Kanye West has had a remarkable few weeks. He stormed the stage at the Grammys, gave a great interview on Power 105, debuted Wolves while launching his Adidas range, performed All Day at the Brits and received a BET Honorary Award. It seems like he’s really stepped things up in preparation for the follow-up of 2013’s Yeezus, which is surely due for release very soon given his heavy promotional schedule.
Before the Brits he sat down with Radio 1 presenter Zane Lowe to chat about fashion, design and of course, his new music. It’s a notably different interview to the interview he had with Lowe in 2013 in which he infamously called himself “the number one rockstar on the planet.” It genuinely feels like he’s found some kind of peace, maybe through finally finding a brand to realise his fashion vision. He seems calm, collected and happy about what’s still to come this year. Here’s nine things we learnt from hearing the new Kanye.
He’s Still Trying To Bring The Cost Of His Adidas Range Down
If you;ve been living under a rock you probably will still be privy to the information that Kanye has just dropped a clothing-line with Adidas titled Yeezy Season 1. “Adidas was a company that was flexible enough and had been used to dealing with creatives enough to allow me to create something that was very close to my heart. Original hip-hop,” Kanye told Zane Lowe.
While he spoke a little bit about the design of the range, Kanye seemed to be more interested in talking about his clothes as a way of breaking down class-structure. “The deal has nothing to do with the idea of the higher-ups in society. The idea is about the moment when I bring a shoe to a kid in footlocker and take it back to the moment when I worked at the Gap and put the shoe on his feet,” he said. He continued by appropriately referencing one of his tracks Power – “No one man should have all that power, everyone should have it.” He also apologised for the price of the range, promising that he’s working on bringing it down so it’s affordable for everyone. “Nothing should be exclusive, everyone should have the opportunity to drink from the same fountain,” he said.
He Has Revolutionary Ideas For Disney And/Or Universal
Kanye has made a number of quips about wanting to move into a deal with Disney. In the past he’s likened himself to Walt Disney and in an interview last week with radio station Power 105 he said “In the same way Adidas supported me, I want Disney Imagineering to support my ideas. He elaborated a little more on that way saying he’d approached Disney and Universal with the same film that convinced Adidas to take a chance of him. He said, “I showed him what I had shot n Qatar, the Cruel Summer film, that was using seven screens, the surround vision idea, which you’ve never seen online because you have to experience in its space…this is the next frontier of how you need to see film.” As of yet, Disney and Universal are yet to take the chance.
He Thinks Drake Is The Hottest Rapper In The World
Drake and Kanye are arguably the two biggest rappers on the planet right now so it’s interesting to see the love-hate relationship that is forming here. On Power 105 Kanye admitted to at one point planning a collaborative album with Drake that fell through, Drake also covered Only One and FourFiveSeconds at a show recently. Speaking to Zane Lowe, Kanye called Drake “the hottest rapper…in the game.” On Drake’s new mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Kanye said “that shit is good.” He added, “The main thing is the fact that he is delivering a level of product…to humanity that is of high-quality, it works.”
He’s Still Not Giving Much Away About The New Album
We’ve already heard that the album is 80% done and that it will be a surprise drop but apart from that there’s little we can tell about it. On All Day he raps hard, on Wolves he doesn’t rap, on Only One he sings with Paul McCartney on keys – as you can see, it’s pretty hard to determine a common thread. Kanye told Zane very little about the new album. “We’re being inventive and I’ve still got a lot of opinions and perspectives,” he said, which pretty much goes without saying. He also said on regards to its subject matter, “It’s still the struggle but the beauty from the struggle.”
The Rihanna and Kanye Tour Is Happening, Probably
Somebody sprung a leak somewhere last week that we may have a Rihanna and Kanye tour on our hands. Now it’s all but confirmed. “I don’t believe I’m supposed to confirm or not confirm,” Kanye said with Lowe adding “So that’s happening.” Just think FourFiveSeconds, All The Lights, Run This Town, Diamonds…it’s going to be spectacular.
Kanye Can Get Emotional
At one point Kanye started speaking about one of his mentors Louise Wilson who was a Professor at the College of Arts and Design in London and somebody Kanye called,”The baddest professor of all time of any fashion school ever for not letting people stop at a 7 or 8 ever, pushing people to a 12.” She passed away last year at the age of 52 and before that she had a conversation with Kanye. “She just wanted to give me some words of advice…she said so many students they don’t give it their all. As soon as they do something good…their parents clap. She looked and me and said “Kanye, don’t clap”,” he said. After that he broke down and had to be excused from the interview. He later returned and said, “That’s never happened to me in an interview before.”
His Collaboration With Paul McCartney Has Unlocked A Creative Goldmine
Three months ago nobody could’ve imagine Paul McCartney and Kanye West sharing a line on a single cover but now it almost feels natural. McCartney and Kanye have so far released FourFiveSeconds with Rihanna and Only One both of which are about the furthest away from hip-hop Kanye has ever travelled. Kanye said, “I like the differences of views and our approach to music like when I was sitting making music with Paul McCartney I came in with a list of complaints and he was like ..”it’s all cool though, let’s make some music”.” It seems that there are hundreds of songs that have been made by the two although it’s still uncertain how many will appear on the album.
Zane Lowe compared the music to something you would’ve heard in the mid-70s in California to which Kanye replied, “I liked songs like that when I was growing up. The type of chord-changes that Paul does I don’t even understand but to be involved with writing a song like that…meeting Paul McCartney is like meeting Ralph Lauren.” He ended with “Fusion is the future. Period.”
The Grammys Are Like His Ex-Girlfriend
Everyone should be all over at what went down at the Grammys last week in regards to the Beck situation. This was Kanye’s first Grammys in six years and he compared it to an ex-girlfriend saying, “The Grammys are like an ex-girlfriend, as soon as you get in the car with it you want to go right back home.” He also admitted to maybe have jumped the gun by critiquing Beck’s Album of the Year Grammy win. “When I was ironically having dinner with Taylor Swift the Beck song started playing…maybe I might have been wrong,” he said in what is perhaps the most glorious image of the 21st century.
He Understands He Was A Bit Full On
A few years ago you could barely go a day without hearing that Kanye is a genius or that he’d complained of being misunderstood. He’s already admitted to not really knowing how to spread his message at that point. He continued on that point to Lowe saying, “Imagine if someone said this to a lady in a bar, “Yo what up, Imma genius”…that’s who I was and that was the frustration I had. I was the 40 Year Old Virgin of dealing with corporations.”
Watch the whole interview below: