Kanye West Talks ‘Yeezus,’ Pushing The Envelope & More With BBC Radio 1
After picking Jay Z’s brain earlier this year, BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe sat down with The Throne’s other half, Kanye West, for an in-depth interview at Abbey Road Studios in London recently. And from the first of their four-part discussion, you can already tell Little Brother’s was way more thrilling.
For just over 14 minutes, Kanye broke down ‘Yeezus,’ simply stating, “This is what frustration sounds like,” explained how he’s pushing the boundaries of music, culture and fashion (not modest this one), and how there would be no Kanye West if it wasn’t for Michael Jackson.
‘Ye ended the interview in emphatic and explosive fashion: “Rap’s the new Rock ‘N’ Roll. We the rockstars… and I’m the biggest of all of them,” he screamed. Watch part one below and read the best quotes after the jump.
On pushing musical boundaries:
“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.”
“I showed people that I understand how to make perfect. ‘Dark Fantasy’ could be considered to be perfect. I said, 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.”
“If I’m working on a John Legend album, I’m gonna try to give John Legend the best home for him to stay in. And I’m gonna try to push Pusha T to make the thing that represents about what I like about his music the most. And then for me, Kanye West, I gotta fuck shit up.”
“Originally, ‘Blood On The Leaves’ was supposed to be first, which psychologically I know would have changed certain ‘Yeezus’ naysayers about the album.”
“I’m not here to make easy-listening, easy-programmable music.”
“This what frustration sounds like.”
On the influence of Michael Jackson:
“I was able to ascend to massive heights and never stop because of the foundation that my mother and my father and my grandfather laid through civil rights, what Michael Jackson did with music videos and the ground he broke; there would be no Kanye West without Michael Jackson.”
And finally, some expectedly bold statements about culture:
“I want to do product, I am a product person. Not just clothing, but water bottle design, architecture, everything that you could think about. And I’ve been at it for 10 years, and I look around and say, Wait a second, there’s no one around here in this space that looks as me. And if they are, they’re quiet as f–k.”
“When I say, Hey this is Pusha T, this is what it is, I have to remind Pusha T that he’s Pusha T. Because the radio, if they’re not playing a song of his that has an R&B hook on it or works at a certain level of trap tempo and plays at Club Liv, it’s like we forget about that Clipse album that meant everything.”
“When people used to use the term ‘R&B n—a,’ but then it was rappers. But then rappers didn’t want to be no R&B n—a. Now the rappers is the new R&B n—-s, the rappers is the new radio. Where’s the culture at!?”
“Rap’s the new Rock N Roll. We the rockstars… and I’m the biggest of all of them.”