Yeezus Says

12.11.13

The 31 Best Kanye West Quotes of 2013

He’s a god. He’s the espresso. He’s the Braveheart of creativity. He's Shakespeare in the flesh. And that’s just a taste of what Kanye West said about himself in 2013.

“Yeezy season approaching/Fuck whatever y’all be hearing/Fuck what, fuck whatever y’all been wearing/A monster about to come alive again”

These lyrics opened Kanye West’s Yeezus. They also warned of what was to come in the latter half of 2013. Since his album dropped in June, Kanye has made a welcomed return to the limelight with multiple candid interviews and public appearances. And if there’s one thing you can expect when Kanye is in a room, it’s that he’ll say something that will be worth discussing with your friends. Thankfully, West did not disappoint—he gave us some great quotes on pop culture, design, the state of rap, the fashion industry, and of course Kanye West, the creative genius.

“I think that’s a responsibility that I have, to push possibilities, to show people, this is the level that things could be at. So when you get something that has the name Kanye West on it, it’s supposed to be pushing the furthest possibilities. I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.” June 16, New York Times

"I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things." June 16, New York Times

“It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is. “June 16, New York Times

“So the next day I went to the studio with Daft Punk, and I wrote ‘I Am a God,’Cause it’s like, yo! Nobody can tell me where I can and can’t go. Man, I’m the No. 1 living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix.” June 19, W Magazine

“On one end, I try to scale it [his narcissism] back…Because I don’t want to close any of the doors needed to create the best product possible. But my ego is my drug. My drug, ‘I’m better than all you other motherfuckers. Kiss my ass!’” June 19, W Magazine

“I made that song because I am a god…I don’t think there’s much more explanation. I’m not going to sit here and defend shit. That shit is rock ‘n’ roll, man. That shit is rap music. I am a god. Now what?” June 19, W Magazine

"When someone comes up and says something like, ‘I am a god,’ everybody says ‘Who does he think he is?’ I just told you who I thought I was. A god. I just told you. That’s who I think I am," September 24, BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe

“If you’re a Kanye West fan, you’re not a fan of me, you’re a fan of yourself. You will believe in yourself. I’m just the espresso.” September 24, BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe

I would literally write ‘creative genius’ except for two reasons: Sometimes it takes too long to write that and sometimes I spell the word ‘genius’ wrong. The irony.

“No flip flops for black dudes. I don’t care where you at. Wear some hot ass Jordans on the beach.” September 24, BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe

“Look at Gaga, she’s the creative director of Polaroid. I like some of the Gaga songs. What the fuck does she know about cameras?” September 24, BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe

“SHOULD I DO A SPOOF ABOUT YOUR FACE OR YOU FUCKIN BEN AFFLECK…#NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK #ALLDISRESPECTTOJIMMYKIMMEL.” September 26, Twitter

“For me to say I wasn’t a genius, I would just be lying to you and to myself.” October 9, Jimmy Kimmel Live

"I feel like a little bit, like, I’m the Braveheart of creativity.” October 21, San Francisco's 99.7 NOW!

“It’s mixing creativity with the fight like an athlete. Like it’s okay for the athletes to fight and push it, but they want the creative people to shut-up and be quiet. But these are the people with the real ideas that can actually change, can reorganize, can design cities, can restructure a curriculum, you know, can make life easier. And that’s the part of the game I want to be in: the making life more awesome.” October 28, Los Angeles’ 97.1 AMP Radio

“My greatest power…I’m not a billionaire. I may not be the richest person on the planet. I might not be the most attractive guy. I might be the most liked, but, I right now, because of ‘New Slaves’, and because of the position I’ve always taken, have the most powerful voice by a mile. By a mile. And I’m gonna use that…I’ve got a trillion dollars worth of voice!” October 28, Los Angeles’ 97.1 AMP Radio

“No one is looking at what [President] Obama is wearing. Michelle Obama cannot Instagram a [bikini] pic like what my girl Instagrammed the other day…” October 30, On Air with Ryan Seacrest

“I really do believe the world can be saved by design…If I sit down and talk to Oprah for two hours, the conversation is about realization, self realization, and actually seeing your creativity happen in front of you. So the reason why I turn up so much in interviews is because I’ve tasted what it means to create and be able to impact, and affect in a positive way.” November 17, Speech at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design

“I believe that utopia is actually possible—but we're led by the least noble, the least dignified, the least tasteful, the dumbest, and the most political. So in no way am I a politician—I'm usually at my best politically incorrect and very direct.” November 17, Speech at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design

“If I were to write my title like going through the airport and you have to put down what you do? I would literally write ‘creative genius’ except for two reasons: Sometimes it takes too long to write that and sometimes I spell the word ‘genius’ wrong. The irony.” November 18, Bret Easton Ellis Podcast

“We're currently led by the least noble, least talented, least respected, least respectful people—politicians. Period. But the world could be saved through art and design. Art is something that in definition I think is a really close thing to love, and love is really close to God, and God is the master creator.” November 18, Bret Easton Ellis Podcast

“Cause I still ain’t seen a video better than Beyoncé to this mothafuckin day!” November 20, "Visionary Stream of Consciousness" at the Barclays Center

“I’m not gonna be Tesla, in my basement, inventin’ all kinds of shit and people stealin’ they ideas and you die broke!...And I’m not talking about the car. That’s why I’m turnin up! That’s why I’m turning! Cause I want my turn!”  November 20, “Visionary Stream of Consciousness”

"I'm sitting there [at the MTV VMAs], I'm trying to enjoy motherfuckers performing, and shit. I'm looking, I'm watching Drake perform, I see Bruno Mars perform, and shit. And I was thinking about what Rick Rubin told me, because I don’t give a fuck about no TV show. What I care about is if you’re an artist and you work hard as fuck and the streets say that you deserve that shit” November 20,  "Visionary Stream of Consciousness" at the Barclays Center

“All barbershops, fashion designers, architects, corner stores, Wall Street… all over the world… y’all acting like [Kim Kardashian] ain’t the most beautiful woman of all time… I’m talking about, arguably, of human existence, the top 10 of human existence.”  November 25, Hot 97’s The Angie Martinez Show

“Nike told me, 'We can't give you royalties because you're not a professional athlete.' I told them, 'I go to the Garden and play one on no one. I'm a performance athlete.” November 25, Hot 97’s The Angie Martinez Show

"I am Warhol! I am the number one most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh. Walt Disney, Nike, Google. Now who's going to be the Medici family and stand up and let me create more?" November 26, Sway in the Morning

“Started from my mama, now I'm here.” November 26, Sway in the Morning

“How Sway? You ain’t got the answers Sway. I’ve been doing this more than you. You ain’t got the answers. You ain’t been doing the education. You don’t have the answers though. You tryna give me advice, but you ain’t spend $13 million of your own money to try to empower yourself” November 26, Sway in the Morning

"I sat with Michael Jackson. I met him over Lyor Cohen's house and I just vibed out with him. I think Michael was the one that put that battery in my back to do 808's. I played him "Good Life," he was like, 'Who is that singing right there. I like that voice.' It was my voice, he gassed me up.” November 26, 2013, Hot 97’s Juan Epstein Podcast

“I’m 10 years ahead of your mentality.” November 26, The Breakfast Club on New York’s Power 105.1

“Now, you can see my face on the Internet every motherfucking day. I came here, I open up a motherfucking mountain…and you tryin’ tell me how to give you my art. Now tell me something, ya’ll want me to do this show the way I would do this show? Don’t fucking heckle me. I’m Kanye motherfucking West.”  December 10, San Antonio concert