Kanye West Touches on ‘Yeezus,’ Fashion and Ambitions in Zane Lowe Interview
Kanye West‘s ‘Yeezus’ is his most galvanizing album since ‘808s & Heartbreak’ because of its abrasive sound. The rapper has some news for the naysayers: “I’m not here to make easy listening, easy programmable music.”
After mentor Jay Z did so back in July, West sat with BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe to touch on a number of topics. The Chicago MC strolled into the station with a gold necklace to talk about what went into making ‘Yeezus’ and the aftermath, his public perceptions and his ambitions.
His heightened awareness of his place in pop culture, his diamond-encrusted teeth and quotes like, “If you’re a Kanye West fan, you aren’t a fan of me. You’re a fan of yourself,” aren’t going to win over some of his biggest critics. What can’t be ignored, however, is how passionate he sounds at multiple points during the interview, whether he’s touching on fashion or music.
Speaking of those two topics, West says that he dedicates 80 percent of his energy to fashion and 20 percent to music. “Why do you think the song ‘N—-s in Paris’ is called ‘N—-s in Paris’? Because n—-s was in Paris! That’s why we were in Paris. I’ve put in the 10,000 hours.”
With that said, he’s still hyper aware of the criticism he’s received for ‘Yeezus.’ A lot of the backlash was aimed at ‘I Am a God,’ not only because of the title, but because the tracklist says the song features God. He counters the argument with a racial standpoint.
“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 was. A God,” West states. Would it have been better if I had 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 you’re last name is a slaveowner’s, how could you say that? How could you have that mentality?”
The other “80 percent” isn’t just limited to fashion, either; West is too complicated for just that. He’s thinking about building empires.
“What people don’t realize is, I want to make uniforms for my high school basketball team through brand Yeezy,” West says. “I want to make that one step, and then make another step, and then eventually do uniforms for an entire city. Then I want them uniforms to be hot and make money.”
“Then I eventually want to be the anchor and the force behind a billion-dollar company. And after I make that billion dollar step, then I can go in and say, Hey, I’ve got an opinion on this. And that can be a 10 billion-dollar step. And I eventually want to be the anchor of the first trillion-dollar company.”
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Listen to Kanye West’s Full Interview with Zane Lowe