Vanity Fair posted an exclusive interview with rap superstar Kanye West on Thursday. This is the first time he’s touched on his highly publicized show at New York Fashion Week and since announcing his upcoming presidential run (in five years).
As with any time West speaks, there are some potable quotables.
He doesn’t give away much in terms of his presidential run, but, to be fair, it’s still early. “The only concrete plan is that I plan to use concrete,” he says.
He does, on the other hand, appear to endorse current Republican candidate Ben Carson—while implying that Carson ducked his phone calls. Meanwhile, he also makes some legitimate points about the primary process of presidential elections:
As soon as I heard [Ben] Carson speak, I tried for three weeks to get on the phone with him. I was like this is the most brilliant guy. And I think all the people running right now have something that each of the others needs. But the idea of this separation and this gladiator battle takes away from the main focus that the world needs help and the world needs all the people in a position of power or influence to come together.
At the same time, while talking about the fashion world accepting him, he conveys what sounds like the skeleton of his own presidential platform:
Yeah, well, eventually I want the whole world to accept me and I want the whole world to accept each other. My vision of life is that we have all of the information to live in a better world, but we’re always holding information back… In general the world is stingy with information. Information is the most important thing we have. Anytime I’ve ever had someone who intentionally held information from me in order to either control or manipulate the situation, be in charge of it in a certain way, that is the greatest travesty. I’d rather someone be hateful. It’s like being a fucking thief, you’re stealing information. It’s like when we go and we launch yeezy.supply, taking back the data is so important. And even musicians, for so long we were held back from our data. Meaning the record labels could have the data, but the musicians couldn’t have the data. This is the new world. The Internet’s like the Wild, Wild West. If you have your data, you have everything.
On the whole he mostly nerds out about fashion and its history. He also relates the way he looks at the functionality and colors of clothes to Legos and Play-Doh. But every time West talks about his daughter, it’s incredibly heartfelt, like when he says, “I’m just simply an artist trying to express myself, trying to finish my sentences just like my daughter can.”
At one point an unnamed, recent Jamaican immigrant interrupts to discuss baby presents. It goes all over the place. West compares the Internet to the Wild West. He posits the philosophy, “I think sweatshirts are the way of the future.” He gives some interesting thoughts on how the public views him and his family as adopted children and he talks about race like everyone is just a color card on the wall of a Sherwin-Williams: “It was only colors of human beings and the way these palettes of people work together and really just stressing the importance of color.”
Perhaps most importantly, however, he also talks about his upcoming album, Swish. Unfortunately he hints at new music being a ways away:
That song I played has been a year and a half in the making and it may be still a year from being complete. But it was to let people get a glimpse at the painting.
I know we’re here to talk about the fashion, Vanity Fair, but people are just a little bit interested in the album. It could be another year?
I’m not sure. I’m not worried about the years. I’m worried about the life and the body of work that I can put out while I’m breathing.
Who has time to make music when you’re trying to break into Beltway politics?
H/T Vanity Fair | Illustration by Max Fleishman