Is Kanye West really the “nucleus” of culture today? In his own mind, Kanye is all that – and a whole lot more.
Or at least that’s how the rapper/producer/fashion mogul comes off in a recent New York Times interview, which is steadily gathering heat online if only for the sheer audacity of Kanye’s comments.
Forget about Kanye’s long-ago assertion that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” or his public diss of Taylor Swift for winning a music award – in the middle of her acceptance speech! – or the recent tabloid allegation that he cheated on his baby mama Kim Kardashian with a Canadian model. That’s old news.
Kanye 2013 is loaded for bear and thoroughly convinced of his own awesomeness and musical manifest destiny, as evidenced in the following sample quotes from the Times interview.
On his musical legacy:
“I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z …"
On his future endeavours:
“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.”
On his untapped athletic ability and why he never holds a grudge today:
“I was on the junior [basketball] team when I was a freshman, that’s how good I was. But I wasn’t on my eighth-grade team, because some coach – some Grammy, some reviewer, some fashion person, some blah blah blah – they’re all the same as that coach ... I’m letting it out on everybody who doesn’t want to give me my credit.”
On dealing with people trying to contain his massive creativity:
“I’ve had meetings where a guy actually told me, ‘What we’re trying to figure out is how we can control you.’ In the meeting, to me! Why do you want to control me? Like, I want the world to be better! All I want is positive! All I want is dopeness! Why would you want to control that?”
On the importance of believing in your abilities:
“I knew when I wrote the line ‘light-skinned friend look like Michael Jackson’ [from the song ‘Slow Jamz] I was going to be a big star. At the time, they used to have the Virgin music [stores], and I would go there and just go up the escalator and say to myself, ‘I’m soaking in these last moments of anonymity.’”
On why he keeps fighting for justice:
“You know, if Michael Jordan can scream at the refs, me as Kanye West, as the Michael Jordan of music, can go and say, ‘This is wrong.’”
On looking back at some of his clothes he used to wear:
“Yeah, kill self. That’s all I have to say. Kill self.”