West demonstrated an affinity for the arts at an early age; he began writing poetry when he was five years old. His mother recalled that she first took notice of West's passion for drawing and music when he was in the third grade. Growing up in Chicago, West became deeply involved in its hip hop scene. He started rapping in the third grade and began making musical compositions in the seventh grade, eventually selling them to other artists. At age thirteen, West wrote a rap song called "Green Eggs and Ham" and began to persuade his mother to pay $25 an hour for time in a recording studio. It was a small, crude basement studio where a microphone hung from the ceiling by a wire clothes hanger. Although this wasn't what West's mother wanted, she nonetheless supported him. West crossed paths with producer/DJ No I. D. , with whom he quickly formed a close friendship. No I. D. soon became West's mentor, and it was from him that West learned how to sample and program beats after he received his first sampler at age 15. :557
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At the age of 10, West moved with his mother to Nanjing , China, where she was teaching at Nanjing University as part of an exchange program. According to his mother, West was the only foreigner in his class, but settled in well and quickly picked up the language, although he has since forgotten most of it.  When asked about his grades in high school, West replied, "I got A's and B's. And I'm not even frontin'." 
He began making beats and rapping in the early 90s in Chicago, IL, United States when he formed the rap group Go Getters with Chicago natives GLC and Really Doe . He later gained nationwide popularity in New York when he began producing tracks for artists such as Jay-Z , Twista , Mase , Talib Kweli and Alicia Keys .
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