When Hip Hop Stars Survive Near-Fatal Crashes

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Kanye West

In October 2002, Kanye West left a California recording studio in a rented Lexus at around 3 a.m. after producing tracks for Beanie Sigel, Peedi Crakk and The Black Eyed Peas. Soon after, his vehicle crashed near the W Hotel in West Hollywood and the rapper/producer sustained nasal fractures and a broken jaw that had to be wired shut for six weeks. "The accident was so painful,” he told MTV. “The first two or three days were like some of the worst pains in my life. I would not wish this on anybody, except maybe three people. I was scared, 'cause you hear about people dying in surgery and this [injury] is dealing with my breathing.”

His hit song “Through the Wire,” recorded a couple weeks later and with the artist’s mouth still wired shut, is a comedic retelling of the accident. It was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award and won Video of the Year at the 2004 Source Hip Hop Awards.


(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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