A couple of weeks ago, we learned that we were about to get to see a full hour of conversation between David Letterman and Kanye West. Letterman’s Netflix conversation show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction unveiled the trailer for its new season, and Kanye West was in there, along with Ellen DeGeneres, Tiffany Haddish, Melinda Gates, and Lewis Hamilton. Every Kanye West interview is an event, and this one has been building up for a bit. We’ve heard rumblings about it. News came out that their conversation had turned to politics, with West claiming that “liberals bully people who are Trump supporters!” And we also got to see an image of Letterman dressed up in Yeezy clothes. Today, we get to see the whole thing.
The entire new season of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction debuted on Netflix this morning, and so we get to see the full arc of West’s conversation with Letterman. And it’s remarkable how relaxed and genial they are together. The Trump-supporters moment in the episode is intense, and it briefly derails things, but it’s not the focus of the conversation. Instead, after a bit of an awkward start, things get rolling when Letterman and West get to talking about West’s family. West talks about inheriting certain traits from his absent father, spending time in China as a kid, and the devastation that he went through when his mother died.
Kanye also discusses the “delusional confidence” that he needed to start his rap career, and he opens up about his mental health issues: “This is like a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle. And if someone has a sprained ankle, you’re not going to push on him more. With us, once our brain gets to the point of spraining, people do everything to make it worse.” And he says that he hasn’t been on any medication for eight months. Letterman contrasts this with his own mental-health issues, claiming that medication had been a great help for him, saying it was “like getting a new pair of glasses.” And we also get a few minutes of footage of one of West’s Sunday Sessions — not the Coachella one, but one of the invite-only ones. It looks fun!
If you’re signed into Netflix, you can watch the episode here.