There are a few rappers who are worth listening to every time they have a new verse. Kanye West might be the only rapper — the only artist, really — who’s worth listening to every time he has a new interview. Kanye was on L.A.’s Power 105.1 this morning for a solid hour, and he had a lot to say about his new album, his new shoe line, and the Grammys. He says he’s been meaning to call Beck to discuss the whole Grammys controversy and that he’s been talking to Drake about making an album together. But the most immediately interesting talk might be about his new album. Even though he’s been talking about his Yeezus follow-up for more than a year, and even though he’s dropped the singles “Only One” and “FourFiveSeconds” in recent weeks, the album is only “80% done.” When it arrives, though, it’ll be a surprise release.
Kanye says his new album will be “bars, songs, cookout music that just feels good. My last album was protest music. I was like, ‘I’ma take my ball and go home.’… Album really got no music. I just let y’all have a little music on ‘Bound,’ but that was it. This album is just embracing the music, embracing joy, being of service to the people. I just hope that people like it and enjoy it.” He threw out the 80% number and added, “I’m trying to get it finished. I’m trying to get it to the people… Release dates is played out. So the surprise is going to be a surprise. There go the surprise.”
On this possible collaborative album with Drake: “The ‘Wolves’ song came — and I’m just going to say it because maybe this will promote it happening. I’m going to put it out there in the real world. The ‘Wolves’ song came from a conversation that me and Drake had where we was going to do an album together. And the album is called Wolves… Me and Jay started talking about Watch The Throne, and Drake did all the records with Wayne and did the tour. But I just put it out there in the ether. I put it out in the world. If y’all don’t like it, then you could send it right back… We was sending beats back and forth.”
On the Grammys: Kanye admitted that the “respect the artistry” comment that he directed at Beck was “completely hypocritical” and that he hadn’t even heard Beck’s Morning Phase when he made it. The other night, Kanye went out to dinner with Taylor Swift (which itself is amazing), and the restaurant was playing Morning Phase: “Maybe they did it on purpose so I could finally hear it. I was like, ‘Man, this is kind of good.'”… Taylor was talking to me about this. She was saying that when she was the victim, she won all the awards. Now that she’s powerful and she’s the biggest-selling artist, she not winning awards anymore.”
On Beck: “I got his number, and I was supposed to call, but I just keep forgetting… I felt good for him. Think of all the good stuff that happened to me the last seven or eight days. The person that won the most was Beck. If I hadn’t done that, his Album Of The Year would’ve never been mentioned! Now, it’s in all the chatter!”
On the recent police-brutality controversies. “My dad emailed me and said to stay out of it. My dad is a thousand times smarter than me and more social than me… That’s my only parent, so I have to listen to him. I think he’s just trying to be protective of his son. I can’t run in front of every bullet.”
Kanye also says that he jumped on the end of Big Sean’s “Blessings” because of a Drake lyric about how sometimes rappers fall in love with famous people and stop working: “He was right!” And now he’s making records with people like Young Thug and Ty Dolla $ign, spending six hours a day in the studio, partly so he can make sure he’s on his job. Later, he mentioned that a song he did with Young Thug will be on Rihanna’s album.
He’s also working on a documentary about Louis Farrakhan and his work as a musician, which could be truly fascinating: “It’s a lot that I can learn from him… It’s a beautiful story about a beautiful soul that’s very misunderstood.”
On 25-year-old Tyga dating his 17-year-old sister-in-law Kylie Jenner, after a long uncomfortable pause: “I think he got in early. I knew he was smart… They closer in age than a lot of relationships that I know.”
Also, Kanye sort of partially named his daughter after Queens hardhead Noreaga, which is amazing. And he thanked Disney for making Frozen, which is some parental real shit.
The whole thing is just a straight hour of Kanye talking Kanye talk, and if you’re a fan, it’s well worth watching. Here it is:
That’s the best defense of Kim Kardashian’s nude photoshoot I’ve ever heard. One day, when he’s not as famous anymore, Kanye West will have a podcast, and it will be glorious.