|Kanye West"I'm depressed," says Kanye West.Strange, perhaps, for a 28-year-old who is arguably the most important creative force in hip-hop music today, recently named to Time Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world, but West -- the perpetual underdog -- is still fighting for his life, currently pitched in heated battle with the latest 800-pound gorilla in the corner: Himself. "It's hard when people are depending on you to have an album that's not just good, but inspired," continues West. "I mean, my music isn't just music -- it's medicine. I want my songs to touch people, to give them what they need. Every time I make an album, I'm trying to make a cure for cancer, musically. That stresses me out!"If "Diamonds from Sierra Leone," the stunning first single from Late Registration, Kanye's forthcoming sophomore effort on Roc-A-Fella Records, is any indication, the gorilla should be stressed."Diamonds" is signature Kanye West: Over a heavy groove and sped-up soul sample, courtesy of Shirley Bassey's classic "Diamonds Are Forever," Kanye's unusual, conversational flow sounds sharper than ever, weaving his offbeat witticisms into a paean, a love-letter for The R.O.C. Sweeping and cinematic, the track's rich instrumentation -- a product of his collaboration with producer-extraordinaire Jon Brion -- and dense subject matter is a unexpected first look into West's new project. And he wouldn't have it any other way.Kanye West -- the self-proclaimed "International Asshole" -- has been inviting, confronting, and overcoming challenge since the beginning.No matter who you are or where you lived in 2004 -- if you owned a radio, television, computer or CD player, you felt Kanye West's presence. Since the release of his 3 million selling, critically acclaimed-debut The College Dropout, the Chicago-born 27 year old rapper/producer/hip-hop icon has been at the top of the charts and at the top of his game. From the red carpet of the 47th Grammys -- where he topped all nominees with a historic ten nods and took home awards for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best R&B song -- to the millions of albums sold, a sold-out stadium tour with Usher, and his ubiquitous presence on MTV, BET, CNN, and radio stations nationwide, West grew from being an artist to watch to an artist you experience.