Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn’t the only one with a dream. Kanye West’s own visions of success have extended far beyond the rap and hip-hop contributions he’s been praised for and stomped right into fashion and design without anyone’s permission. His reasoning: he just wants to win and have the power to do what he puts his mind to.
In a phoner with esteemed filmmaker Steve McQueen for Interview magazine, Yeezus is resurrected for some arresting visuals, either blazing in red paint or posing stone cold, and discusses his creativity mirroring that of a 3-year-old, his parents’ influence on his work ethic and not getting the kudos he feels he deserves, especially this years Grammy nominations.
MCQUEEN: It actually stunned me to find out that you’ve never won Best Album at the Grammys. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but it’s kind of odd, considering what you’ve done in music over the last decade.
WEST: I wasn’t even nominated for Best Album this year. This year, I only got two nominations by the Grammys: for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song.
MCQUEEN: Well, that’s my problem with all this stuff. It’s ghettoization—and I’m talking about country as much as rap. It’s all just music. And I’ve got a problem with people kind of trying to categorize it, where it’s either good or it’s bad. I find it all odd, to be honest. Have you ever been nominated for Best Album?
WEST: I’ve been nominated for Best Album maybe three times. I made Dark Fantasy and Watch the Throne less than a year apart and neither of them got nominated. “Ni**as in Paris” [off Watch the Throne] wasn’t nominated for Best Song either. But let’s go into the fact that I have the most Grammys of any 36-year-old or 40-year-old or whatever, and I’ve never won a Grammy outside of the Rap or R&B categories. “Jesus Walks” lost Best Song to some other song; “Ni**as in Paris” wasn’t nominated in that category. But those are the labels that people want to put on you. People see you in a certain way, so if I was doing a clothing line that had rock tees in it or whatever we just did for the “Yeezus” tour, which sells $400,000 of stuff in two days … You know, I like Shame  as much as 12 Years a Slave, but Hollywood likes the idea of a black director directing 12 Years a Slave more than it likes the idea of a black director directing Shame.
Consume the full interview here.
Photo Credit: Interview/ Steven Klein