By now you might have seen the first part of Kanye West’s interview with BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe. Perhaps you haven’t, so now’s your opportunity to peep the first 14 minutes below.
What’s interesting about this interview–besides the fact that Yeezy earnestly thanks (!) Lowe for a compliment–is how much it builds in intensity. It’s not surprising, really. Just check his Twitter feed or introducing Pusha T at a listening party a few weeks ago. However, his initial comments about how he knows how to make perfect are thoughtful and level-headed, somehow. But by the time he begins deconstructing the Yeezus creation process he goes nuclear, chucking his responses at Lowe.
The turning point happens right when he says, “so now let’s take, like, where there’s people who have issues with me…. they classify my motivational speeches as rants,” exploding from there. A few of his most-quotable bits of id?
“Do you remember that ‘South Park’ photo? Do you remember how funny that was? Do you think there would be a Givenchy in the ‘hood if it weren’t for that ‘South Park’ photo?”
“I’m not going to name no names, but when people used to use the term ‘R&B n*gga’… but then it was ‘rappers,’ and rappers didn’t want to be no R&B n*gga, but now the rappers are the new R&B n*ggas! Where’s the culture at?”
“…Brought the leather jogging pants to Fendi six years ago and they said ‘no.’ How many motherf*ckers have you done seen with leather jogging pants?”
Which is all just Yeezus speak for “Yeezy taught you.” He did, mind you, and whether you drank the Kool-Aid or not what Kanye’s ranting about is all certainly relevant: everything from music to fashion to the abstract idea of creativity in the past few years has had Kanye’s fingerprints. And the way that he ping-pongs between cool bravado and unrestrained pontificating (with the high culture name drops and allusions thrown in) is his making sense of his glass ceiling-breaking influence that can’t be relayed properly through print or text.
It’s the culture! Whatever it is nowadays anyways, splintered about trendy streetwear blogs and mp3 sites like Costa Concordia flotsam. The rest of the interview will come soon, but if this remained the only piece of Kanye insight–if the rest of the interview burned up in a BBC Radio studio harddrive–it remains an intriguing case study into the only rapper who could appropriately rip former Dior Homme creative director Hedi Slimane.