Sometimes things trend on Twitter and it’s nonsense. Sometimes what’s trending on Twitter deserves to be trending. Kanye West’s interview with the NYT is trending. And so it should. This is amazing. It is the most amazing interview you’ll read all month, maybe even all year.
Let me put it this way:
Kanye’s interview with the NYT is better than Karl Lagerfeld’s recent interviews. Lagerfeld’s all about his cat now. It’s boring.
I’m telling you.
When Kanye West Kanye Wested Taylor Swift at the VMAs a few years ago, I wrote at the time that he was self creating drama in the search for inspiration. Like his well was empty. And “he’s pillaged everything he can from his past struggles and now there’s nothing left, no other option in his mind but to manufacture controversy in the hopes of finding a muse on the other end, a desperate artist fearing his last masterpiece is behind him, and selling his soul in exchange for a vision”.
Kanye is still finding sh-t to be angry about. Or, as he puts it, he’s still “yelling at the refs”. I don’t know who the refs are -- from the Grammy voters to the internet haters to the fashion judges ...us, all of us, we are the refs. And Kanye won’t stop yelling at us.
He’s doing it for the children.
Seriously. He’s doing it for the children.
Oh, and Justin Timberlake.
“I remember when both Gnarls Barkley and Justin [Timberlake] lost for (Grammy) Album of the Year, and I looked at Justin, and I was like: “Do you want me to go onstage for you? You know, do you want me to fight” —
Can you imagine Justin, that f-cking pussy, putting his hands up all like, “No, no, Ye, no, it’s all good”...?
Kanye is the BEST. For pure entertainment, he is the BEST.
And by the way? He’s not sorry about what happened with Taylor Swift. He’s not sorry and he’s sorry that he said he was sorry because he was peer pressured to do so. So there’s that.
And then there’s this:
“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.”
Quotes like that are the reason I was pounding on my desk with joy while reading this article. Steve Jobs...and RICK OWENS!?!? Only Kanye West could go from Steve Jobs to Rick Owens. Only Kanye West could put the following list of names together:
“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 don’t see the connection of artistry between Nicolas Ghesquiere and NBA Commissioner David Stern but ok, whatever Kanye. Whatever. Don’t ever stop.
The trick to being crazy though is to know when to adjust the crazy levels. If you’re full on crazy with every sentence, the effect of the crazy is diluted because it becomes a constant, allowing people to acclimate. This is Kanye’s gift. Like volume. He turns it up, then he turns it down, so that when he turns it up again, you are startled and, once again, in awe.
Kanye turns down the crazy to low when he finally talks about the music, about the work of making music, and as a student of music, collaborating with his mentors, like Jay-Z, he is compelling and coherent. Still complicated, but not quite so deranged. Similarly, when he addresses impending parenthood and his relationship with his girlfriend, there is a reticence there, and a lack of aggression that’s actually kind of surprising. Tellingly, where Kanye is mega verbose on almost every other subject, when the memory of his late mother comes up, Kanye doesn’t say much at all. I found that endearing, sweet, and sad all at the same time.
And then he’s back.
He’s back to being Kanye.
Kanye just redefined Christmas:
But the passion is for humanity. The passion is for people. The passion is for the 18-year-old version of myself. The passion is for the kids at my shows. I need to do more. I need to be able to give people more of what they want that currently is behind a glass. I don’t believe that it’s luxury to go into a store and not be able to afford something. I believe luxury is to be able to go into a store and be able to afford something.
I sat down with a clothing guy that I won’t mention, but hopefully if he reads this article, he knows it’s him and knows that out of respect, I didn’t mention his name: this guy, he questioned me before I left his office:, “If you’ve done this, this, and this, why haven’t you gone further in fashion?” And I say, “I’m learning.” But ultimately, this guy that was talking to me doesn’t make Christmas presents, meaning that nobody was asking for his [stuff] as a Christmas present. If you don’t make Christmas presents, meaning making something that’s so emotionally connected to people, don’t talk to me.
Don’t let me get in your way. Click here. I’m printing this out and taking it with me everywhere.