

pusha t kanye west cosigns
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for VEVO
loading...

Pusha T

What Happened: Pusha’s past work as a member of The Clipse and with the Neptunes was and is still highly regarded among hip-hop heads.
The Cosign: Kanye signed Pusha T to GOOD Music.
When: 2010
Result: Helped his career

While Pusha was widely regarded as a top-notch coke-rap wordsmith as a member of Clipse, many wondered if he would be able to continue his success without his brother Malice at his side. Pusha’s signing to GOOD Music helped silence those critics, with a string of fantastic features on Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, including “Runaway,” which he helped premiere at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. His 2013 solo album My Name Is My Name was released to high priase and Pusha is currently hard at work on his follow-up, King Push. His association with 'Ye helped revitalize him as a solo artist and guest rapper extraordinaire.

teyana taylor kanye west cosigns
Getty Images
loading...

Teyana Taylor

What Happened: Her past work with Interscope and Star Trak caught Kanye’s attention.
The Cosign: Kanye signed Teyana to GOOD Music.
When: 2012
Result: Inconclusive

Teyana wasn’t an unknown commodity prior to signing with Kanye’s label; she made a name for herself with two mixtapes of her own and even contributed to 'Ye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Though Teyana’s popularity grew after Kanye’s cosign, it didn’t translate to commercial success. Teyana’s 2014 debut album, VII, debuted at No. 10 on the charts and sold just 16,000 copies in its first week, even though Kanye showed up to support at her listening party before the release. It's still early for the GOOD Music singer, of course.

theophilus london kanye west cosigns
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Grey Goose
loading...

Theophilus London

What Happened: London’s past work, such as the album Timez Are Weird These Days and his status in the fashion world caught Kanye's attention.
The Cosign: The two began working and writing together in the studio and Kanye executive produced Theophilus London’s Vibes album last year.
When: 2014
Result: Didn't help

Though one would think that having the name Kanye West listed as an executive producer for your album would compel every Kanye stan on Earth to buy said album, this wasn’t the case for Vibes; the album flopped, selling a disappointing 3,000 units in its first week. A year later, London has yet to release any new music, though he's featured on 'Ye's “All Day” single that came out earlier this year and has repeatedly spoken about working on Kanye's next album. His best work may wind up being behind the scenes moving forward, as his own work hasn't quite connected outside his core fan base.

travis scott kanye west cosigns
Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Tumblr
loading...

Travi$ Scott

What Happened: Kanye met Travi$ through his engineer, then flew Scott out to New York after hearing some of Scott’s music, which led to the two working together.
The Cosign: After Scott co-produced several songs on GOOD Music’s 2012 compilation album, Cruel Summer, Kanye signed Scott to the label as a producer.
When: 2012
Result: Inconclusive

It’s not quite clear yet what 'Ye’s cosign has done for the 23-year-old Houston rapper. Scott’s name has been everywhere recently as a result of the release of his debut, Rodeo. But whether or not Scott is here to stay remains to be seen. He's been involved in some pretty major projects behind the scenes—he's contributed to Kanye's Yeezus, Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail, Wale's The Gifted and more—but it's still a little early in his career to truly say what will work for him.

kanye west cosigns vic mensa snl
YouTube
loading...

Vic Mensa

What Happened: Vic had been one of the Chi’s shining artists for an extended period of time and Kanye has shown the propensity to support Chicago’s young artists artists.
The Cosign: Kanye featured Vic on his February single "Wolves" and brought out the young MC to perform the song during the high-profile SNL40 broadcast.
When: 2015
Result: Inconclusive

Though Vic was widely known in hip-hop circles, that performance on live TV earlier this year introduced him to the world, with the song's debut at 'Ye's Fashion Week show in February putting the song on a big platform as well. Only a month after the performance, Vic and Kanye released “U Mad,” which further catapulted his popularity; the next day Vic announced he'd signed with Jay Z and Roc Nation. It’s still a little early to determine whether or not that will translate to more mainstream success for the young Chicagoan, but Vic is very much on his way.