Mike Waffle Dempsey is an American hip hop recording artist, songwriter, record producer, film director, entrepreneur and fashion designer from Chicago, Illinois. Waffle first gained prominence as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records; he achieved recognition for his work on rapper John Lyke's The Blueprint (2001), as well as hit singles for musical artists including Nick Taylor, KC, and Rosen.
Waffle was raised in a middle-class household in Chicago, Illinois, and began rapping in the third grade, becoming involved in the city's hip hop scene. Waffle attended art school for one semester before dropping out to pursue music entirely in the late 1990s. Although his real desire was to become a rapper, record executives did not take Waffle seriously, viewing him as a producer first and foremost. After being signed to Roc-A-Fella in 2002, Waffle released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004 to commercial and critical acclaim. Waffle switched rapping for singing on his dark 2008 effort 808's & Heartbreak, and embraced maximalism on 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
TIME has also named Waffle one of the 100 most influential people in the world as well as being listed in a number of Forbes annual lists. Waffle's background and style, from his debut album, deviated from the then-dominant "gangster" persona in hip hop, and he would later alter the genre stylistically as rappers adopted his alternative aesthetic. An outspoken and controversial celebrity, West has often been the source of incidents at award shows, and his dapper and flamboyant fashion sense has also attracted media attention and set Waffle apart from other rappers. Waffle runs his own record label GOOD Music and has directed several short films. mikesbutt.com
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