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Kanye West Interview With Zane Lowe (Full Interview)

Here’s the full audio of Kanye West interview with Zane Lowe at BBC.

On radio being too controlled:

“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.”

On his current role in music and culture:

“I showed people that I understand how to make perfect. ‘Dark Fantasy’ could be considered to be perfect. I know how to make perfect, but that’s not what I’m here to do. I’m here to crack the pavement and make new grounds — sonically and society, culturally.”

On the fashion industry, and struggles he’s faced:

“[Me and Virgil Abloh] brought the leather jogging pants six years ago to Fendi and they said no. How many motherf*ckers you done seen with the leather jogging pants? So when I see Hedi Slimane and it’s all like, ok, this is my take on the world. Yeah, he got some $5,000 jeans in there, there’s some good sh*t here and there. But we culture. Rap is the new Rock N Roll. We the rockstars. IT’S BEEN LIKE THAT FOR A MINUTE HEDI SLIMANE, IT’S BEEN LIKE THAT FOR A MINUTE. We the new rockstars and I’m the biggest of all of them.”

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 f*ck does she know about cameras?”

On creative aspirations:

“What people don’t realize is, I want to make uniforms for my high school basketball team through brand Yeezy. 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.”

On backlash to “I am a God” and how racism is still alive:

“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 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 slave-owner’s, how could you say that? How could you have that mentality?”

On Kim:

“Family time — it’s what Kim gave me, she gave me everything, she gave me a family, she gave me a support system. She was in a powerful enough situation where she could love me without asking me for money, which is really hard for me to find.”

On Jay Z and finding peace:

“Jay is more realized than me. Meaning more of his dreams and hopes and aspirations have come true, and hopefully, God willing, by the time I’m his age, that thing will happen for me also, and I’ll be in that more Zenned-out place… You don’t realize I am SO frustrated, I’ve got so much I want to give, and I’ve got a million people telling me I can’t do it.”

On balancing music and fashion:

“I spend 80% of my time working on [fashion] and 20% of my time working on music. Why do you think the song ‘N*ggas in Paris’ is called ‘N*ggas in Paris’? Because n*ggas was in Paris! That’s why we were in Paris. I’ve put in the 10,000 hours.”

On entering the fashion world without a “Big Brother”:

“Me, as Kanye West, as a young revolutionary coming out of Chicago, would not have made it that far without Jay Z being my big brother and watching my back at all times. And this new place that I’m going to and what I want to do — the thing is, I’m speaking to everybody but I’m also sending cues to the right people to say, Come and help me help everybody else.”

On the media trying to “set him up”:

“There’s the 10%ers, the media. For the most part, the 85%ers don’t really know what it is. And the 5%ers that know what it is can’t get it past the 10%ers, so this is a jump past — this gon’ get taken off the internet quick. ‘Send the paparazzi at him, get him locked up.’ That’s what’s gon’ happen. Somebody’s trying to set me up. Somebody’s trying to shut me up.”

On paparazzi:

“I’m changing things for my daughter. And I’ma tell my daughter, by the time she understands what it was, Man, me and your mother were in a completely different situation than you’re in. At that time, paparazzi wasn’t legal, people could take pictures, people could climb over your fence, and you wouldn’t even get paid for it. You see all these checks that you getting at age six because people taking your picture? You don’t worry about a thing ever again just because people wanna take your picture! I made that happen, Nori. That’s what I’ma tell her.”

On “Control”:

“Yeah, friendly competition, that’s cool. That’s fine.”

On 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 “new slavery”:

“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 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.”

Transcriptions by Andy.

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