The 16 Most Batsh*t Moments in Kanye West’s Radio 1 Interview
Kanye West hates that you don’t take him seriously enough. Nico Hines on the craziest ways he’s trying to change your mind.
Zane Low is one of the most obnoxious men on British radio, but he didn’t stand a chance when Kanye West stormed into his studio for an interview broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on Monday night. Here are just a few of Kanye’s most batshit pronouncements. Definitely not suitable for work.
Being a god:
“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! Would it have been better if I had a song that said, ‘I am a gangster’ or ‘I am a pimp’? All those colors fit better on a person like me, right? But to say you are a god, especially when you got shipped over to the country that you’re in, and your last name is a slave-owner’s, how could you say that? How could you have that mentality?”
Inventing leather jogging pants:
“[I] brought the leather jogging pants six years ago to Fendi and they said ‘no.’ How many motherfuckers you done seen with the leather jogging pants?"
Being a rock star:
“I brought 10 years of product that’s added to humanity. Where’s the culture at? Rap is the new rock and roll, we bring culture, we the real rock stars. And I’m the biggest of all of them. I’m the No. 1 rock star on the planet.”
On racial discrimination in the business world:
"When I say, ‘Clean water was only served to the fairer skin,’ what I’m saying is, we’re making product with chitlins. T-shirts—that’s the most we can make. We can have our best perspective on T-shirts, but if it’s anything else, your Truman Show boat is hitting the wall.”
“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?”
His fashion apprenticeship:
“I spend 80 percent of my time working on [fashion] and 20 percent of my time working on music. Why do you think the song 'Niggas in Paris' is called 'Niggas in Paris'? Because niggas was in Paris! That’s why we were in Paris. I’ve put in the 10,000 hours."
Touring with Kendrick Lamar:
“I’m just looking forward to the opportunity to speak to this brother as much as possible. Those conversations is gonna be more than everything I even said right here. He’s one of our future messengers, and I’m gonna give him them jewels.”
On going further than Michael Jackson:
"There wouldn’t be no Kanye West without Michael Jackson ... I’ve got to a point that Michael Jackson did not break down. I have reached the glass ceiling, as a creative person, as a celebrity ... and I’ve been at it for 10 years. I look around and I say, ‘Wait a minute. There’s no one around here that looks like me. And if they are, they’re quiet as fuck.’ So that means, wait a second—now we’re seriously like, in a civil rights movement.”
The chains of celebrity:
“It’s funny; you drive in a Maybach past a homeless person and you ask, ‘Who’s more free?’ You could be trapped to your possessions. ‘You gotta do this next deal ’cause you gotta do this with your house and you gotta get this car.’ And everybody [who] stay next to you last name is Jones, and you trying to keep up with all of them. And that’s what it’s like to be a celebrity. Rappers and musicians trying to compete with ball players with way bigger contracts. Meanwhile, music is the Titanic that’s going down like this.”
On the Taylor Swift incident:
“I’m blessed and cursed by my level of education. To be a visionary, all you have to do is make decisions based off of your eyes instead of your ears and your memory. So at the moment of the MTV awards, I made that decision based off of my eyes: I was like, that’s not correct, that is invalid, completely invalid. Everybody else don’t move, that’s off they ears. ‘Oh, he gon’ get in trouble.’ That’s off they memory. They don’t move. They’re enslaved.”
On being underappreciated:
“I shouldn’t be limited to only one place of creativity. You guys don’t understand—I did the Air Yeezys and they eBay’d for $90,000 ... but I didn’t get a call from Nike the next day.”
On his multidisciplinary ambitions:
“I’m a product person, and not just music. I wanna do architecture and clothing and water bottle design.”
“This is what frustration fucking sounds like."
Comparing sit-ins to music industry:
“I was talking to Frank Ocean about this and said like, ‘My mom got arrested for the sit-ins, and now we’re like the sit-outs,’ like sit off of radio, and say, ‘Hey radio, come to us.’ We need to find something new because it’s being controlled in a way and manufactured in a way that really awesome artists can make amazing music and not break as far paths as, like, something that’s very formulaic.”
“I eventually want to be the anchor and the force behind a billion-dollar company, and after I made that billion step, then I can go in and say I’ve got an opinion on this, and that can be a $10 billion step, and I eventually want to be the anchor of the first trillion-dollar company.”
On the interview he’s currently giving:
“People are going to look at this interview and say, ‘I don’t like Kanye. Look, he looks mad. I don’t like his teeth.’ They’re gonna say, ‘Why doesn’t he just focus on music? I liked him as music.’ They’re gonna say, ‘Hey, I want the old Kanye, blah blah blah.’ But one thing they will do? They will play this interview in five years. They will play this interview in 10 years and say, ‘He called that, he called that, he called that ...’ ”