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Inside Kanye West's close bond with oldest daughter North — who is following in his footsteps

The rapper welcomed four children with Kim Kardashian   

Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
Updated: June 8, 2024
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Kanye West is a father to four children whom he welcomed with ex-wife Kim Kardashian, a partner to Bianca Censori, rapper, and businessman, and as he celebrates his 47th birthday, we're sure he will be surrounded by his closest family and friends. 

One person who is sure to shower him with love will be his eldest daughter North, a "daddy's girl" with whom he shares an "indescribable" bond. 

What has Kanye said about becoming a father? 

Kanye West and North West arrive at Balenciaga Show during Paris Fashion Week, Womenswear SS 2015 on September 24, 2014© Jacopo Raule
Kanye West and North West arrive at Balenciaga Show during Paris Fashion Week, Womenswear SS 2015 on September 24, 2014

Kanye had his own battles with fatherhood; after losing his mother Donda in 2007 unexpectedly, he blamed himself for many years for her passing, admitting he felt that if he had never moved to Los Angeles she would still be alive. 

But his marriage to Kim Kardashian and the birth of their daughter changed his attitude: "After I lost my mother, there were times I would put my life at risk. I felt like sometimes I didn't have something to live for. Now I have two really special people to live for." 

"When I look in North's eyes, I'm happy about every mistake I've ever mad," he told Paper magazine in April 2015. 

What has Kanye said about raising North? 

Kanye West seen leaving Michiko Sushino restaurant with his daughter North West in Queen's Park on October 10, 2020 in London, England© Neil Mockford
Kanye West seen leaving Michiko Sushino restaurant with his daughter North West in Queen's Park on October 10, 2020 in London, England

After becoming a father in 2013, Kanye said he "would do anything to protect my child or my child’s mother," and in his 2018 song "Violent Crimes," he revealed how welcoming a daughter had changed him.

"Father forgive me, I'm scared of the karma / 'Cause now I see women as somethin' to nurture / Not somethin' to conquer," he rapped.

In his 2021 song 'Eazy,' Kanye criticized Kim's parenting style, and suggested that he had been trying to raise their four children to recognize different values, suggesting Kim has made them "boujee and unruly". 

The Game, Kanye West - Eazy (Official Music Video)

"I watched four kids for, like, five hours today,” he rapped. "I got love for the nannies, but real family is better / The cameras watch the kids, y'all stop takin' the credit / Noncustodial dad, I bought the house next door / What you think the point of really bein' rich for?" 

In an episode of The Kardashians, Kim also said that North had complained that she lived in a home, and not an apartment, and preferred cooking ramen with her father to being served a meal from a chef. 

kim kardashian north west 2023© Getty Images
Kim has spoken publicly about her struggles raising North

"She’ll go to her dad’s. She’ll be like, 'Dad’s the best! He has it all figured out. He doesn’t have a nanny, he doesn’t have a chef, he doesn’t have security, he lives in an apartment.'" said Kim, talking to sister Kourtney, "and she’ll start crying: 'Why don’t you have an apartment? I can’t believe we don’t have an apartment!'" 

Kourtney later suggested that kids crave normalcy and recommended Kim try one-on-one time with North. 

Is Kanye involved in his children's life?

North West with Kanye in 2022 at the Super Bowl© Steph Chambers
North with Kanye in 2022 at the Super Bowl

Yes, the rapper is involved – and he makes sure to regularly see his four children. He has been pictured at North's basketball games, and in November 2023 he took North to Dubai and Saudi Arabia for one-on-one time. 

North's TikTok videos have also revealed how much she loves her father, with one offering a glimpse into her bedroom, and revealing a pink-striped picture frame that showcased a picture of Kanye holding North as a toddler. 

Is North following in her father's footsteps? 

north west performing the lion king hollywood bowl© Splash
North performed 'I Just Can't Wait to Be King'

North is known for her one-liners, often given out across TikTok, and is not afraid to make her voice heard. 

She has also branched out in the world of entertainment, and in 2020 joined Kanye on stage to perform a solo rap at the Yeezy fashion show in Paris. 

In 2023 Ye previewed his new album at a club where North was in attendance, and the listening party revealed that North had some of the same skills as her father. In Kanye and Ty Dolla $ign's collaboration, "Talking / Once Again", she could be heard singing and rapping several lines: "It's your bestie / Miss, Miss Westie / Don't tryna test me / It's gonna get messy / It's gonna get messy / Just, just bless me / Bless me." 

North starred in, and directed, the music video for Talking
North starred in, and directed, the music video for Talking

Months later, North told fans at a second listening party for Vultures that she was working on her own debut album: "And I’ve been working on an album,” she shared, which drew a loud ovation from the crowd. 

“And it’s called Elementary School Dropout," a homage to her dad's acclaimed 2004 LP The College Dropout. 

North mocks her dad Kanye West© TikTok
North mocks her dad Kanye West

She also recently appeared on stage at the Hollywood Bowl to perform in The Lion King 30th anniversary concert; the tween starred as Simba, singing "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" and receiving cheers from her parents who were both in attendance. 

What has North said about her relationship with her father?

North wore her dad Kanye's Met Gala jacket to Christmas this year© Instagram
North wore her dad Kanye's Met Gala jacket to Christmas this year

 In her first ever interview, North told i-D magazine that she got some of her talents from her dad, but "mostly from me though". 

"I like singing. Performing is my favorite," she added. 

North West dressed as the 'Graduation' bear from dad Kanye West's 2007 album cover and danced to 'Wonder' on TikTok© TikTok
North West dressed as the 'Graduation' bear from dad Kanye West's 2007 album cover and danced to 'Wonder' on TikTok

As well as idolizing her father, as seen in her comments to her mother Kim, she has also shown her love for her dad through her social media posts, often wearing his clothes and in one memorable moment wearing Kanye's iconic bear mascot costume from his 2007 album, Graduation

For the Kardashians 2023 Christmas party she wore his silver metallic Balmain jacket which he wore to the 2026 Met Gala.

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