Kanye West: “The idea of Kanye and vanity are like, synonymous”

The grandiose rapper refers to himself in the third person and compares himself to Steve Jobs

Topics: Kanye West, Music, rap, The New York Times, Interviews, Pop Culture, hip-hop,

Anti-celebrity” Kanye West is all about Kanye West, the idea. In an off-the-rails interview with The New York Times, the rapper with the most “sui generis hip-hop career of the last decade” demonstrated that he’s also the most grandiose.

Kanye on why he doesn’t like to apologize to anyone, even Taylor Swift:

  • [My instincts have] 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.
  • “Dark Fantasy” was my long, backhanded apology. You know how people give a backhanded compliment? It was a backhanded apology. It was like, all these raps, all these sonic acrobatics. I was like: “Let me show you guys what I can do, and please accept me back. You want to have me on your shelves.”
  • I would hear stories about Steve Jobs and feel like he was at 100 percent exactly what he wanted to do, but I’m sure even a Steve Jobs has compromised. Even a Rick Owens has compromised. You know, even a Kanye West has compromised. Sometimes you don’t even know when you’re being compromised till after the fact, and that’s what you regret.

Kanye his old fashion sense:

  • Yeah, kill self. That’s all I have to say. Kill self.

Kanye on his world vision:

  • I’ve had meetings where a guy actually told me, “What we’re trying to figure out is how we can control you.” In the meeting, to me! Why do you want to control me? Like, I want the world to be better! All I want is positive! All I want is dopeness! Why would you want to control that?
  • Yeah, respect my trendsetting abilities. Once that happens, everyone wins. The world wins; fresh kids win; creatives win; the company wins.

Kanye on Kanye:



  • The longer your ‘gevity is, the more confidence you build. The idea of Kanye and vanity are like, synonymous. But I’ve put myself in a lot of places where a vain person wouldn’t put themselves in. Like what’s vanity about wearing a kilt?
  • 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.
  • I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.
Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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