Kanye West NY Times Interview

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During the final days of creating Yeezus, Kanye broke his no media policy for a Q&A with New York Times’ Jon Caramanica.

Kanye opened up on parenthood, Kim Kardashian, dead prez’ influence on his music, music and fashion blacklash, the new album and working with Rick Rubin. Read the article in its entirety here.

One of the things I thought when I heard the new record was, “This is the anti-‘College Dropout.’ ” It feels like you’re shedding skin. Back then, you were like: “I want more sounds. I want more complicated raps. I want all the things.” At what point did that change?

Architecture — you know, this one Corbusier lamp was like, my greatest inspiration. I lived in Paris in this loft space and recorded in my living room, and it just had the worst acoustics possible, but also the songs had to be super simple, because if you turned up some complicated sound and a track with too much bass, it’s not going to work in that space. This is earlier this year. I would go to museums and just like, the Louvre would have a furniture exhibit, and I visited it like, five times, even privately. And I would go see actual Corbusier homes in real life and just talk about, you know, why did they design it? They did like, the biggest glass panes that had ever been done. Like I say, I’m a minimalist in a rapper’s body. It’s cool to bring all those vibes and then eventually come back to Rick [Rubin], because I would always think about Def Jam.

His records did used to say “reduced by Rick Rubin.”

For him, it’s really just inside of him. I’m still just a kid learning about minimalism, and he’s a master of it. It’s just really such a blessing, to be able to work with him. I want to say that after working with Rick, it humbled me to realize why I hadn’t — even though I produced “Watch the Throne”; even though I produced “Dark Fantasy” — why I hadn’t won Album of the Year yet.

This album is moments that I haven’t done before, like just my voice and drums. What people call a rant — but put it next to just a drumbeat, and it cuts to the level of, like, Run-D.M.C. or KRS-One. The last record I can remember — and I’m going to name records that you’ll think are cheesy — but like, J-Kwon, “Tipsy.” People would think that’s like a lower-quality, less intellectual form of hip-hop, but that’s always my No. 1. There’s no opera sounds on this new album, you know what I mean? It’s just like, super low-bit. I’m still, like, slightly a snob, but I completely removed my snob heaven songs; I just removed them altogether.

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  • big steve

    glad hes over the media silence

  • JustMyOpinion

    People fail to realize when they have a genius/legend living amongst them. And, that’s not “jocking” it’s honesty and respecting an artist’s work.

    A lot of visitors to this site often say rappers (rather rap fans) are “trapped in a box,” here you have a rap artist using physical art to create music. Musically, this will bring most out of that “trapped in a box.”

  • Great interview

    that was a great fucking interview


    I haven’t really been excited for this album until now, hearing Rick Rubin is involved.

  • blow

    i swear to god this nigga can say anything thing and yall niggas think it’s the pure. stfu yall a whole bunch of dickriders..if this was a gucci mane interview and he said the very same thing yall niggas woiuld clown this nigga

  • creo

    This the kanye i love not the big ego ass. Maybe its apart of the show like floyd mayweather does his promo.love the smart cool laid back kanye. Want 2hear the album wish it was next wk already

  • Black Shady

    blow says:
    Tuesday, June 11 2013 at 11:47 PM EST
    i swear to god this nigga can say anything thing and yall niggas think it’s the pure. stfu yall a whole bunch of dickriders..if this was a gucci mane interview and he said the very same thing yall niggas woiuld clown this nigga

    ^ LOL u aint lying

  • The Wise

    I hope hes not ranting on his music..an people dont put him in that catergory were hes not relatable to us regular humans, havent heard nothing good yet an i heard people werent feelin his listening session so hopefully he comes correct ..but rick rubbin is a good co sign

  • Donn

    If Gucci Mane died today, what did he contribute to the world. What will be his legacy. What was his mark to say I WAS HERE. Not wishing death on anybody, I’m simply saying that you can say whatever you want about Kanye but he has made his mark in HISTORY as one of the immortals of music and he will live amongst The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Led Zeplin, etc.

    This man has single handedly help change and restructure HipHop music. And pushed the limits of what being an artist is all about. He constantly pushes the boundaries to create the best music and evolve the culture sonically as a whole. If you don’t like him as a person, i find that weird cus you don’t know the guy other than seeing him through the microscope. Even if you don’t like his music, that’s cool too but respect what this man has done and the inspiration he has given so many kids that will come after him and will put in their BIO “Kanye West” as their list of influences

  • J

    Reason why we would “clown” on Gucci if he said that is because Gucci hasn’t made anywhere near as big an impact on the music industry. Anyone can say the things that Kanye says, but can they back it up like he can? Problem is, some people fail to realize legends in the making; it’s sad really. The only thing people are dick riding are facts, and I won’t apologize for that!

  • fuck u pussy

    @blow suck dick u the dick rider.nigga name blow cuz he blowing dicks. Did u even read the whole interview? Kanye spoke sum thought provoking shit. Didnt think so much was running thru the man’s thought process.very deep thinker Made me respect him more then ever. Kanye aint a regular artist.1 of kind genius once n a lifetime type brother

  • fuck u pussy

    Co [email protected] J. Hoe Nigga just compared kanye 2 gucci foh bitch nigga. read a book simply minded chump

  • fuck u pussy

    @blow learn 2 spell would chump. Woiuld ass nigga

  • H
  • AyYyyy

    Haa hes just too narcissistic sometimes, but not most of the time. I agreed with alot of what he said but some shit i was like nahhh son

  • 0 Really?

    Do you feel like “808s” is the album of yours that has had the most impact?

    There are people who have figured out the exact, you know, Kanye West formula, the mix between “Graduation” and “808s,” and were able to become more successful at it.

    @Drake n 40?

  • RRCoolJ

    Love Kanye to death and I’ve been a fan since day one but he’s never been good at articulating himself, like say a Jay-Z. He gets too emotional and defensive and delivers these contrived answers that make him appear to be a “genius”, but upon further investigation, are nothing but the ramblings of a self absorbed asshole. The one time he was about to give a straight from the heart answer (the question about his mom), he cut it off and went back to the questions which he already has a cocky and defensive answer ready.

    That said, can’t wait for the album. I love Kanye for his music and innovation, not his interviews.

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  • troncity

    Yea yea.. I def think Ye is dope.. People always said I had an attitude or came off like an asshole because I spoke my mind freely without any censor (i wasnt a bully, I didnt talk shit about people or try to hurt anyones feelings) or filter.. So i can kinda relate to him but foreal… this interview Is not genius.. I have a feeling he gave better answers to other questions.. And its not like I dont understand his answers and they do sound like theyre coming from someone who THINKS ALOT but foreal.. he shouldve kept his media silence thing goin.. This ISNT the “greatest interview ever” Infact this was hardly informative.. just Ye rants with an interview interrupting him.. which Im actually surprised he sat through.. cause that shit is annoying.

  • foekist




  • Jordan

    Great interview. Kanye has evolved a lot from College Drop Out. I appreciate that he’s so passionate and creative.

  • Studio Leaks got Yeezys album sun

  • Jesus Walks and Yeezus runs into Signs

  • StarFox64

    this guy said he’d rather sit in a factory then sit in a maybach, lmfao some1 go on an put him in a factory with all the little 13 year old workers in taiwan….

  • StarFox64

    @blow fully accurate statement, people love queers..

  • Sartre

    Why ya’ll psycho-analysing the interview like therapists?

  • It’s the roc

    The beauty of this is that it actually forced us to read something for once.

  • really 23

    J-Kwon caught a shout out!!!

  • TheKnocks
  • FuriouS StyleS™®

    This interview is unfortunately what you find when the writers are fans of the people they cover. Kanye West says things to get a rise out of people. Kanye West is no Steve Jobs and he’s not even a musical genius. Kanye is a very good rapper, he is not a designer, but he is a fan of other great artists. Kanye needs to seek medical help for his delusions.

  • Preach

    “My confidence plus a listener’s insecurities equals my arrogance”- Kanye West

  • kid

    Basically he dummed it the fxck down

  • Tef

    @blow , Shoutout to your comment being the dumbest one here. I’d bet my next 100 paychecks that Gucci has no idea what Corbusier, or The Louvre is. He’d most likely guess that they were foods, and Trying to prove a point by aligning anything that leaves his ignorant ass mouth with an educated interview is silly. Most people that don’t even like Kanye as a man can admit that he has a real genius approach to his art, there’s no dickriding, just honesty. Motherfucking Gucci, are you high on crack?

  • stephen


  • Nickey Black

    Scattered interview. It was “ok.”

    Not really serious. I guess when you heard real interviews from Tupac, other artist come across mediocre.

  • glass

    THAT’S how you give an interview. Oh my God this is excellent.

  • Bowtie_fly

    In other news – Jesus died for our sins and if you can truly somewhat fathom how much he loves us, you will try a tad bit harder to live life according to his will.
    not preaching, just reaching someone who may not know this valuable info!

  • don canon

    @ foekist @ blow, fuck me they are some stupid ass comments. Kanye a god of the game, respect the man for standing up for musical integrity. and dont ever use gucci in the same sentence as ye, gucci cant even speak properly

  • KingTut

    You crazy for this one Rick! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84AvYRfzrpc

  • Hello mates

    So. What do we have here?
    Oh, another bloated bunch of statements spewed from the belly of a grown man who wishes mom would come make his bed.
    Well, let’s begin with a lot of the words , adjectives, used to describe Kanye’s gibberish.

    Well, Ye IS an artist. On a major label which resides within the umbrella of one of the biggest corporate machines in the history of the music business
    but yea

    So, Mr. West does a lot of talking about well, himself.
    Is this really an example of “beauty”?
    I thought it was just another rich guy talking about how he’s better than us.

    Axl Rose , singer for Guns & Roses, used to give these type of interviews.
    Angry that the world couldn’t understand every outburst , justifying behavior that would have any of us ostracized from society. Axl also abandoned his fanbase by continuously doing “Axl antics” which after awhile were less shocking & more a gimmick. Predictable as a B Dot post about Jay Z.

    Axl Rose is now fat, old & playing with a bunch of no-names that he calls “Guns & Roses”
    They played the Brooklyn Bowl last week to an astounding 200 people
    They used to play Stadiums with Metallica.

    Anyway, I get why you’re all impressed because Ye throws out a lot of names you all recognize & name-dropping is a great way to get noticed. Jobs, Wintour etc etc

    There wasn’t one thing in this article that Kanye hasn’t said before in a song or previous interview or “RANT”.
    It’s all “I don’t apologize, but yeah I did apologize” or “I’m like Dead Prez, by the way I was hanging out with this high end fashion designer”
    and so on

    Contradiction? Nope
    Uniformity ? Yup
    Been done before.

    But a lot of you are like baby birds
    OK with regurgitated junk spit back in your mouth by the mama bird

    Wash it down w/some Armadale Vodka

    @p0is0nedkoola on twitter
    Lester Bangs
    Chirp Chirp

  • Real Talk

    CO-Sign @Donn words… ” Even if you don’t like his music, that’s cool too but respect what this man has done and the inspiration he has given so many kids that will come after him and will put in their BIO “Kanye West” as their list of influences “.

    You made it in this world when kids want to be or do thing like you. And we talk about kids worldwide, before hating on Ye, name me one other rappers whos influences push kids to be creative, to learn about art, get interest in fashion, in design and others cool things in life ?

  • TecOneNyc

    $unny Doe says:
    Wednesday, June 12 2013 at 6:15 AM EST
    Jesus Walks and Yeezus runs into Signs

    ^^Lmaooooooo… haha Im out!

  • Jon
  • Ma Clarte

    Kayne similar to Steve Jobs.. do you know in what sense he was making comparisons? in the pop culture which is very hard to deny that… he had the most hyped shoe ever, everything he does is looked at through a microscope and has influenced many other artist and people in general with fasion, music and designers. What other rappers has created their own shoe desgin at that time little alone with Nike which is at the top of all shoes.. now how many other rappers and artist are getting shoe deals… Music… pushed the envelope so much and influenced others to try something different. Like him or not this dude is made his mark in history!