With just days to go, leading up to the June 18th release of Kanye West’s Yeezus album, the hip-hop star opens up to the New York Times for a lengthy discussion about his controversial career, the album and its title, and even talks of becoming a father.
Below are highlights from the interview, where he talks about his inspirations behind Yeezus, why My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy wasn’t his best work, working with Rick Rubin, being in love with Kim Kardashian, and more. Head Over to The New York Times for the full-length piece.
On the Grammys: “I don’t know if this is statistically right, but I’m assuming I have the most Grammys of anyone my age, but I haven’t won one against a white person. But the thing is, I don’t care about the Grammys; I just would like for the statistics to be more accurate.”
On apologizing to Taylor Swift: “Yeah, I think that I have like, faltered, you know, as a human. My message isn’t perfectly defined. I have, as a human being, fallen to peer pressure.”
On whether his pain has influenced his art: “Great art comes from great artists. There’s a bunch of people that are hurt that still couldn’t have made the album that was super-polarizing and redefined the sound of radio.”
On when he knew he was going to be famous: “I knew when I wrote the line ‘light-skinned friend look like Michael Jackson’ [from the song ‘Slow Jamz’] I was going to be a big star. At the time, they used to have the Virgin music [stores], and I would go there and just go up the escalator and say to myself, ‘I’m soaking in these last moments of anonymity.’ I knew I was going to make it this far; I knew that this was going to happen.”
On Kim Kardashian: “I’m the type of rock star that likes to have a girlfriend, you know? I’m the type of soul that likes to be in love and likes to be able to focus. And that inspires me.”
On why he does not appear on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”: “You know, the amount of backlash I got from it is when I decided to not be on the show anymore. And it’s not that I have an issue with the show; I just have an issue with the amount of backlash that I get. Because I just see like, an amazing person that I’m in love with that I want to help.”
On becoming a father: “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 just don’t want to talk to America about my family. Like, this is my baby. This isn’t America’s baby.”
On working with Rick Rubin: “I’m still just a kid learning about minimalism, and he’s a master of it. It’s just really such a blessing, to be able to work with him. I want to say that after working with Rick, it humbled me to realize why I hadn’t — even though I produced Watch the Throne; even though I produced Dark Fantasy — why I hadn’t won Album of the Year yet.”
On his fashions from five-to-seven years ago: “Yeah, kill self. That’s all I have to say. Kill self.”
On his place in pop culture: “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.”