After celebrating his first Father’s Day in NYC, Kanye West left his family behind and flew to Cannes for a surprise appearance at the Translation seminar at the Cannes Lions festival on Tuesday (June 17).
During his chat with Translation CEO Steve Stoute and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, the rap star discussed a variety of topics, from editing his first wedding photo, his admiration for the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s $3 acquisition of Beats By Dre, and wanting to redesign Instagram.
Below are highlights, via Rap-Up.com:
On inspiration: “The only thing I think can be an inspiration to me is the fact that I get bashed so much but create so much. Just know that if you really want to be a boxer, you’re gonna get your face beat up constantly, but then you may end up being Mayweather or Ali.”
On endorsement: “I couldn’t have rapped if Jay Z hadn’t endorsed me. Eminem wouldn’t have been as successful if Dr. Dre hadn’t endorsed him.”
On color correcting his wedding photo: “Now, can you imagine telling someone who just wants to Instagram a photo, the No. 1 person on Instagram, that we need to work on the color of the flowered wall? But the fact that the No. 1 most liked photo has this certain aesthetic on it was a win for what the mission is—of raising the palette.”
On good design: “I believe that bad taste is vulgar. It’s like cursing. I think the world can be saved through design. Because what is the most distasteful thing someone can do? Kill someone. So, good taste is the opposite of that.”
On Steve Jobs: “Steve Jobs, as everyone knows, was my biggest influence. Just seeing the way he fought to make things easier for people. After he passed, I made it my life’s mission to do what he did inside of that company. I dream to help raise the palette and raise the taste level of a generation and also be involved with the production and distribution and advertising of that thing everyone’s begging for.”
On the Apple/Beats by Dre deal: “There would have been no Beats deal without [Jay Z’s] Samsung deal. It showed the No. 1 company the importance of connecting with culture. The reason I said I didn’t like Samsung particularly is because throughout my entire life, because of how my parents raised me, I have to work with the No. 1. I can’t work with anyone but Jay Z, because he’s No. 1. I can’t be with any girl but Kim, because that’s the girl whose pictures I look at the most and get turned on by. I’m not going to represent any company but Louis Vuitton, because that’s No. 1. … Samsung is not quite Apple, but it showed that Jimmy [Iovine] and Dre would be able to connect with the No. 1 influencers.”
On beautifying the Internet: “The world as a whole is f*cking ugly. The Internet as a whole is fucking ugly, too. But I’m not in the construction business. I said to [Instagram founder] Kevin [Systrom], why don’t you let us redo Instagram? Now, you know, Instagram is nice. It’s nice looking. I’m not knocking it. But just in general, everyone spends all of their time looking at their screens or their phones. And just as a simple task, we could clean that up.”