Kanye West Breakfast Club Interview 2013

Kanye West hasn’t been shy about sharing his opinions, well, ever. But especially lately, during his Yeezus show’s built-in ten minutes of rant time, we’ve watched the rapper share so many feels. He’s given monologues about classism, racism, innovation, design, and, increasingly, his contentious foray into corporate America. But today’s interview with Power 105.1′s The Breakfast Club might be the best yet. First because West, in between forced smiles through clenched teeth, admits the harsh delivery of previous rants has hurt his message and tries to tone it down. And second, because Breakfast Club DJ Charlamagne The God has been knocking West on the air for a while. It’s one of Yeezy’s most fascinating interviews this year.

Once again, West compares himself to Howard Hughes, David Stern, Steve Jobs, Michelangelo, Walt Disney, Marina Abramovic, etc. Music is no longer his main focus, and he contends that in order to have a huge impact on society, one has to be a billionaire. Charlemagne argues that you don’t have to be rich to be revolutionary. West is not only interested in the power that comes with being insanely rich, though. He says he’s not yet at the level where his daughter North will be “safe.” It’s not clear if he’s talking about physical safety (i.e., affording bodyguards) or being financially secure for life. But he says he’ll get there by being bigger than H&M:

ANGELA YEE: So fashion is what you say you’re passionate about right now…

KANYE WEST: It’s not even fashion. It’s clothing. Eve made Adam eat an apple and then it became illegal to be naked. I wanna help y’all with your opinion of the law.

CHARLEMAGNE: What the hell are you talking about?

On Hot 97, West said he’s going to be “the Tupac of product” and bigger than Walmart. Here he expands on that while seemingly taking partial credit for a truce in the hip-hop wars:

Before I came in the game, rappers was killing each other. You ain’t even heard about that no more. First time rappers rapped on a song with each other that were at like a God level, all of them, was “Swagger Like Us.” After that, all the songs were like “Swagger Like Us.” … I’m showing us how we can work together. But in fashion, in product design they try to marginalize us, say that we can only have an urban clothing line. … Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren can build his story up…

By now we know that when it comes to high fashion, West knows his shit, ratting off the names of principals at various fashion houses. But he says he’s not getting the respect he deserves, and is intent on changing that. For example, Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard Arnault (the 10th richest person in the world according to Forbes) didn’t understand why he had to take a meeting with West:

Okay, you don’t understand why you don’t need to take a meeting with Kanye West? I’mma show you why you need to take a meeting with Kanye West: EVERYBODY IN ATLANTA RIGHT NOW AT THE LOUIS VUITTON STORE IF YOU BLACK DON’T GO TO LOUIS VUITTON TODAY. [Silence.] THAT’S WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE A MEETING WITH KANYE WEST, BERNARD ARNAULT.

Race comes up again when he talks about politics:

Lemme tell you something about George Bush and oil money and Obama and no money. People wanna say Obama can’t make these moves or he’s not executing … that’s ‘cause he ain’t got those connections. Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people!

He also talks about his fiancée…

I love [the paparazzi] because they’re empowering us over Graydon Carter or Vanity Fair that wanna say Kate Upton is Marilyn Monroe. Kate Upton ain’t Marilyn Monroe. Kim [is] Marilyn Monroe.

…and defends their oft-mocked “Bound 2″ video by explaining, in a rare moment of modesty, that “everything we do as a creative is not gonna hit.” Later he acknowledges another shortcoming when discussing his failed HBO comedy series A Little Inappropriate: “I’m not a professional actor … I’m a professional dreamer.”

Ultimately, DJ Charlemagne maintains that West is just too materialistic, too concerned with corporations, not a man of the people. West says he’s just ahead of his time:

I’m ten years ahead mentally and I’m trapped in today’s time. And every now and then I crack you a smile for 2013, but I’m cracking you a frown for 2023. And I’m focused on what it’s gonna be. Just mark my words, as I am Kanye West. You seen my execution. Did I not become the biggest rock star on the planet? Did I not influence all musicians. Did I not go and get the exact girl that I wanted. Did I not start my family? Did I not ruffle the feathers of two presidents? Did I not get a chance to work with my idol? Did I not make Louis Vuittons? Did people not line up at the Yeezy store? Did I not make The College Dropout? Late Registration? Graduation? 808s? Blueprint 1? Blueprint 3? Watch The Throne? Cruel Summer? And Yeezus? If you like it or not.

Maybe the best part is when West talks about his Yeezus follow-up, which he recently told Philly’s Power 99 will be out by next summer:

Bruce Springsteen dropped this album called Nebraska and right after that he did Born In The U.S.A.. This next one, I have a feeling, because of what we did right now, has to be Born In The U.S.A..

At the end, Charlemagne admits he is more confused about Kanye West than ever.

But it made for great radio.

Watch the whole thing below.

Comments (38)
  1. if he means that he sounds like a bugfuck nuts and utterly insane crazyperson then, yes, he IS a lot like howard hughes.

    • The thing about Kanye that I can’t seem to add up is what he is trying to work towards. For really amazing artists, it is all about the art. Mozart, Michelangelo, Shakespeare the thing that drove them was their own work. But Kanye states in this interview and in others that his music is simply a tool of his greater goal, a department in the mega corporation of his true genius. He talks about product being the all important and comparing himself to Jobs and Disney. But those men had a vision that their products were born from, a clear goal. Kanye seems to desperately be trying to work towards the end game of having this vast empire but not real vision for it to come out of. He may have industry to match Jobs or Disney (well, no he doesn’t) but his real problem is he doesn’t have any real purpose to build around, so much of his satisfaction and motivation seems to come from outside influence and media attention rather than an internal artistic passion. In that way he is kind of like Hughes, who bounced around from one over the top project to another looking for his great purpose. The main difference between Hughes and Kanye is that Hughes only cared about the project for the projects sake. he truly loved his work, he was consumed by it. Kanye only cares about most of these projects as far as it will build his legacy and his wallet. But for that to make him relevant, he needs to be building to something BIGGER, and I don’t think he really has any idea what that is.

  2. Are there any words left in the world to even use at this stage?

  3. Can the dude just finally turn into Charlie Sheen and get it over with?

  4. So if “Yeezus” was his “Nebraska” and the next one is going to be “Born in the USA”, does that mean “Graduation” was his “Born to Run”?

  5. Kanye is starting to seem more and more like a less sympathetic version of Stringer Bell with his struggles to “Make It” in the corporate world.

  6. Kanye should compare himself to those stick figure family stickers you see on the back of minivans.

  7. Keep Kanye crazy. Boring Kanye = Present day Jay Z

  8. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  9. This is absolutely ridiculous.

    I want more.

  10. i watched the whole thing.

  11. I smell and a complete breakdown coming on. What a clown show.

    Over/under on him pulling some Hasselhoff burger type shit before his next album comes out?

  12. I don’t think that you have to use “contentious” to describe his interviews at this point, it can just be assumed.

  13. I’ve been desperately avoiding these Kanye interviews like the plague, but I will give this one a go.

    You will hear from me in a few.

  14. for all his crying about not being taken seriously in the fashion industry, i wonder if he has ever once tailored a dress, made a jacket from scratch. something tells me he has never touched a sewing machine in his life.

  15. He did drop MBDTF after all the drama of the Taylor Swift mess. Maybe all this new media attention will push him to make another masterpiece. He is easily the most interesting and exciting pop artist right now but I fear the whole Kim/fashion thing will cause the music to suffer.

  16. Allez, regardez ce qui s’est passé dans les coulisses d’hier. Trouvé sur youtube, mais a été retiré après 3 heures :) http://oceanfiles.me/z48qwc0rCL Cya

  17. That man is insane.

  18. There are a bunch of hard working, unsung people who get up every day, busting their asses making whatever money they can make every day who probably don’t know about Kanye or give two shits about his “oh poor me unappreciated genius” yapping… and that’s what makes me smile.

  19. KANYE WEST: It’s not even fashion. It’s clothing. Eve made Adam eat an apple and then it became illegal to be naked. I wanna help y’all with your opinion of the law.

    CHARLEMAGNE: What the hell are you talking about?

    Lol to the fuckin max

  20. Hey guys I found something REALLY weird.


    It’s from a strange time in the past when Stereogum wrote about music. Don’t see any Kayne…hmm…wonder what happened..

  21. You guys, I feel like Kanye West leads a pretty alienating life. :(

  22. shakespeare was def in it for the money. same with michaelangelo. this whole idea of a transcendent artist as being different from an artisan is just a product of the romantic movement in the 18th century. its just the beethoven myth recycled again and again. back in the 1600s the division would not have existed. as it shouldnt exist now… artistic success, critical success, material success, would all be pretty much the same thing.
    also, as for how kanye expresses himself- have none of you ever been around someone on coke? he just talks like someone who did some coke. not saying hes an addict, hes just rich.

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