Yeezus Talks: Kanye West’s W Magazine Interview
In only his second print interview of 2013, Kanye West sat down with W Magazine while working on Yeezus in Paris. Much like the New York Times interview, Kanye is true to form, comparing himself once more to Steve Jobs. This go ’round, however, he also calls himself a rock star repeatedly. It’s that rock star mentality that inspired the aesthetic of Yeezus, which is also reflected in the anecdote he tells the magazine about how “I Am A God” was created.
Last fall, Kanye was invited to a big runway show in Paris, but only under the condition that he would agree not to attend any other shows. “So the next day I went to the studio with Daft Punk,” West said. “‘Cause it’s like, Yo! Nobody can tell me where I can and can’t go. Man, I’m the No. 1 living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix … To even think they could tell me where I could and couldn’t go is just ludicrous. It’s blasphemous-to rock ‘n’ roll, and to music.”
Kanye also talks about his relationship with Kim Kardashian, and why he chooses to participate in her reality show endeavors despite his abhorrence of reality television and gross commercialism. He said that he does it for love. “At a certain point, or always, love is more important than any branding.” The interview features a hilarious anecdote involving the Kardashian clan and their interaction with the Chicago rapper. When Kanye plays some of the unfinished material for Kris Jenner, Kim’s mother, she responds by saying “Great job!” Obviously, wrong answer, as Kanye proceeds to mock her by complimenting his belt for keeping his pants up.
One of the more fascinating details of the story is that The Weeknd was there working with Kanye in Paris. For starters, the singer from Toronto was not listed in the liner notes on either the production or writing side of “Yeezus.” So what was he doing? And has his affiliation with Kanye helped continue the cold war between Yeezy and Drake? Drake released four songs this weekend, and one of the songs definitely features shots at The Weeknd (“You bit the hand, now starve, it’s not a joke n***a”) and some possible jabs at Kanye as well (“Oh stop, please stop arguing ’bout who’s the best emcee/I think everyone would agree, they know that you’re not.”) It’ll be interesting to see where things will go from here.