Kanye West's first interview in... years?! In an absolutely fascinating interview with Jon Caramanica of the New York Times, Kanye talks about a variety of topics from his career and personal life, ranging from all his albums, upcoming fatherhood, and of course, the upcoming album, Yeezus. I loved how revealing the interview was about 'Ye, on such an array of different things. Well, it's not as if we don't know who Kanye is, but it is refreshing to hear him speak so candidly on things in the past and deeper subjects like his trendsetting to end the interview. Plus, how 'bout the story of his basketball career to kick it off? 'Ye can hoop! Alas, here are some snippets into the mind of Kanye West.
On compromising artistry in regards to 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy':
It’s always going to be 80 percent, at least, what I want to give, and 20 percent fulfilling a perception. If you walk into an old man’s house, they’re not giving nothing. They’re at 100 percent exactly what they want to do. I would hear stories about Steve Jobs and feel like he was at 100 percent exactly what he wanted to do, but I’m sure even a Steve Jobs has compromised. Even a Rick Owens has compromised. You know, even a Kanye West has compromised. Sometimes you don’t even know when you’re being compromised till after the fact, and that’s what you regret.
I don’t want to come off dissing “Dark Fantasy.” It’s me never being satisfied and then me coming and admitting and saying the truth. As much as I can air things out for other people, to air things out for myself, to say, “I feel like this could’ve been stronger.”
On the influences from Dead Prez, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli:
And because I could make the soul sound in my sleep, it finally gave me a platform to put the message that my parents put inside of me and that Dead Prez helped to get out of me and Mos Def and [Talib] Kweli, they helped to get out of me: I was able to put it, sloppily rap it, on top of the platform that Jay-Z had created for me.
Before, when I wanted to rap, my raps sounded like a bit like Cam’ron; they sounded a bit like Mase; they sounded a bit like Jay-Z or whoever. And it wasn’t until I hung out with Dead Prez and understood how to make, you know, raps with a message sound cool that I was able to just write “All Falls Down” in 15 minutes.
On Kim Kardashian and fatherhood:
Any woman that you’re in love with or that loves you is going to command a certain amount of, you know, energy. It’s actually easier to focus, in some ways.
...That is a really interesting, powerful question. One of the things was just to be protective, that I would do anything to protect my child or my child’s mother. As simple as that. I don’t want to explain too much into what my thoughts on, you know, fatherhood are, because I’ve not fully developed those thoughts yet. I don’t have a kid yet.
Well, I just don’t want to talk to America about my family. Like, this is my baby. This isn’t America’s baby.
The deep Chicago influence of 'Yeezus':
Yeah, it’s like trap and drill and house. I knew that I wanted to have a deep Chicago influence on this album, and I would listen to like, old Chicago house. I think that even “Black Skinhead” could border on house, “On Sight” sounds like acid house, and then “I Am a God” obviously sounds, like, super house.
On being an innovative trendsetter:
Yeah, respect my trendsetting abilities. Once that happens, everyone wins. The world wins; fresh kids win; creatives win; the company wins.
I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z.
I’ve been connected to the most culturally important albums of the past four years, the most influential artists of the past ten years. You have like, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, Nicolas Ghesquière, Anna Wintour, David Stern.
I think that’s a responsibility that I have, to push possibilities, to show people: “This is the level that things could be at.” So when you get something that has the name Kanye West on it, it’s supposed to be pushing the furthest possibilities. I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.