Kanye West Says His Next Album Returns To Music, Opens Up About Class, Religion & Dame Dash (Video)
A lover of surprises, Kanye West popped in on The Breakfast Club this morning (February 20), and the superstar sat in the hot seat for nearly an hour. In a particularly light mood (especially compared to his November 2013 visit), ‘Ye takes any and all questions—including some penetrating inquiries from Charlamagne Tha God, and opens his mind and his life up.
The interview begins with some truly interesting thoughts surrounding Kanye West’s recent Adidas debut, the Yeezy Boost. For starters, Kanye West explained that he was not in favor of the controversial price-tag. “I didn’t want the price to be $350…I didn’t want to play this whole sneaker-culture game,” says the producer/MC known for his love of luxury and design. He adds that he did not want his shoes to be limited edition, when his albums are not. ‘Ye, who mentions basketball several times in the hour, also maintains that the Yeezy Boosts have the “best technology,” and while the shoe (soon available in black as well as gray) has drawn comparisons to the Ugg boot, it is intended for an active life. Kanye admits he wanted more support in a shoe from a nagging heel injury from his own performing. This discussion beckons the question, could you justify and would you want these high-dollar kicks on in a game of pick-up?
The point regarding price evolves into a discussion on class. “It’s real separatism,” said Kanye, who admits a struggle with all the dividing lines on society. “I think this idea of being better than the next man is the wrong mentality in the first place. We were brought into this broken world where people are separated by race, religion, and class,” he says. Charlamagne points out to Kanye that he’s celebrated his class on record. Throughout this interview, Mr. West admits his mistakes, fast-tongue, and just stresses that he’s in a different place now.
Next up, Kanye West bobs and weaves—though never dodges—through a series of questions. The Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam superstar responds to Amber Rose’s recent knocks towards ‘Ye’s wife, Kim Kardashian. West stands up for his wife, admitting that had Kim accepted his earliest advances, his 808’s & Heartbreak-through-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy-era with Rose may not have happened at all—which could be perceived as a jab, or a compliment to his wife. Musically, this also is a testament to Amber’s impact on ‘Ye, and his tones.
From Amber Rose, Kanye is asked about another controversial figure from his past: Dame Dash. From the recent BET Awards presentation, West admits that there was some animosity between him and Dame. The MC credits the Roc-A-Fella co-founder with his whole career. He admits that new opportunities are ahead, “We gonna work on films.” Dash Films is Dame’s latest venture, beyond his record label—which worked with GLC. Kanye goes in detail of vivid memories of Dame’s dedication and vision. West also stresses that Jay Z is his idol, so that’s why he chose “Big Brother” in the Roc split.
By the 26:00 mark, Kanye West speaks about his own dedication to new artists. He reveals that while in New York City, he and Q-Tip spent time with Vic Mensa. West claims that the trio discussed the culture before creating. Additionally, the G.O.O.D. Music founder says that cyphers are missed in Hip-Hop, in building creative chemistry. He speaks on his support of Tyga, Ty Dolla $ign, Travis $cott, and Big Sean among others. West stresses that it’s all about perspective—and that’s exactly why he’s crossed oceans to see Drake perform, because he’s that big of a fan. West understands how these guys are reaching audiences, touchstones, and experiences that he can’t, and he hopes to learn from them—the same way he earlier explained why he enjoys studying fashions and attitudes in airports, as opposed to private chartered planes. Kanye seems to be about the common-man, laughing at how class, age, religion, and race shelters people from each other.
Back in music, West makes a potent point. “The youth and the O.G.’s have to come together,” summarizes ‘Ye. He points that the veteran’s wisdom needs the youth’s energy, and vice versa. Perhaps this is why Kanye has sought out the production masters (DJ Premier, Pete Rock, RZA, Mike Dean) throughout his career?
At the 30:00 mark, Kanye moves the discussion into his next album. Asked about it in the general sense, the Chicago, Illinois native details, “Bars. Songs. Cook-out—music that just feels good.” He also calls Yeezus, a “protest album,” void of much music, with the exception of closer, “Bound 2.” He clarifies “I barely let y’all have any music…This album is embracing the music.” Does this mean something more in the Graduation wheelhouse?
Kanye will keep us waiting and guessing. Evidenced in Drake’s (gold-certified) If You’re Reading This Its Too Late, ‘Ye shrugs that release dates are played out. If Yeezus‘ short notice seemed miniscule, Heads can sense that this next move comes with no warning shots—that, or we just got it.
Additional highlights in this detailed and open question include Kanye admitting that he was dining with Taylor Swift at a presumably posh New York City restaurant, when he overheard Beck’s Morning Phase album. West then weighs in on if he helped or hurt Beck with his Grammy Awards antics earlier in the month, and why artists like him need to pay greater respect to award shows like the BET Awards, where the performers are also those who win awards.
‘Ye champions his wife’s body-type, and why his attraction to Kim is a statement about much more than love or lust.
Additionally, Kanye West goes in about Minister Louis Farrakhan’s impact on his life, talking about their discussions (he cites the Honorable Minister as a mentor, along with Jay and Diddy). Kanye stresses the humanitarian efforts of the Chicago-based icon. West admits that he’s pushing to help Minister Farrakhan’s legacy be properly restored, and explains why the man is so easy for musicians to relate to. He also weighs in some gossip surrounding New York Fashion Week, from Kim K and Beyonce’s relationship, to reported remarks from Vogue magazine’s Anna Wintour regarding North West’s attendance. If that’s not enough, here is your chance to see what ‘Ye thinks of collaborator Tyga dating his teenaged sister-in-law, Kendall Jenner.
From gossip to class to music, it’s all here—and it’s all real.