L.R. What did you want to do with your new album?
Kanye West: I wanted to take it back to the essence, like the soulful people who brought knowledge—like RZA and Q-Tip. At a certain point, you need to find a better way to do it; it’s like people [in basketball] who dunk and hurt their wrist and come down on their knees too hard. Your knee’s gonna give out at a certain point. Some of my social and public-persona knees are starting to give out. I still want to run the games. I’ve just got to not get kicked up quite as hard.
L.R. What do you think Jay-Z has done for you?
Kanye West: Man, everything—served as a big brother, the blueprint, our reality. Someone to look up to.
L.R. What do you think you’ve done for him?
Kanye West: Just served as a burst of energy at all times—light and energy. Just a person who’s constantly seeking information that Jay can use.
Full Interview: Vanity Fair