Kanye West Opened Up To Steve McQueen About The Grammys, ’12 Years A Slave’

Senior Pop Culture Editor

Interview Magazine, a.k.a. that big-ass magazine that always comes ripped and folded in your mailbox because it’s so huge, wisely asked director Steve McQueen to interview Kanye West. They spoke on the phone not long after the “Bound 2” music video was released, and shockingly, West didn’t compare the public’s negative reaction to the Microsoft Paint job to slavery. Huh, maybe Kim’s good for him after all. The two most interesting excerpts:

MCQUEEN: So Yeezus was about throwing away what people want you to do—the so-called “success”—so you could move on to something else.

WEST: It’s the only way that I can survive. The risk for me would be in not taking one—that’s the only thing that’s really risky for me. I live inside, and I’ve learned how to swim through backlash, or maintain through the current of a negative public opinion and create from that and come through it and spring forth to completely surprise everyone—to satisfy all believers and annihilate all doubters. And at this point, it’s just fun.

Kanye enjoys your hate…but will still bitch about it.

WEST: I’ve been nominated for Best Album maybe three times. I made Dark Fantasy and Watch the Throne less than a year apart and neither of them got nominated. “N*ggas in Paris” [off Watch the Throne] wasn’t nominated for Best Song either. But let’s go into the fact that I have the most Grammys of any 36-year-old or 40-year-old or whatever, and I’ve never won a Grammy outside of the Rap or R&B categories. “Jesus Walks” lost Best Song to some other song; “N*ggas in Paris” wasn’t nominated in that category.

But those are the labels that people want to put on you. People see you in a certain way, so if I was doing a clothing line that had rock tees in it or whatever we just did for the “Yeezus” tour, which sells $400,000 of stuff in two days … You know, I like Shame [2011] as much as 12 Years a Slave, but Hollywood likes the idea of a black director directing 12 Years a Slave more than it likes the idea of a black director directing Shame.

Of course Kanye saying something insightful would be wrapped into a longer answer about his being disrespected.

Banner via Getty Image, via Interview Magazine

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