Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore him; Grammy-award winning musician Kanye West has created and contributed to a lot of music that people enjoy.
Rapper Talib Kweli shares one major reason how West, who was known purely for his production skills at the time, significantly improved his rapping abilities:
Kanye would rap constantly and he would test out his new raps on anybody who walked on the tour bus. As soon as you walked on the tour bus he’d be like, “Listen to this!” He still does that to this day, that’s how he makes his albums. He kicks his verses over and over again, gets people’s reactions. That’s how he became a great emcee.
Despite our image of Kanye West as being extremely confident, West understands the importance of talking to the audience. He started off by talking to better rappers than him. Eventually, as his music caught on with mainstream crowds, West would broaden his sources of data and ask more varying types of people (including delivery guys). This echoes a lot of entrepreneurial advice: go to the audience and gauge their reactions to close the feedback loop.