There’s nothing Kanye West loves more a microphone (except, well, you know), and now the rapper and
stylist husband to Kim Kardashian just filmed a live, uncut interview for Nick Knight’s In Camera series during which he talked fashion, music, family, racism, and everything in between for two long hours.
While fielding questions from both fans and high-profile individuals (including Carine Roitfeld), West compared his talents to Michelangelo’s (not for the first time) and Picasso’s, touched on his upcoming presidential run, mentioned that he believes Yeezus and 808s & Heartbreak were both stronger albums than My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and opened up about family life with Kim and baby North.
Ahead, eight key quotes from the interview.
On being misunderstood:
“I think there’s people who don’t want to embrace what it really is, so they use their position of, like, class or snobbery or whatever comments they have to try and down things and to not really give it its just due or just opportunity, and it’s a form of discrimination. Most people don’t understand who they are, so people’s misunderstanding of me is a misunderstanding of themselves … It’s funny that so many people who are supposed to be like so super-educated love to just pick the lowest hanging fruit of the concept of fame or celebrity as a way to diminish or take away the validation of what has been done up to this point.”
On his greatest contribution to creativity:
“Taking away people being able to bully you because you’re a creative.”
On racism in the entertainment industry:
“If you’re born black, if you make it to something like the Met Ball or the Grammys, most likely you’ve done 10 times the amount of everyone else there to get there.”
On harsh criticism of his fashion designs:
“I don’t care, because anyone that is criticizing most likely they saw the 350s and acted like they didn’t like them, because they’re racist and they’re discriminatory. But they’re not only racist about black people, they’re discriminatory about celebrity, they discriminate against people with multiple art forms … They didn’t do the research on how difficult it was to one by one put together a design team and fight against the idea of celebrity, to get overcharged because you’re a musician or because people think you’re a person who has money … And I love it because it’s like going to Harvard. That’s the reason why I’m in fashion. I think it’s the ultimate training. I dropped out of art school.”
On why his Yeezy collection isn’t affordable:
“I’m not H&M. I don’t have giant factories … This is the question that everybody asks. It’s like, if you had the Céline design team, the Nike design studio, and the Zara factory, could you do everything that you thought you could do? What would everyone’s answer be to that? Yes. But if you don’t have that Céline outerwear person, that factory, and you don’t have the entire Adidas studio … We’re doing a lot with what we have. What we have is the highest level of communication that has ever happened in human existence.”
On being a dad:
“Three years ago, after this interview, I would have been on a train back to Paris to see the last of the shows and get that inspiration and this and that. Now I’m on the first flight back to see my greatest inspiration—and that’s my daughter … Having a family, period, has completely made me rethink the way I rap.”
On raising kids as a celebrity:
“Do I worry about being in the public eye and raising kids? Yeah … It’s champagne problems. There are people who can’t feed their kids, so I’m not going to sit here and complain about so-called issues I have. These aren’t real issues.”
On whether he’ll be remembered as a great fashion designer:
“Of course. I’m Michelangelo. Of course. There was a time when I’m sure there were people who were sculpting better than him. But he made David. So as far as that question goes, is there a time when he can go on the Internet and find a shoe people want more than my shoes? Well, go fuck yourself then if it isn’t, and don’t ask me stupid shit like that again.”
If you have a spare two hours, here’s the full interview: