Kanye West gives interview to W Magazine

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    Fashion magazine W has published a rare interview with Kanye West conducted in Paris prior to the release of his new studio album, Yeezus. Much of the interview focuses on Kanye’s personal life as a member of the Kardashian clan, as well as his fascination with fashion and architecture. However, author Christopher Bagley also offers an intimate look at the recording sessions for Yeezus, which included time in the studio with The Weeknd, as well as West’s own interpretations of the songs’ meanings.

    On his decision to record in Paris…

    “In Paris, you’re as far as possible from the land of pleasant smiles,” West says. “You can just trip on inspiration—there are so many people here who dedicate their lives to excellence.”

    The song “I Am A God” was inspired by an incident during Paris Fashion Week last fall…

    West was informed that he’d be invited to a widely anticipated runway show only on the condition that he agree not to attend any other shows. “So the next day I went to the studio with Daft Punk, and I wrote ‘I Am a God,’?” West says. “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.” West is not smiling as he says this, and his voice is getting louder with each sentence. “You can’t say that you love music and then say that Kanye West can’t come to your show! 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.”


    Why he chose to title the song “I Am A God”…

    “I made that song because I am a god,” he says finally. He laughs for a second, then stops. “I don’t think there’s much more explanation. I’m not going to sit here and defend shit. That shit is rock ’n’ roll, man. That shit is rap music. I am a god. Now what?”

    He’s aware of his narcissism…

    “On one end, I try to scale it back,” he says. “Because I don’t want to close any of the doors needed to create the best product possible. But my ego is my drug. My drug is, ‘I’m better than all you other motherfuckers. Kiss my ass!’?”

    He’s not concerned with failure…

    He’s planning his return to fashion and has set up an atelier in Milan, but right now, he says, his priority is “absorbing as much as possible” and finding the best people in every field to work with. The idea of failure seems to serve not as a deterrent but as a stimulus. Whenever he tries something new, West observes, “people say, ‘Why do you want to destroy your name?’ But I don’t care about my name as much as I care about my ideas. I could do something completely wrong, and people could hate it, but then someone else could see it and do it completely right. And it’s a push forward for civilization.”


    Click here to read the entire interview. Also make sure to read our Top Star review for Yeezus, our recent Dusting ‘Em Off on 808s & Heartbreak, and our list of his 20 best songs. Hopefully North West will keep Kanye pre-occupied for a few weeks, because I need a nap.

    Photo by Jeremy D. Larson