KANYE WEST has credited his life-changing car accident in 2002 with pushing him to fulfil his dream of becoming a rapper.
Before finding fame as a solo star, West worked behind the scenes as a producer, collaborating with artists including Jay Z, Alicia Keys, Ludacris and Janet Jackson.
Over a decade ago, West fell asleep at the wheel of his car while driving home from a late night studio session and spent two weeks in hospital recovering from injuries including a shattered jaw.
The Stronger hitmaker has now revealed the accident gave him the push he needed to pursue his career as a rapper.
In an chat with 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen for Interview magazine, West reveals, "I think I started to approach time in a different way after the accident. Before I was more willing to give my time to people and things that I wasn't as interested in because somehow I allowed myself to be brainwashed into being forced to work with other people or on other projects that I had no interest in...
"The accident gave me the opportunity to do what I really wanted to do. I was a music producer, and everyone was telling me that I had no business becoming a rapper, so it gave me the opportunity to tell everyone, 'Hey, I need some time to recover.'"
He adds, "During that recovery period, I just spent all my time honing my craft and making (debut album) The College Dropout. Without that period... I would have never had the time to do what I wanted to."
West shot to fame two years after the crash with the release of his debut album The College Dropout in 2004.