Another day, another Kanye West cover story. After showing us graveyard chic and releasing his fashion frustrations to T Magazine, Yeezus has more to say in his cover story for Paper magazine. He details what a world exposed to his American Dream would look like in his own words, and as expected, it’s quite the mouthful.
Kanye name drops both influencers (Steve Jobs, Alber Elbaz, Mazdack Rassi and Riccardo Tisci) and those he wants to creatively influence (Drake, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky and Taylor Swift), addresses being “silent” on social issues and makes big promises for the fashion world (“70 percent of my focus is on apparel. I haven’t even given my College Dropout of clothing yet. We’re still on mixtapes”).
We’ve pulled out the most hot button moments from his story for your note-taking pleasure.
On Feeling Shunned From The Fashion Industry “Insiders”:
I was speaking at a fashion award ceremony — I gave the head of Milk Studios, Mazdack Rassi, the first award of the night — and I talked about the concept of “the fashion insider.” I believe that everyone is a fashion insider, because it’s illegal to be naked. But in all seriousness, the fashion world can say, “Yo, you know what I mean: the inside insiders.” I saw this article that asked, “Should Kanye leave fashion to the professionals?” That question is really ignorant, in a way, because the second I sell my first T-shirt or my first shoe, doesn’t that make me a professional? And when you sit down with Riccardo Tisci at the Louvre and he pitches the idea of you wearing a leather kilt, which could be considered by all of your gangbanging friends as some sort of a dress or skirt, at that point you are now a part of the fashion world. You have paid your dues to be an insider. I paid my dues when I had to wear a kilt in Chicago, and friends would say, “What’s your boy got on?” But there are warriors that have killed people in kilts in the past. Who gets to decide what’s hard and what’s not hard? When I saw this kilt, I liked it. I was into it. It looked fresh to me. I felt creative; I didn’t feel limited by some perception.
People Need Get Used To Music Being A Secondary Passion:
I went to the American Academy of Art on an arts scholarship, but I stepped back from that to paint in a different way. I chose to paint sonically. To chop samples in a Warhol-type way. I just looked at civilization: I’d have an assignment to do an ink drawing that took me two weeks, three weeks, and I’d show it to my friends and they’d say, “Cool. My friend can draw. Now let’s go play ball. Let’s go downtown and talk to some girls.” But when I’d work on a track, I’d work on it for just that afternoon — chop up a sample, put some drums to it. And if my friends liked it, we’d make a tape of it and play it all the way downtown. We’d listen to it all night, keep rewinding it. I made a decision at that point to focus on painting with sound instead of painting visually. I loved music. I loved it more than I love it now. But I think that can happen with anything. You can live in New York for 10 years and say, “I now want to move to San Francisco.” It’s just harder for me to do music now, period. It’s easier for people who focus on it all day and who are younger in their concept of what they want to do with it. I am not what I would consider truly a musician. I am an inventor. I am an innovator.
On People Not Seeing The Bigger Picture With TIDAL:
I heard a comment — a joke — about the Tidal press conference being an Illuminati moment. If there was actually an Illuminati, it would be more like the energy companies. Not celebrities that gave their life to music and who are pinpointed as decoys for people who really run the world. I’m tired of people pinpointing musicians as the Illuminati. That’s ridiculous. We don’t run anything; we’re celebrities. We’re the face of brands. We have to compromise what we say in lyrics so we don’t lose money on a contract. Madonna is in her 50s and gave everything she had to go up on an award show and get choked by her cape. She’s judged for who she adopts. Fuck all of this sensationalism. We gave you our lives. We gave you our hearts. We gave you our opinions!
That One Time He Had High Thoughts At The Dentist’s Office:
One time I was at the dentist’s office and I was given nitrous gas and I was vibing out — I guess that’s my version of Steve Jobs and his LSD trip — when I had this first thought: What is the meaning of life? And then I thought, To give. What’s the key to happiness? Happiness. What do you want in life? When you give someone something, should they give you something in return? No. We don’t have to expect to be compensated by the person we give to. Just give. I’m a Christian so I’ll speak in Christian terms: God will give you tenfold. Then I said in my mind — I’m still under the gas and getting my teeth cleaned — But I just want to be remembered. And I immediately corrected myself. I said, It doesn’t even matter if I’m remembered. I came out of the gas and had a completely new attitude on everything. It’s fine to not get credit for everything; it’s almost better. For the amount of things that I really want to do, it can only work if I’m credited for about 20 percent of them. Because if I’m really credited for the amount of things that I’m going to do and what I want to do, it’s just too much. The reward is in the deed itself. The times that I’ve looked like a crazy person — when I was screaming at an interviewer or screaming from the stage — all I was screaming was, “Help me to help more! I’ve given all I’ve got. I’ve gone into fucking debt. It’s all I’ve got to give. But if I had a little bit more opportunity, I could give so much more.” That’s what I was screaming for. Help me to help more.
Read the entire cover story here.