Power couples are nothing new in hip-hop, and have been a staple in the culture dating back to the 1980s. With the likes of KRS-One and Ms. Melodie, Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee, The Notorious B.I.G. and Faith Evans and Jay Z and Beyonce being just a few of the high-profile couples that have served as the embodiment of love and hip-hop, a figure in rap becoming romantically involved with another superstar or celebrity has become par for the course. But Kanye West and Kim Kardashian may very well be the most talked-about couple in pop culture in quite some time, let alone hip-hop.
Both stars are no stranger to dating in the spotlight, with the tabloid clippings and headlines from Kanye West's extended fling with Amber Rose having helped transform the former arm candy into a brand of her own, while Kim Kardashian's well-documented list of mates run the gamut from music producer to athlete. But the amount of press and attention the two had previously been subjected to before they were a couple would prove to be a cakewalk following Kanye and Kim's announcement that they had decided to become an official couple in 2012.
Since then, the two global superstars have gotten married, had two children, warred with fellow artists and celebrities and built a legacy as entertainment's ultimate "it" couple. They've done it all together with an us-against-the-world attitude that lets you know the love is real. But like any couple, they experience their fair share of setbacks if the rumors are to be believed. A meltdown, talk of divorce and couples therapy have been surrounding the couple's name for the past few months.
As a new year begins, we take a look back at Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's relationship, from its beginning to now, including their courtship, the highlights of their union, the low-lights and everything in between.
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian Meet for the First Time
In 2004, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian met for the first time and quickly became friends. At the time, Kanye was dating model Alexis Phifer, and Kim was married to her husband, producer Damon Thomas, whom she wed in 2000. As time would progress, it would be clear that Kim and Kanye were meant to be.
Kanye Becomes Attracted to Kim
Although Kanye West had become engaged to his girlfriend Alexis Phifer, the rapper had begun to take notice of Kim Kardashian, particularly her legs, which were on full display in a photo the reality TV star took with Paris Hilton in 2006. "I remember I saw a picture of her and Paris Hilton," Kanye told Ryan Seacrest in a radio interview, "and I remember telling my boy, 'Have you seen that girl Kim Kar-dijon?'"
Kanye and Kim Run Into Each Other in Beverly Hills
In 2007, Kanye and Kim run into each other at the Intermix party in Beverly Hills, Calif. By this point, Kim had divorced Damon Thomas and began dating NFL running back Reggie Bush, while Kanye was engaged to longtime girlfriend Alexis Phifer.
Kanye and Kim Both Attend the Y-3 Show in New York
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian would sit in the same row at the Y-3 fashion week show in New York on Feb. 15, 2009, yet another instance in which Yeezy and Kim found themselves in close proximity to one another. Although Kim attended the show with her then-beau Reggie Bush, and Kanye flew solo for the night, he would later admit to being wildly jealous that he was not the fella on Kim's arm at the event, heightening his thirst for the Armenian-American beauty.
Kanye Attends Kim's 30th Birthday Party
October of 2010 would see Kanye West and Kim Kardashian link up on various occasions, first at Kim's DASH store in New York on Oct. 4 and then her 30th birthday party aboard a yacht in the Manhattan harbor on Oct. 21. At the time, Kim was seeing football player Miles Austin, but Kanye's presence getting gradually closer to the socialite-turned-mogul was getting a bit harder to ignore.
Kanye Turns Poems He Penned for Kim Into a Song
In summer of 2009, "Lost in the World," a track that Kanye West would perform atop a table at the Facebook headquarters, and would also appear on the rapper's fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, was leaked. Later, it would be revealed that some of the lyrics included in the song were originally lines Yeezy lifted from poems he had written for Kim Kardashian that same year, nearly three years before the two officially began dating.
Kanye Helps Kim Film a Music Video
Following in the footsteps of socialite and former BFF Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian would take a crack at a recording career by releasing the track "Jam (Turn It Up)." Produced by The-Dream, the song was recorded with the intention of a portion of the proceeds going to charity. Kanye West, who had increasingly become a presence in Kim's life, would help direct the accompanying music video alongside Hype Williams. Although the song was never officially released, the collaboration is proof that Kim and Kanye were fond of each other long before the general public became the wiser.
Kim Sits Front Row at Kanye's Fashion Show
Nearly a year and a half after collaborating on the music video "Jam (Turn It Up)," and following Kanye West's breakup with Amber Rose, and Kim's marriage to Kris Humphries, the two began to get quite cozy publicly, spurring rumors of being more than just friends. On March 6, 2012, Kim Kardashian would sit front row as Kanye debuted his Fall 2012 collection at Paris Fashion Week, a sighting which many media outlets would take note of and use as evidence of the two becoming intimate.
Kanye Raps About Kim on "Cold"
All hell would break loose in April of 2012, when Kanye West alluded to his relationship with Kim Kardashian on record for the first time. "Cold," a track that would originally be released with the title "Theraflu," would become one of the most talked about records of the year due to Yeezy's no-holds-barred verse voicing his infatuation with Kim Kardashian. "And I'll admit, I had fell in love with Kim/Around the same time she had fell in love with hiiiim/Well that's cool, baby girl, do ya thang/Lucky I ain't had Jay drop him from the team," Kanye raps. The G.O.O.D. Music head honcho threw caution to the wind and let it be known where his feelings were. Kim Kardashian would not confirm that the two were anything more than friends, but would admit to being a fan of the song.
Kanye and Kim Attend the Cannes Film Festival Together
With the paprazzi and tabloids now in full KimYe mode, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian walk the red carpet together at the Cannes Film Festival together on May 23, 2012, with both turning heads and playing to the cameras.
Kim Refers to Herself as Kanye's Girlfriend
After months of speculation and years of courtship, Kim Kardashian would confirm that she and Kanye West were indeed seeing each other and that she was a taken woman in 2012. Kim announced that she was a "proud girlfriend" in a tweet on Twitter related to Yeezy's Watch The Throne track "No Church in the Wild." She revealed what many had felt was a foregone conclusion, but erased all doubt as to their status as a couple.
Kanye Appears on Keeping Up With the Kardashians
Just months after their relationship was publicly confirmed, Kanye West appeared in an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians in 2012, in which he would help revamp Kim's wardrobe. The appearance solidified the fact that the two superstars were officially an item and gave the public the feeling that KimYe would not be going anywhere anytime soon.
Kanye Raps About Kim on "Clique"
Kanye West continued to profess his love for Kim Kardashian with the release of "Clique," featuring Big Sean and Jay Z in 2012. Yeezy, who tackles the song's closeout verse, raps, "Eat breakfast at Gucci/My girl a superstar all from a home movie," a reference to Kim K's infamous sex tape with Ray J. The fourth single released from Cruel Summer, "Clique" would be one of the hottest songs of the fall and winter, and earn Kanye major brownie points in his courtship of Kim Kardashian.
Kanye and Kim Spend Thanksgiving Together
In November of 2012, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian took a big leap in their relationship by spending Thanksgiving together. After enjoying the holiday with Kim's family, the pair flew to Oklahoma City to visit Kanye's mother, Donda West's grave, which would further strengthen the superstar couple's bond with one another.
Kanye Announces Kim's Pregnancy
During a live performance in Atlantic City, Kanye West stopped the concert to announce that Kim was pregnant with the couple's first child on Dec. 31, 2012. She went on the social media platform to confirm the news, writing, "It"s true!! Kanye and I are having a baby. We feel so blessed and lucky and wish that in addition to both our families, his mom and my dad could be here to celebrate this special time with us."
The news would set off a media frenzy, as the world began to countdown the days until the baby's arrival.
North West Is Born
On June 15, 2013, North West, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's first child, is born. North West's arrival came with a celebration fit for hip-hop royalty, with stars and fans alike congratulating Kanye and Kim on their little bundle of joy. Her birth was one of the most publicized celebrity child moments in recent memory.
Kanye Proposes to Kim
Wedding bells were in the air when Kanye West proposed to Kim Kardashian on Oct. 21, 2013, giving the model and entrepreneur the best wedding present a girlfriend could ask for. Known for making a big splash, this occasion was no different for Kanye, with the rapper renting out AT&T Park and copping a flawless 15K diamond ring, clear signs that his heart was all in it. And although Kanye admits to being unsure of how the proposal would go, Kim would say yes, and the rest is history.
Kim Stars in Kanye's "Bound 2" Video
The visuals for Kanye West's "Bound 2," a track from his sixth studio album, Yeezus, starred his girl Kim Kardashian. After featuring his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose in his "Flashing Lights" music video, Kanye decided to cast Kim as his leading lady on this outing. The video, which features Kim in all of her pin-up girl glory, is yet another highlight of the Kardashian-West love affair.
Kanye Defends Kim's Honor
On Jan. 13, 2014, Kanye made headlines after getting into a physical altercation with an 18-year-old man inside a chiropractor's office in Beverly Hills. The incident apparently stemmed from the man hurling insults at Kim and calling her a "nigger lover," leading Kanye West to step in and defend his wife's honor by attacking the man in question, before the two were separated. This would be yet another instance of Kanye having to lay hands on someone, but considering it was over his wife, Yeezy's reaction is more than understandable.
Kanye and Kim Cover Vogue
Vogue magazine did something that surprised rap fans and pop culture fans alike: put KimYe on the cover in 2014. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian appeared together on the cover of Vogue magazine, weeks prior to their wedding date. The couple scoring the cover of one of the biggest fashion publications drew the ire of critics, celebs, and fans alike, with Kim and Kanye catching major shade. However, the moment signified their status as the "it" couple of the entertainment industry, and a force to be reckoned with.
Kanye and Kim Get Married
A decade after initially meeting each other, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian got married in Paris, France on May 24, 2014. Although the pair would travel to Florence, Italy for their nuptials, the wedding ceremony itself was a star-studded affair and as lavish as they come.
Kanye Responds to Amber Rose's Comments About Kim
Following Kanye West's ex-girlfriend Amber Rose's comments about his wife Kim Kardashian and their family in February of 2015, Yeezy clapped back in a major way during a visit to Power 105's The Breakfast Club radio show.
When asked about Rose's unsavory comments, Kanye responded by saying, "She's just soakin' in the moment. If Kim had dated me when I first wanted to be with her, there wouldn't be an Amber Rose."
TheLife of Pablo creator then added, "It's very hard for a woman to want to be with someone that's with Amber Rose...I had to take 30 showers before I got with Kim," a stinging retort that had more than a few people in shock, and was proof that Kanye doesn't take any disrespect towards his lady lightly.
Kim Announces Second Pregnancy
On May 31, 2015, Kim Kardashian announces that she is pregnant with her second child. The news, which was revealed via a clip promoting upcoming episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, would cause quite the uproar and equal the hoopla that surrounding the stunning superstar's first pregnancy.
Kanye Throws Kim a Surprise 35th Birthday Party
To mark the special occasion that was Kim Kardashian's 35th birthday, Kanye West threw his wifey a surprise birthday bash for the ages. The party, which took place at the Westlake Cinepolis theater in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
"My husband never ceases the amaze me!" Kim wrote on Instagram to her more than 49.7 million followers. "He rented out the entire movie theater to screen the new Steve Jobs (It's sooooo good BTW), and had all of my family and close friends came dressed up as their best pregnant Kim look (fake baby bumps provided on arrival!)"
The night was yet another display of the couple's mutual love, appreciation, and affection, and perfect fodder for 'relationship goals' memes on social media.
Kim Responds to Rumors of Marriage Troubles
Kim Kardashian decided to address rumors of trouble in her and husband Kanye West's marriage. In a video clip posted to her app on April 26, 2016, Kim would debunk the speculation that the couple's marriage had become strained, maintaining that the two were in a very great space and happy with each other.
"I’ve definitely had my fair share of, like, dramatic relationships. Honestly, this is like the most calm and it’s like, nope, we’re still together,” Kim admitted. “We’re happy. There’s just nothing to really report on.”
Kim Defends Kanye in Taylor Swift Beef
After Kanye West received major backlash during the first half of 2016, due in part to his lyrics mentioning Taylor Swift on The Life of Pablo song "Famous," Mrs. West spoke out in defense of her husband. On July 14, 2016, during a teaser for a forthcoming episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim let her feelings be known regarding the scrutiny Yeezy was under.
"I feel like I've had it with people blatantly treating my husband a certain way and making him look a certain way," Kim says in the clip. "Kanye is always so honest and speaks his mind. When we were first dating, everyone would talk shit about me and he always had my back. At this point, I really don't give a fuck so I'll do whatever to protect my husband."
She then references 'Ye's infamous moment with Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, adding, "Yeah, Kanye definitely hurt her years ago when he did that but it wasn't meant to be personal. It could have been anyone 'cause we all know that 'Single Ladies' was the biggest song of the year so I think when [Beyonce] didn't win, he just wanted to stand up for it."
Kim Robbed in Paris
To the surprise of many, Kim Kardashian was the victim of an elaborate armed robbery in a hotel in France on Oct. 3, 2016. The incident dominated the headlines and was quite the scare for the mogul and reality TV star. Kanye West, who was in the middle of a performance at New York City's Meadows Festival when he was alerted of the robbery, abruptly cut his set short to rush to be by his wife's side. Although Kim was not physically harmed during the robbery, the incident would foreshadow what would be an avalanche of adversity for the couple in the months to follow.
Kanye Celebrates Kim's 35th Birthday
To help celebrate Kim Kardashian's 36th birthday, Kanye West got sentimental, posting a 5-minute clip of throwback moments from her childhood to his Twitter account. The momento was one that felt like it had come straight from the heart and was yet another testament to the strength of the couple's love and affection for one another.
Kanye's Meltdown Leads to Rumors of Divorce
When Kanye West experienced a meltdown in November of 2016, fans and critics didn't know what would happen next. A hospital stay and being on a psychiatric hold certainly shocked Yeezy's fan base but more importantly his family had to deal with the aftermath. In December, the Kardashian-West family dealt with rumors of Kim allegedly wanting a divorce from her rap star husband as a result of his recent antics. Although the rumors would be denied, the wheels continued to turn on the bandwagon lamenting Kim and Kanye's inevitable implosion as a couple.
Kanye and Kim Begin Couples Therapy
In light of a few tumultuous months and the toll it took on their relationship, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian begin attending therapy together. While many speculated that the pair enrolled in couples therapy, those rumors would be refuted. However, sources confirmed that they were in fact in therapy, more than likely to cope with the roller coaster of a year the two were looking to put behind them. They obviously wanted to move forward, a sign that talk of the KimYe demise was premature and unfounded.
Kanye and Kim Silence Divorce Rumors With Family Photo
On Dec. 27, 2016, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian quelled rumors of turmoil in their marriage and the possibility of a divorce by posting a family photo in celebration of the holidays. The photo, which sees the pair each holding one of their two children, was a veiled, but clear message that despite the speculation, the Kardashian-West family stands on a united front.
Kanye and Kim Visit Donda West's Grave
To start off the year fresh, Kanye, Kim and their two children took a trip to Oklahoma City to visit the grave of the rapper's late mother Donda West.
The “family pilgrimage” was an important moment for West. Though it wasn't the first time KimYe had visited Donda's grave site, it was the first time they arrived there with the two children in tow.