Kanye West Tells GQ Why New Slaves Is The Greatest Rap Verse Of All-Time & Why Being A Dad Is Cool
Today (July 21) GQ magazine published their latest interview with longtime subject, Kanye West. A pillar of contemporary music, fashion, celebrity, and arguably—masculinity, the superstar rapper inadvertently touched on all of the subjects. While the interview uses ‘Ye’s bringing Jay Z and Mos Def to the same studio the same night as an illustration for other points, and shares some insights on the upcoming single from the eighth album, it’s not exactly about music.
With the interview taking place “live from the Mercer,” the very hotel much of 2011’s Watch The Throne was recorded in, it’s an interesting comparison of Kanye’s life in 2013, 2011, and even 2010, which the artists calls his Wolf Of Wall Street year (remember My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy?).
Here are three captivating statements from the interview that may show why the four-page spread is well worth your time, and totally may surprise you (as if all Kanye West interviews lately don’t do that…):
Kanye West on his happiness quotient and disposition: “I don’t like walking around with people thinking I’m doing uncool shit, because there’s nothing I’m doing that’s uncool. It’s all innovative. You just might not understand it yet. But it’s cool. Family is super cool. Going home to one girl every night is super cool. Just going home and getting on the floor and playing with your child is super cool. Not wearing a red leather jacket, and just looking like a dad and shit, is like super cool. Having someone that I can call Mom again. That shit is super cool.”
Kanye West on “New Slaves” one year later: It’s funny, because when the [Los Angeles] Clippers situation happened, people started bringing up that song again. Sometimes you do things in the same way that a designer might throw out a new cut or a rapper might throw out a new concept, and people might not be into it at that time. If ‘New Slaves’ had come out right after the Clippers incident, it would have seemed more timely. So the 30 meetings that I was having where I was going through a lot of these, ‘Stay in your place’ type conversations—’Stay in your box, this is what you do, you can’t do anything else,’—that led me to the point of creating ‘New Slaves’ and ‘Blood on the Leaves’ and the entire Yeezus album, and to make the album basically like a protest in music, where it only has like four melodies on it—you know, other people weren’t in that place. Obviously certain things are more digestible for mass consumption. But it was interesting. That song that I do feel is the best Rap verse of all time— […] ‘New Slaves.’ The second verse. I argue that it’s the best Rap verse of all time. It’s the Coming to America or Anchorman of a verse. You know, it’s got the funny shit. It’s got the antagonization. It’s got patterns. It’s got social and political consciousness. It’s got struggle. It’s got bravado. It’s everything that a Rap verse is supposed to be.”
Kanye West defends his marriage and partnership to Kim Kardashian: “Saying ‘Hey, I like Kim,’ isn’t as inspiring to people as us getting married. And anyone that’s in a relationship knows that in order to get to the point to get married and then to be married and to then carry on, it needs that work put into it. Right now, people look at it and it’s like, ‘Wow, that’s inspiring’ Meaning that love is infectious. You know, God is infectious—God flowing through us and us being little-baby creators and shit. But His energy and His love and what He wants us to have as people and the way He wants us to love each other, that is infectious. Like they said in Step Brothers: ‘Never lose your dinosaur.’ This is the ultimate example of a person never losing his dinosaur. Meaning that even as I grew in cultural awareness and respect and was put higher in the class system in some way for being this musician, I never lost my dinosaur. […] Kim is this girl who fucking turns me on. I love her. This is who I want to be next to and be around. And then people would try to say, ‘Well, you know, if you’re a musician, you should be with a musician, and if you want to design, you need to be with a girl from the design world.’ I don’t give a fuck about people’s opinions. Because when a kid falls in love with an airplane or a bike or a dinosaur—especially if you’re an only child and it’s not because of the book that the sibling was reading—it’s like, fuck, you mean to tell me that the dinosaurs walked the earth and stuff like that?! That’s amazing! You mean to tell me that these giant multi-ton crafts can fly that fast and that loud, and they can flip, and there’s danger, the possibility of them exploding? That’s fucking cool! You mean to tell me that this girl with this fucking body and this face is also into style, and she’s a nice person, and she has her own money and is family-oriented? That’s just as cool as a fucking fighter-jet or dinosaur! And just as rarely seen.”