Through the Wire

Lyrics & Illuminations

Illustrated by Bill Plympton
About The Book

This is a rare partnership between two geniuses at the top of their crafts -- Kanye West, who was named "the smartest man in hip-hop" by Time magazine, and Bill Plympton, an Academy Award-nominated animator, cartoonist, and illustrator.

Through the Wire is a graphic memoir that illustrates the lyrics of twelve Kanye West songs to tell his story, from his decision to drop out of college to pursue his dreams in music, through his days spent folding chinos at the Gap while struggling at night to make a name as a producer, through the pivotal car accident that eventually set him on the course to stardom and the epiphany of realizing exactly who he had become:

"...They say people in your life are like seasons
And anything that happens is for a reason..."


Plympton illustrates each of the songs in detail, his vision of Kanye's world. The songs are annotated with explanations of the references in the songs, biographical components that illuminate the lyrics, and their meaning on a deeply personal level.

The result is a one-of-a-kind book that initially grabs you and stays with you forever.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Atria Books (November 2009)
  • Length: 80 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781439181188

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Raves and Reviews

“[Kanye] has always had an ability to make the personal universal and he doesn’t fail with this book….the idea, delivery and execution of [Through the Wire] couldn’t have worked out any better.” –Amsterdam News

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