As we noted yesterday, Kanye was recently invited to make a presentation at the Cannes Lions Music Festival later this week. Well, he’s there early and today he sat in on a panel alongside Steve Stoute and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz. As you might expect, quotables abounded.
Hit the jump for a few of Ye’s thoughts on the acquisition of Beats by Apple, his distaste for Samsung, the 4 day shoot for his official wedding photo and the ugliness of the internet. UPDATED: Kanye and Annie Leibovitz have issued a joint statement, read it below.
On his Jobsian aspirations:
“Steve Jobs, as everyone knows, was my biggest influence. Just seeing the way he fought to make things easier for people. After he passed, I made it my life’s mission to do what he did inside of that company,” West said. “I dream to help raise the palette and raise the taste level of a generation and also be involved with the production and distribution and advertising of that thing everyone’s begging for.”
On taking 4 days to shoot him and Kim’s wedding photo:
“This is pissing my girl off during the honeymoon,” he said. “Annie Leibovitz pulled out right before the wedding—maybe she was scared about the idea of celebrity. … But I still wanted my wedding photos to look like Annie Leibovitz. Now, can you imagine telling someone who just wants to Instagram a photo, the No. 1 person on Instagram, that we need to work on the color of the flowered wall? But the fact that the No. 1 most liked photo has this certain aesthetic on it was a win for what the mission is—of raising the palette.”
On the Beats/Apple deal and how it was influenced by the deal Jay-Z did with Samsung, and his distaste for the latter brand:
“There would have been no Beats deal without the Samsung deal. It showed the No. 1 company the importance of connecting with culture,” said West. “The reason I said I didn’t like Samsung particularly is because throughout my entire life, because of how my parents raised me, I have to work with the No. 1. I can’t work with anyone but Jay Z, because he’s No. 1. I can’t be with any girl but Kim, because that’s the girl whose pictures I look at the most and get turned on by. I’m not going to represent any company but Louis Vuitton, because that’s No. 1. … Samsung is not quite Apple, but it showed that Jimmy [Iovine] and Dre would be able to connect with the No. 1 influencers.”
On the ugliness of the internet and his desire to redesign Instagram:
“The world as a whole is fucking ugly. The Internet as a whole is fucking ugly, too. But I’m not in the construction business,” he said. “I said to Kevin [Systrom], why don’t you let us redo Instagram? Now, you know, Instagram is nice. It’s nice looking. I’m not knocking it. But just in general, everyone spends all of their time looking at their screens or their phones. And just as a simple task, we could clean that up.
All quotes via AdWeek. Read their full story on the panel here. UPDATED with a clip of Horowitz, Kanye and Stoute speaking below.
UPDATED: Kanye & photographer Annie Leibovitz issue a joint statement about the wedding photo non-troversy.
JOINT STATEMENT FROM KANYE WEST & ANNIE LEIBOVITZ
Kanye West’s comments about Annie Leibovitz while speaking at the 2014 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival have been taken out of context and sensationalized.
Although Kanye expressed frustration that he was not able to collaborate with Annie Leibovitz at his recent wedding, he is not assigning blame, and is not accusing Annie in any way. Kanye and Annie’s representatives were in negotiations for weeks that were not completed by the time of the wedding.
“Annie would have been happy to do the portrait but she was never confirmed,” said a representative for Leibovitz.
It was Kanye’s dream to bring together for the wedding his favorite creatives – Ricardo Tisci on the dress, Vanessa Beecroft on the experience, and Andrea Bocelli – Kim’s favorite singer – singing Kim’s favorite song as she walked down the aisle. The first choice to capture one of the most special days in Kim and Kanye’s life: Annie Leibovitz.
Annie Leibovitz – the legendary photographer responsible for Kim and Kanye’s recent Vogue cover – is not known to shoot weddings. But Kanye West dreams big. He loves and respects Annie as a true artist and wanted to bring her eye for beauty to the imagery of the event. In his Cannes Lions panel with Steve Stoute and tech guru godfather Ben Horowitz, Kanye was referencing Annie as an example of how to merge culture and tech.
“Picture this,” said Kanye. “The most-liked Instagram photo of all time, shot by Annie Leibovitz. Oh, I’m sorry for dreaming out loud. Again.”
Previously: Kanye at Bonnaroo (Recap)