Update: Now you can listen to and read highlights from the complete interview.
Say what you will about Kanye West, but the man knows how to give a quote. Part 1 of his latest interview, with BBC1’s Zane Lowe, is now online, and Kanye does not disappoint. Over the course of the 14-minute clip, he compares his music to a hologram from R2-D2, compares his struggles with America’s racial dynamics to the end of The Truman Show, and discusses wanting to get into architecture and water bottle design.
The interview is worth watching in full (it really gets going around 6 minutes in). But if you’re pressed for time, we’ve pulled an assortment of the best quotes below.
On making music that’s confrontational
“So I’m gonna take music and I’m going to try to make it three-dimensional, like [long pause], like in Star Wars, and the hologram’ll pop up out of R2-D2. I’ma try to make something that jumps up, and affects you, in a good or bad way.”
On not intending puns
“Everybody is like, bound to these—no pun intended, they’re bound to…”
“I’m gonna try to push Pusha T—no pun intended once again. This keeps happening to me.”
“I was talking to Frank Ocean about this and said, like, my mom got arrested for the sit-ins, and now we’re more 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 past as something that’s very formulaic.”
On race and being marginalized
“I’ve reached a point in my life where my Truman Show boat has hit the painting. And 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. When I say that, it means, I want to do product, I am a product person. Not just clothing, but water bottle design, architecture, everything, you know, that you could think about. And I’ve been at it for 10 years, and I look around, and I say, wait a second, there’s no one in this space 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.”
“Me and Virgil [Abloh] are in Rome, giving designs to Fendi, over and over, and getting our designs knocked down … [We] brought the leather jogging pants six years ago to Fendi, and they said ‘no.’ How many motherfuckers you done seen with a leather jogging pant?”
On hip-hop’s cultural dominance
“When I see Hedi Slimane, and it’s all like, okay, this is my take on the world. Yeah, he’s got some nice $5,000 jeans in there. It’s some nice ones here and there, some good shit here and there. But we culture. Rap the new rock and roll. We culture. Rap is the new rock and roll. We the rock stars. [Zane Lowe: “It’s been like that now for a minute.”] It’s been like that now for a minute, Hedi Slimane! It’s been like that now for a minute. We the rock stars, and I’m the biggest of all of them.”
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