Kanye Did an Interview with The New York Times

Jon Caramanica of the New York Times managed to land one of the most coveted interviews in music:  The Elusive Kanye West Q&A. He spent 3 days with Kanye in Malibu as he worked with Rick Rubin to perfect the Yeezus album and wrap it up ahead of it’s release next Tuesday. Ye opened up about pretty much everything you wouldn’t have expected to hear from him about: impending fatherhood, Kim, his perceived egomania, why he feels compelled to speak out for what’s “right”, his current feelings about his previous albums, the new album, his lack of regrets and much more.

Hit the jump for an excerpt.

Here he speaks on his last moments of anonymity and how instrumental dead prez were in helping him develop his style.

Even though you had always wanted to be out in front, was there ever a point where you valued your anonymity?
Yeah, I held on to the last moments of it. I knew when I wrote the line “light-skinned friend look like Michael Jackson” [from the song “Slow Jamz"] I was going to be a big star. At the time, they used to have the Virgin music [stores], and I would go there and just go up the escalator and say to myself, “I’m soaking in these last moments of anonymity.” I knew I was going to make it this far; I knew that this was going to happen.

But producting happened for you first, especially after Jay-Z used you so heavily on “The Blueprint.”
I used to have tracks that sounded like Timbaland; I had tracks that sounded like [DJ Premier]. But Jay-Z was an amazing communicator that made the soul sound extremely popular. And because I could make the soul sound in my sleep, it finally gave me a platform to put the message that my parents put inside of me and that Dead Prez helped to get out of me and Mos Def and [Talib] Kweli, they helped to get out of me: I was able to put it, sloppily rap it, on top of the platform that Jay-Z had created for me.

Before, when I wanted to rap, my raps sounded like a bit like Cam’ron; they sounded a bit like Mase; they sounded a bit like Jay-Z or whoever. And it wasn’t until I hung out with Dead Prez and understood how to make, you know, raps with a message sound cool that I was able to just write “All Falls Down” in 15 minutes.

Is that true?
Yeah, that’s how I discovered my style. I was just hanging out with them all the time in New York. I would produce for them. You know, I was able to slip past everything with a pink polo, but I am Dead Prez. And now, because I was able to slip past, I have a responsibility at all times.

Read the full piece here.

Previously: Kanye West Previews “Send It Up” Featuring King Louie | Kanye Speaks at Yeezus Listening Session in NYC


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61 Responses to “Kanye Did an Interview with The New York Times”

  1. general glamour Says:

    wow

    who knew dead prez influenced him so much

  2. general glamour Says:

    is lebron even playing ?

  3. ***biggumskiller*** Says:

    Your boy coulda used your help earlier

  4. general glamour Says:

    roffs

    caskets a grown man

    black dont crack

    he be aight

  5. ayo Says:

    Up an email

  6. tHe kiD fRanKiE Says:

    Miami meltin

  7. TS-LTE Says:

    Gettin cloudy for Bron Bron and Co.

  8. general glamour Says:

    TS-LTE
    2 mins ago

    Gettin cloudy for Bron Bron and Co.

    ^

    roffs

    ts sport posts >>>

  9. TS-LTE Says:

    Shalambelz

    Smh…

  10. general glamour Says:

    denzel back !

  11. general glamour Says:

    cp said spurs in 6

    belee dat

  12. Ezln Says:

    kanye is obviously bipolar

  13. A-1 Says:

    But has that instinct led you astray? Like the Taylor Swift interruption at the MTV Video Music Awards, things like that.

    It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is.
    ———–
    *REALFUCCNTEARSMANNNNNN*

    I FUCCN LUV YEEZY MAN(none)!

  14. ayo Says:

    you heard me

    Im waiting

  15. tHe kiD fRanKiE Says:

    That Ye interview was dope curious to see how album comes together

  16. general glamour Says:

    game over

    spo will probably rest starters early in fourth to prevent injury

  17. tHe kiD fRanKiE Says:

    A1 dem heat is lookin real cool right now

    Spurs bout to put Blair n t Mac n lol

  18. general glamour Says:

    back to back blowouts

    this started as a competitive series

    adjustments >>>>

  19. why? Says:

    eskay, Ye was with Rick Rubin in Malibu not Miami..

  20. TS-LTE Says:

    Oh SHIT!!!!

    Was that Weapon 11?!!??!?

  21. A-1 Says:

    A lot happened between “Graduation” and “808s,” obviously: a lot of struggle, a lot of tough things for you. [Mr. West’s mother died in 2007.]

    Creative output, you know, is just pain. I’m going to be cliché for a minute and say that great art comes from pain. But also I’d say a bigger statement than that is: Great art comes from great artists. There’s a bunch of people that are hurt that still couldn’t have made the album that was super-polarizing and redefined the sound of radio.
    ——–
    Lmao TALK DAT SHIT YE!

  22. A-1 Says:

    THe KiD FRanKiE
    7 mins ago
    A1 dem heat is lookin real cool right now

    Spurs bout to put Blair n t Mac n lol
    ——
    Lmao I ain’t got no worries! (c) French

  23. general glamour Says:

    When your debut album, “The College Dropout” came out, the thing that people began to associate with you besides music was: Here’s someone who’s going to argue for his place in history; like, “Why am I not getting five stars?”

    I think you got to make your case. Seventh grade, I wanted to be on the basketball team. I didn’t get on the team, so that summer I practiced. I was on the summer league. My team won the championship; I was the point guard. And then when I went for eighth grade, I practiced and I hit every free throw, every layup, and the next day I looked on this chart, and my name wasn’t on it. I asked the coach what’s up, and they were like, “You’re just not on it.” I was like, “But I hit every shot.” The next year — I was on the junior team when I was a freshman, that’s how good I was. But I wasn’t on my eighth-grade team, because some coach — some Grammy, some reviewer, some fashion person, some blah blah blah — they’re all the same as that coach. Where I didn’t feel that I had a position in eighth grade to scream and say, “Because I hit every one of my shots, I deserve to be on this team!” I’m letting it out on everybody who doesn’t want to give me my credit.

    ^

    roffs !!!

    so this is where the fire comes from !?!?

    eeriely similar to mj

  24. TS-LTE Says:

    Kanye is Super Nigga.

    The Super Sayian of niggas.

    He’s the chief of niggadom.

  25. A-1 Says:

    Aight I’m a lil worried now doe..sheesh..who da fucc is dis Neal nigga..?!!

  26. TS-LTE Says:

    Safe to say that in The Book Of Super Niggas, Ye is #1?

    Cool.

  27. hood trill stunting aka trap day man Says:

    next two games in San Antonio too? heat might don’t make it this year.

  28. TS-LTE Says:

    sheesh..who da fucc is dis Neal nigga..?!!

    ^

    Some muahfucka tryna be a Super Nigga.

  29. hood trill stunting aka trap day man Says:

    that nigga Neal came off the bench to bury heat niggas. smh..wow

  30. hood trill stunting aka trap day man Says:

    raining threes. sheesh

  31. why? Says:

    I remember when both Gnarls Barkley and Justin [Timberlake] lost for Album of the Year, and I looked at Justin, and I was like: “Do you want me to go onstage for you? You know, do you want me to fight” —

    ^
    lmao…

  32. general glamour Says:

    Why?
    1 min ago
    I remember when both Gnarls Barkley and Justin [Timberlake] lost for Album of the Year, and I looked at Justin, and I was like: “Do you want me to go onstage for you? You know, do you want me to fight” —

    ^
    lmao…

    ^

    * deadedededed *

  33. general glamour Says:

    You know, if Michael Jordan can scream at the refs, me as Kanye West, as the Michael Jordan of music, can go and say, “This is wrong.”

    ^

    well damn

    this actually makes perfect sense

    yeezy dropping gems right now seeing shit clear

    * falls back *

  34. general glamour Says:

    yo if tracy makes a 3 spo take out lebron IMMEDIATELY

  35. tHe kiD fRanKiE Says:

    Dats fucked up they got battier he ain’t lettin him get no meals

    Mac need a dunk or a easy layup he lookin like a shell of his former self

  36. hood trill stunting aka trap day man Says:

    I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z.

    > yo. this niggas inference sensibilities are cooked.

  37. tHe kiD fRanKiE Says:

    Juan showin out lol

  38. A-1 Says:

    Mann FUCC!

  39. A-1 Says:

    Fucc it I’m stoned lol..we’ll get da next one

  40. King James Says:

    Shout out to my twin danny green been following him since UNC

  41. general glamour Says:

    not to kill ya vibe a-1

    kill kill kill ya vibe

    but i believe the winer of game 3 in a split series wins 90% of the time …

  42. A-1 Says:

    I kno dat nigga Ye done BEEN tol 2 stfu 2 MANY TIMES in his 36 years lmao dat nigga talk birdman shit in interviews smh

  43. general glamour Says:

    “[My Beautiful] Dark [Twisted] Fantasy” and “Watch the Throne”: neither was nominated for Album of the Year, and I made both of those in one year. I don’t know if this is statistically right, but I’m assuming I have the most Grammys of anyone my age, but I haven’t won one against a white person.

    ^

    * cues new slaves *

  44. A-1 Says:

    General Glamour
    1 min ago
    not to kill ya vibe a-1

    kill kill kill ya vibe

    but i believe the winer of game 3 in a split series wins 90% of the time …
    ———-
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  45. A-1 Says:

    :-(

  46. A-1 Says:

    It’s still dat 10% chance my nigga..I GOT FAITH! If ainbody can do it..IT’S DA KING!

  47. King James Says:

    soccer on ESPN? Get this shit the fuck off my tv and put that shit on espn 2

  48. 7v5a7 Says:

    NBA TV Postgame >>> ESPN NBA Crew
    Barkley talkin shit lol!!! b

  49. King James Says:

    7v5a7 Says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    NBA TV Postgame >>> ESPN NBA Crew
    Barkley talkin shit lol!!! b

    ^

    thank you tuning in now!

    magic johnson is the woat player analyst nigga says the most basic shit

  50. King James Says:

    oh shit my nigga rick fox!

  51. general glamour Says:

    NBA TV Postgame >>> ESPN NBA Crew

    ^

    already

    thanks for reminding me

  52. King James Says:

    coach pop>>>>>

  53. general glamour Says:

    magic johnson is the woat player analyst nigga says the most basic shit

    ^

    lol i love magic just the rest of the crew kinda sucks

    but this is true lol

    ” to win … you gotta play HARD ! … play HARD ! PUT THE BALL IN THE BASKET ! ”

    lol still tho magic >>>

  54. King James Says:

    charles barkley>>>>>

  55. A-1 Says:

    I can’t believe dis nigga Bron gon let dis fucc nigga Timmy do em like dis again smh have ye no shame..?!! Dat nigga posed 2 take a AI amount of shots like fucc it smh wtf..?!!

  56. general glamour Says:

    charles barkley>>>>>

    ^

    legend on court n off court

    analog n digital (c) trill

  57. why? Says:

    I’ve been connected to the most culturally important albums of the past four years, the most influential artists of the past ten years. You have like, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, Nicolas Ghesquière, Anna Wintour, David Stern.

    ^
    David Stern?

    *blank stare*

  58. King James Says:

    A-1 Says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    I can’t believe dis nigga Bron gon let dis fucc nigga Timmy do em like dis again smh have ye no shame..?!! Dat nigga posed 2 take a AI amount of shots like fucc it smh wtf..?!!

    ^

    bron fucking up my nigga wade’s legacy for the 2nd time in texas

  59. general glamour Says:

    why? Says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    I’ve been connected to the most culturally important albums of the past four years, the most influential artists of the past ten years. You have like, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, Nicolas Ghesquière, Anna Wintour, David Stern.

    ^
    David Stern?

    *blank stare*

    ^

    hmmmmm …

    i blank stared at first

    but then i thought about it

    with a lot of help from michael jordan obviously

    david stern played an instrumental part in developing the game into what it is today

    an artist … if you will …

    kanye is communicating at a super saiiyan level right now

  60. general glamour Says:

    fuck david stern tho

    chris paul

    laker fans aint forgot faggot

  61. spirit equality Says:

    why? Says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    I’ve been connected to the most culturally important albums of the past four years, the most influential artists of the past ten years. You have like, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, Nicolas Ghesquière, Anna Wintour, David Stern.

    ^
    David Stern?

    *blank stare*

    ^

    So many statements in that interview deserved a follow up question. Or even a decent initial question. LOL. Hip-hop journalism is the f–king worse.

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