13 Things We Learned About Kanye West From His ‘New York Times’ Interview

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/ June 12, 2013

Kanye West rarely holds back in interviews. But in the past few years, he’s had a hate-hate relationship with the press, and Twitter has been his primary mouthpiece. He hasn’t done an interview in years, not even to promote 2011’s Watch the Throne.

So it’s refreshing that we finally get a glimpse into what’s been going on in Ye’s brain, in an intensely interesting New York Times interview that’s one of his most candid ever (of all time, even). The producer sat with esteemed writer Jon Caramanica and opened up about everything from his public apologies to his strive for acceptance to the inspiration behind his latest album, Yeezus, dropping on Tuesday (June 18). Check out a few things we learned from the Q&A.

1. He’s sorry he’s not sorry about interrupting Taylor Swift on stage.

“When the next little girl that wants to be, you know, a musician and give up her anonymity and her voice to express her talent and bring something special to the world, and it’s time for us to roll out and say, ‘Did this person have the biggest thing of the year?’ — that thing is more fair because I was there.”

2. He has no regrets about following his instinct.

“It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness… If anyone’s reading this waiting for some type of full-on, flat apology for anything, they should just stop reading right now.”

3. He made a perfect album so that maybe the public could forgive him.

Dark Fantasy was my long, backhanded apology… It was like, all these raps, all these sonic acrobatics. I was like: Let me show you guys what I can do, and please accept me back. You want to have me on your shelves.”

4. People from his label wanted him to release 808s & Heartbreak under a different name.

“They said, ‘Do it under a different name.’ And when it came out, people used to be like, ‘Man, I wish it had more rapping on it.’ But I think the fact that I can’t sing that well is what makes 808s so special.”

5. He considers himself a black new wave artist

“‘Stronger’ was the first, like, dance-rap song that resonated to that level, and then 808s was the first album of that kind, you know? It was the first, like, black new wave album. I didn’t realize I was new wave until this project… I hadn’t heard new wave! But I am a black new wave artist.”

Photo Credit: New York Times