KANYE CL SHOUT OUT & INTERVIEW SNIPPET
Whether you hate him or you love him, it’s safe to say that Kanye West has this thing we call ‘Mass Appeal’. From the highly publicized album competition with 50 Cent, to his cross-over status, the producer and rapper is definitely on top of the world right about now.
His 3rd studio album, Graduation is receiving critical acclaim, not to mention commercial success and yet he still tries to keep it real with the fans. It was a real honor to get a chance to speak with one of my favorite artists and get his take on his craft. Make sure you check out this exclusive in-depth interview, Concrete Loop style. Raw & basically unedited.
KANYE SPEAKS ON 50 CENT & MTV
Angel: What’s up Kanye?
Kanye: What’s good?
Angel: This is Angel from Concrete Loop, thank you for sitting with us.
Kanye: Aww no problem.
Angel: So I just wanted to know how did you find out about the site?
Kanye: I don’t know I think maybe my assistant Ivan or my road manager Don, or my A&R Pat, I don’t remember who but we sit in the studio, like we just in the studio all day so we don’t have anything to do. And they be on their computers, like our crew I think we got the most laptops out of any crew. And we just get on the blogs and start looking at stuff.
Angel: Okay. Well thank you for the shout outs because they really helped out a lot. [laughs] So, I really appreciate that.
Kanye: Yeah, no problem. Gotta get those advertising dollars up.
Kanye & Fiddy at the VMAs (wireimage)
Angel: Okay, the first question everybody wants to know is have you talked to 50 [Cent] ever since you got the number one spot?
Kanye: Naaaw, like I haven’t talked to him but if I could I would just like to thank him. Just for this time that we had to promote the album. All the crazy stuff he said and all the crazy stuff I said, I mean at the end of the day it just sold us more records. Like people ask me, “Was this just a marketing strategy?” I’m like, Yeah! [both of laugh] I mean obviously that’s what it was, it was a marketing strategy and it worked because it got people hyped up. And it wasn’t anything like we were trying to create a beef, I think the press just tried to make it seem like it was a beef, but I really thought it would spark conversation. Like, “what artist do you like better” “Fifty sold more, do you remember when the first album came out.” Like a lot of barbershop talk, you know?
Angel: So what did you do when you found out that you sold like almost a million records [in the first week] I mean right now, it’s 2007 that’s crazy. Nobody is selling that much right now.
Kanye: I knooow. I told the people at the label that I was going to sell a million records and people were looking at me like I was crazy, like always whenever I stunt. I told them, I said, “If I only sell 800 [thousand] I’ll apologize, but if I sell a million, I just gotta thank god for that.” And when we came in like over 9, like 957 [thousand] it just felt overwhelmingly good. It feels the same way I felt when I look at “Stronger” at the number one spot.
Kanye: Because a lot of people didn’t believe in that record when I first dropped it. Or “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” now is like the people’s anthem and radio didn’t want to play it. It’s like a video game or something, it’s no fun if you get the code and it’s easy to beat the game. But when it’s challenging and it’s something that you have to work at, it’s just that much more fulfilling at the end.
Angel: What about this MTV thing. I know you talked about it in numerous interviews, but do you plan on ever making up with them or going back on MTV in the future?
Kanye: Well, I’ve actually spoken to the heads of MTV and some of the people who work in the press room at MTV and you know, everybody has different opinions about the whole situation. For me, you know, I wish I was perfect. Who doesn’t wish they were perfect? You know at that time a lot of the emotions built up not just from particularly that year, but from the previous year. Like “Gold Digger” not even getting nominated and Panic At The Disco! Won for video of the year. And like “Gold Digger” lost to “My Humps” for rap video of the year. And if you look at the pictures from the blogs last year, it saw me just sitting there just looking at them like..
Angel: Yeah that’s true.
Kanye: And for the [MTV] European Awards they told me, you are going to win Video of the year.
Angel: Yeah I read that in another interview. See we don’t know the behind the scenes stuff, so I can see why you jumped on stage like that.
Kanye: I went on stage because, I wasn’t even mad. Like I was mad this year, but I wasn’t even mad I was just joking around if you really look at the clip. I was like, “Aww Hell Naw! I spent a million dollars for this.” Of course, I had a little 50/50 [Barcardi] but I still wasn’t taking it that seriously. And the vibe of the show was real laid back, like if you look at the whole show, Justin [Timberlake] was cursing and then they came to me and was like “Aww the profanity, written tirade” and all these different things. And with the awards, at the end of the day, the awards are just a façade and it’s like a sporting event. You know what I’m saying? I feel like my sport, my championship is the award show. And when I spaz out, I’m just screaming at the refs. I’m not trying to scream at the fans or nothing, I’m just saying the refs. And this year, not only did I not get a chance to really make history, because that’s my thing. I try to make memorable award show performances. And I spent a lot of time coming up with the band for “Gold Digger” at the Grammy’s and the wings with “Jesus Walks” or me and Jamie [Foxx] coming up, you know to “We Major” for “Gold Digger”. And that [MTV] suite, I felt like I wasn’t given the opportunity, they gave Britney the opportunity to make history, they gave all these different people. But I’m like, I got the number one record in the country, so if you listen to the actual spaz, everything I said was accurate. It was just the way I said it that was so offensive to people. And people were saying, well you should have just told MTV that. That’s what I was doing! Somebody had a sneaky camera.
Kanye spazzing backstage at the VMAs
Kanye: Yeah, so that means y’all just got to see some of the behind the scenes that goes on in the business all the time when situations like that happen. I composed myself, I didn’t do anything like walk on stage, you know? I like Rihanna a lot, she is a friend of mine so I wouldn’t want to do anything to disrespect her or take away from her moment. So if you listen to the spaz, I’m saying, “Tell them I said it.” Like I’m telling MTV, but I’m not trying to tell the world. I was talking to MTV execs backstage and someone put a camera on it and caught it.
Angel: Yeah I feel you, I feel you.
Kanye: For me & MTV, I’ve talked to the people. I guess I made up with them, it probably will never be the same. You know, they don’t play my videos, and they talk about me on the website.
Angel: I was just about to say that, they took you out of rotation.
Kanye: So, it is what it is now, you know?
Angel: What can you do right? They don’t play videos that much anyway, so what’s new.
KANYE TALKS ABOUT GRADUATION
Angel: Okay, Graduation the album man, that’s a great album. People say I’m jocking you on the site, whatever the album is good. So I don’t care you deserve props, the album is good. So what was your inspiration when you were making it and recording the tracks?
Kanye: I don’t really even listen to rap music like that, all I listen to is like Rock & Roll and I listen to some of Lil Wayne’s stuff. Being that I have my own career, I don’t have them time to listen to all the stuff that Wayne puts out.
Angel: Un huh
Kanye at a CD signing last month (Splash News)
Kanye: Because he puts out so much stuff. So I don’t have time to listen to every single Lil Wayne thing, but the fact that he’s doing all that and when I would hear the raps, the caliber of the raps would inspire me go in more. Like I got in the studio with Wayne and we started working on the Carter III and I was like, “Do you ever go on vacation?” And he was like naw, this is what I do. So I looked at this project more seriously, like this is what I do. So I went, I’m hopping on planes to promote and premiere the “Stronger” video in Germany and then hopping on another plane to go to the Europe GQ Man of the year awards and then come back and go to Atlanta and do club. I’m not gonna put in work, by just doing a verse and putting it on a mixtape everyday. But everyday I’m going to be doing something to try to push and promote this album. So, Wayne was a big inspiration for that. Musically? The Thom Yorke album. Thom Yorke is the lead singer of Radio Head. Eraser [name of the album] there was a track on there that Lupe [Fiasco] put me on to. I listened to the whole album and the vibe and the type of instruments he was using just took me into a certain zone. And after I did “Stronger” Hype Williams heard it and said, “Yoo, I want to shoot this video in the future.” And then I went back to songs like “Champion” and “Good Life” and put these type of chords on them that sounded similar to the type of sense that I put on “Stronger”. That’s why “Flashing Lights”, “Champion” all of them have that certain synthesizer, a real 80s synthesizer type of sound. But I mixed It with my original sample sound, so it didn’t get too far from what people knew me for, but like created a new form of music in rap. And also, I wanted my drums to bang harder in stadiums. One of my inspirations was, I went on tour with U2 and Bono [lead singer of U2] told me that, “No one from your community has ever figured this out.” And if you think about it, nobody from the black community can really sell out stadiums, like 30,000 seaters, there’s not one artist you can think of. I can think of four, you know, white artists. Coldplay, U2, Rolling Stones and Jack Johnson.
Angel: That’s right.
Kanye: This type of record I think connect with people more. A lot of time, I hear records that are super hot for two months, but the records won’t last in people’s minds. I set out not to just make records that could hop off the radio instantly, but stuff that will speak to people. People still bring up “Spaceships” to me. And people compare “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” to “Spaceships” saying that’s a song that inspires them when they going to work. But the chords itself, is like a Led Zepplin, rock melody. [he starts to sing/rap “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and then I finish the chorus]
Angel: That’s my jam man. [laughs] I blast that song!
Kanye: Yeah, you thinking it’s made for the car and you thinking it’s made for the club, and it works in the arena because DJ Toomp did the drums and all that, but the actual melody is made to rock 50,000 people. That’s why it’s so simple, and I simplified all the lyrics on the album. Because I’ll be performing, like opening up for Mick Jagger and they’ll be a 50 year-old white lady looking at me like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Kanye: And I’m rapping “Diamonds” and stuff like that trying to over rap, and I was like you know what? I don’t need to over rap and that’s how you get a song like “I Wonder”. [Kanye starts to rap some of “I Wonder”] Like no rappers would really, you know, put it out like that, because people are trying to prove themselves all the time. The thing is, like on this album, I just accepted who I was and stopped tryin to prove myself all the time. Like that’s why I said, “When You Try Hard, That’s when you Die Hard” [sentence from his song “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”]. Really I was referring to the Grammy outfit when I said that line.
Kanye at the ’06 Grammy Awards
Angel: [laughs] You was wrong for that outfit. You know you was wrong for that outfit though.
Kanye: [laughs] Yeah, but hey “You Try Hard, You Die Hard.”
Angel: That’s true.
Kanye: Like on this one, I didn’t even try I just zoned out, I’d go into the studio and vibe to the beat and just [he starts to rap some of “Flashing Lights”] and it came and God gave me the words.
Angel: And what about “I Wonder” and “Flashing Lights” like what inspired those songs. And “Everything I Am” [I quote a part of “Everything I Am”] that’s my jam too. So, what inspires those songs?
Kanye: Well “Everything I’m Not, Made Me Everything I Am” I had an interview with Wendy Williams and it really touched me that, like when she even said the title of the song she started crying. Just saying that that song just touched her in that way. And I really thought about the lyrics and what I was saying and it really would relate to her. [he starts rapping parts of “Everything I Am”] You know, I was picturing, my muse for the song was kinda like, a little girl in High School or in grammar school getting picked on. Like she gets picked on for being too skinny or something and she grows up to be a model. Or she is getting picked on for being too big and grows up to be Oprah Winfrey or a journalist or something like that. So just saying like, all these things that made you not cool when you was growing up, it’s almost like having a handicap. You know what I’m saying? You know if someone is blind, you can end up being Stevie Wonder because your ears are that much better.
Angel: Yeah, that’s true.
KANYE ON DAMON DASH, JAY-Z MORE ALBUM TALK, & WHO HIS PLANS TO TOUR WITH
Angel: So how is your relationship with Damon Dash? A lot of people wanted to know that. I mean you shout out Jay-Z all the time, but you really don’t speak on Damon Dash that much. Are the two of y’all still cool?
Kanye: Yeah, man, I love Dame. I wanted to speak on it in the “Big Brother” joint, you know I said his name on it. But I always think about Dame. Like when I make certain songs, I’m like, “Aww man, Dame is gon like this.” Like when I made “Barry Bonds” I had Dame in mind, picturing Dame doing the original Dame Dash dance. Like those glory days. Like Jay is like a big brother, but Dame Dash is more like a father figure.
Angel: So, what’s the next single that you’re going to release from the album?
Kanye: Man, see the thing is, I was thinking about doing something online. Like asking people what the next single would be.
Angel: Yeah, that would be good, that would be a good look.
Kanye: Like I’m saying, if I would have done that from the gate, I don’t think people would have picked “Stronger” over “Good Life”. But I had a plan with that. Because now, usually when people get to their albums, they’ve exhausted all of their missiles, all their heat rocks. Potentially my biggest, obviously my biggest radio record, has only been out like two-three weeks. But I think that could keep the album going. My favorite three songs are: “Flashing Lights”, “Homecoming” and “I Wonder”. Now, “I Wonder” is more of an emotional pull. “I Wonder” and “Homecoming” are very emotional, but “I Wonder” has that stadium thing to it and that has one of my favorite pieces of music – the third verse, the breakdown, when the strings come in that Larry Gold did.
Kanye: But “I Wonder” is cool, but “Flashing Lights” is the coolest on the album. Like you know, music snobs and girls with cool haircuts. Like people like they so 80s.
Angel: Yeah if you read the comments, everybody likes that song.
Kanye: Yeah and regular people like it too. But I don’t think if I did a poll that people would pick “Homecoming” but I believe “Homecoming” would sell me the most records. Because it’s still buying into a fanbase that I haven’t completely conquered. It’s the only record that could get like rock ads, like the way “Stronger” got rock ads. Like when those numbers came back, and we was just talking bout who was gonna sell the most. I knew that I had connected on certain radio to people who buy records.
Kanye: Like at the end of the day, the hood is only going to buy or can only make you go gold at most. Like Fab [Fabolous] got the hood like 100% but you’re gonna have to step outside of that in order to really do the 1 million, 2 million records. My goal on this album is to do 10 million records.
Angel: You’ll make it, you’ll make it.
Kanye: Thank you. I guess we off to a good start [laughs]
Kanye & Jay-Z on 106 & Park last month (Wireimage)
Angel: Yep! So we all heard about Jay-Z’s new album and everybody wants to know if you’re working with him on American Gangster.
Kanye: Yeah, I was just in the studio last night.
Angel: Oh, alright.
Kanye: Like I got interviews, like right now I’m doing this interview with y’all. And I just wanna do interviews that I want to do. Like if I like a person’s outlet or what a person brings to the table, than I’ll speak to them. But I’m not going to do an interview, just because it’s suppose to sell you records. Like I had to like, block the people involved. So, I’m doing these interviews, and I’m working on Jay-Z and stuff for Michael Jackson. And the album ain’t even been out for a week and a half I’ve been in the lab.
Angel: That’s what I’m saying, you’re already producing already for other people and you still gotta promote yourself.
Kanye: Yeah, I just do it in between time you know what I’m saying? Get a little time to go to the movies and in between that I do like a banger for Jay-Z.
Angel: So what about Brandy? A lot of commenters wanted to know if you were going to work with Brandy again.
Kanye: I haven’t spoken to Brandy in a while. I mean I wouldn’t be completely opposed to it. But if you noticed like in the past year and a half, I had very little production work out. Except for me and Common. And it’s like a Dre thing, that’s the reason why like sonically you get moments like the middle of “Drunk & Hot Girls” or the drums on “I Wonder”. Instead of me going and doing five different sessions for 1800 artists, instead I did maybe at least 10 different sessions just tweaking the drums on “I Wonder”. So now, my goal is to get my tour to the level, that people will see the tour, but we can sell out arenas and do 20,000 seaters. And next time by next summer we going 30,000 or 40,000. Because my job, my day-to-day job, my main job is to get on stage at least 250 times out the year. I’m a touring artist, you know what I’m saying, like an international touring artist. And I made an album to try to make my job easier.
Angel: So when is the tour gonna start? Everybody is asking? Like what cities do you really want to go to?
Kanye: I’m going to cities that people didn’t think I was going to go to. Like Oklahoma is one of my hometowns, like my grandparents on my mother’s side are in Oklahoma. The last time we did the ‘Touch The Sky Tour’ people didn’t think we should do it and we ended up selling out in a few days.
Angel: Make sure you come to North Carolina, so I can check it out too.
Kanye: Yeah, we definitely coming to North Carolina. I tell y’all right now, either, I’m going to tour with one of the big dogs – like a tour with 50 or a tour with Jay or imma tour with Keyshia, T-Pain, and Common.
Angel: Oh that’ll be hot.
Kanye: It’s going to be either one of those three things.
Angel: So what’s the theme for the next album? You know you graduated already, are you gonna keep the college-based theme? Are you gonna keep the bear going? Or are you going to do something new?
Kanye: Definitely have the bear, you know? But I have to give the bear a new swag. Common came in and just blessed the whole idea, because I’m really getting into the art and everything. But the next album is what you supposed to get after you graduate, A Good-Ass Job, that’s the title. Because back when I was in Chicago, girls mothers used to always tell them that if somebody worked for the Post Office if they boyfriend worked for the Post Office, they’d be like, “Yo, you can’t break up with him, he got a good-ass job.”
Angel: Yeah a government job right that. [laughs]
Angel: I heard that one.
KANYE SPEAKS ON USER COMMENTS
Angel: Well let me get to some user questions. I’m just going to quote you know some comments people left on the site, and this first one if from DaRealWifey. She said and this is a quote: ‘You are obviously extremely intelligent, so why do you act like a straight fool and reinforce every negative stereotype white folks have about us when you lose at an award show? I love your music, but stop showing your ass!” What you got to say to that?
Kanye: Yeah, like I said earlier. I wish I was perfect, I really wish I was perfect. But everything I’m not, made me everything I am. You know I realize now, that I’m more of a like ambassador to black people and to hip-hop and that’s why I have so much responsibility. That’s the reason why I caught so much slack off of the Grammy outfit, because niggas in the hood was like, “Man ‘Ye, at the end of the day you let us down.” You are our guy out there, you are the only dude that’s reppin and that’s making it that far. Because when you make it that far you always have to do it for the hood. So I can’t be selfish and I can’t be impatient, those two things, let alone the emotion that goes into everything that drives me to do that. Like I said for one thing is, they caught me on camera and it was a sneaky camera.
Angel: [laughs] It was.
Kanye: And I wish I could find the camera man, because you know that anybody that’s writing that knows that sometimes you might snap off. I felt as though, at least I didn’t do anything illegal. I didn’t actually take it to a physical level. But I realize that the cameras are on me at all times, like they catch me out the car, they try to catch me with my shoes untied. You know, [starts rapping a part from “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”] I got responsibility and I realize that I am one of the few positive black role models in the community at the end of the day.
Kanye & Justin at the ’06 VMAs (wireimage)
Angel: Okay another question from a user, her name is A-Natural and she said: “You said before that you felt Justin Timberlake was your biggest competition and that you respected him as an artist. Now that you’ve been disrespected by MTV, how do you feel towards Justin, an MTV asset, being that he contributed to the disrespect of Janet Jackson..” You know with the whole Super Bowl, MTV boycott thing. And A-Natural the commenter went on to say, “Do you still feel that Justin deserves your respect or support?”
Kanye: You know, Imma say honestly I don’t know if they planned that together or not, but if they did plan that together, than I feel like you know, Justin should have stood up for Janet. And if that was the case, than that was a mistake on his part, maybe being scared to really deal with that heat.
Angel: Un huh
Kanye: You know a lot of people can’t deal with the heat to really stand up for stuff. But that doesn’t discredit his amount of work.
Kanye: Like, as much as I liked to be, just doing a comparison of how people try to discredit my work. I’m not going to discredit somebody’s work for something they did. Even in the height of the R.Kelly situation, I still liked his songs. I don’t judge people like that. Like that was the thing like when I first spoke about the hip-hop homophobia and everything. It’s because I was working with my interior decorator and I’d have friends that said, “I would never work with a gay person.” You know what I’m saying?
Kanye: I mean think about that actual statement, that’s the mentality that we all had coming out of Chicago. Basically we judging a person’s lifestyle or their decisions, to say I wouldn’t work with them or I wouldn’t accept their services. You know at the end of the day, us as musicians, our service is that we give music. What Imma do? Not buy Justin’s album? You know with that situation, are we doing some type of protest that I don’t know about? Because at the end of the day, I do feel like he pushes the envelope the most. Other than that, he makes the best decisions. Because that’s all artists are, it’s a series of decisions. At the end of the day when Rihanna made the decision to wear certain types of clothes, she still has to make that final decision. And she has made a series of great decisions in the past six months, to become a style icon like that.
Angel: Okay, one more from a user, her name is Alexis and she said: “Aside from yourself and Jay-Z, who do you think is the most influential rap artist out right now?”
Kanye: I think Wayne, because Wayne influences me and I’m the biggest artist out. [laughs]
KANYE & ALEXIS / KANYE ON FASHION.
Kanye & Alexis in Paris this month (Splash)
Angel: Okay, so let me get to another question. You know about you and Alexis. Getting a lot of buzz, everybody wants to get more information about you guys now. So did you set a wedding date yet?
Kanye: We still working on that, but as soon as I set it, I’m not gon tell nobody. I’m like not going to tell anybody when I get married, because it’s not anything that I’m doing for publicity. You know it’s a real life thing, and it just so happen to be under the microscope because people take pictures of us everywhere. You know, it’s not a thing that I’m doing to promote anything, that’s really our thing.
Angel: Okay. So her new line was just featured a couple of weeks back during Fashion Week, do you guys collab like on fashion items? Since you’re working on your line as well.
Kanye: I be begging her to like help me with something [he says smiling]. The most she will do is like, “Tell me, give me some advice, I like that.”
Kanye: “I don’t like that.” But with her line, she will finish up the whole line and have it out before I even see anything. But I really liked her last line, I mean I like all her clothes, but this last line, I think she has reached a new level. I think since we were around each other, creatively we both pushed the envelope to a whole new level. [Her line] Looks like a reflection visually of what I did sonically on Graduation.
Angel: Oh that’s hot. Yeah her line was good though. I was looking at some of the pictures today so I could reference, but yeah she knows what’s she is doing and some people don’t want to give her credit. I mean she went to school for it and she is doing her thing, so I gotta give her her props.
Kanye: Yeah, I mean she is really the real thing. Her line has been out for over 5-6 seasons now and people are just now knowing that that was my girlfriend. So it wasn’t a thing like, “Check out my girlfriend’s line.” Paris [Hilton] & Lindsay [Lohan] were wearing the line just because they liked it and picked it up at Fred Segal. So it wasn’t a thing like this is Kanye’s girlfriend let me buy it, if it’s wack then, aww man I don’t want it.
Angel: So what about Pastelle? Is that going to be like a high end fashion, or is that gonna be like affordable stuff for people to get?
Kanye: I think there will be affordable pieces in it. But it’s something, that’s reflective of my lifestyle. And there is just a lot of hard work that’s going into it – designers, getting distributors. And I’m in a situation where it’s like a hard thing. It’s like when Jay works on a new album, or when I work on a new album, it’s like you have all eyes on you. And if you do something great, it will be celebrated. But if you do something that’s slightly off the mark, like it’s over with.
Kanye: So I rather just take time, the way Dr. Dre is taking on Detox, to make the best thing ever. I always wanted to be a designer. I wanted to design clothes and design shoes and design houses and do all that type of stuff, before I became a rapper. You know, I was drawing back in kindergarten and I was designing like Nike’s with the air bubble taking up the whole sole and people in my class were like, “they will never come out with that.”
Kanye: Like there was designs that I came out with in fourth grade and fifth grade that I’ve seen Nike do like versions of that. I’m not saying they took my design, but I’m just saying that this is the type of ideas that I had.
Angel: Un huh
Kanye: I’m like really into architecture and stuff. I remember there have been times where people would tell me stuff like, “You shouldn’t use the word toupe or salmon” because it don’t sound masculine. Because you know like on the blogs, they will try to call me a fag or whatever?
Kanye: Yo, I’m like, I’m an artist, at the end of the day. Maybe I’m not like Randy “Macho Man” Savage or whatever but “everything I’m not, made me everything I am” and I bring something different to the table. You can’t be all things to all people, but you have to be everything to yourself.
Angel: True, true. So who is your biggest style influence? Whether that be designer labels or everyday life?
Kanye: Well I like Army Wear. You know the ‘Classic Male Ralph Lauren’. You know shirts and things with interesting features. You know so you don’t look super dull, but you don’t look like you are about to park somebody’s car.
Angel: So here are some random questions now. What is your favorite song of the moment?
Kanye: It’s gonna be one of my songs right now. It’s gotta be like “Flashing Lights” or “Homecoming.” But I like that J. Holiday “Bed.” I like that and “Drink & Two Step”
Angel: with Cassidy?
Kanye: Yeah. Those are like my two favorite joints now. I was thinking of raps for the “Bed” joint. Like I be in the studio and that’s how people get those random freestyles from me. I like a song a lot and next thing I know I just do a freestyle for it. I like “Bed” a lot, so I might do a freestyle with that in the next couple of weeks.
Angel: That’ll be hot. So what’s your favorite movie that’s out right now, like a recent movie?
Angel: Yeah that was a good movie. [laughs]
Kanye: Yeah that’s my joint. I like white movies, it ain’t been like really good black movies like in the past few years you know that I could remember. It’s like man, we gotta make a resurgence in the movie game, because when Eddie Murphy was killing it and Martin was killing it we had joints out and Will Smith had joints out. But now I think black people we need to make more of a stance in Hollywood right now, because their hasn’t been any like super dope culturally important movies. Like the most culturally important movie of the last year was like Borat.
Angel: Have you seen that U.K. movie Kidulthood?
Kanye: Naw, what is it?
Angel: It’s called Kidulthood, you never seen that? It’s from the U.K. That’s a real good movie you need to check that out. But what about a DVD or whatever release, like what is your favorite movie of all time?
Kanye: Coming to America. I’m going to tell you one of my favorite movies, I know they gon try to hit me off on this one. It’s Zoolander. They gon be like “Aww, yeah we would know it’s Zoolander”
Kanye: But yeah that’s one of my favorites. Let me see, a bunch of Ben Stiller joints. Will Farrell joints. Talladega Nights and Anchorman. Like I feel like I am Ricky Bobby.
Kanye: [quotes a line from Ricky Bobby] Like I be feeling like I be saying stuff that Will Ferrell’s says in movies, I say that in real life. I mean like really like Ricky Bobby in real life. Like saying like absolutely crazy shit and then backing it up. Like you don’t understand I go to a Def Jam meeting and I’m like, “Yo, we bout to sell a million records!” And niggas be looking at me like, “what is wrong with dude?” And then afterwards it’s like “Dayuuum, you did it.”
Angel: Hey, you backed it up, right?
Kanye drawing in his free time.
Angel: So what’s a hobby that you do? Other than producing and what not, I know you say you draw. So is that like a hobby you like to do on your free time?
Kanye: Yeah. I got a couple of cribs and stuff now, so I be working on my house and I design furniture now. I’ll design anything. Like I designed this little fish tank shower area that I thought was dope because there is already water there and I wanted a fish tank, but I didn’t want it to come off like some Miami Scarface type stuff. And yeah I get into that, like anything dealing with visuals. Like videos, is a hobby of mines. I did a video for “Spaceships” that people never saw. Like I did a video for “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” like me and Consequence that people never saw. Like, I just do videos all the time. And another reason why I get so passionate at these award shows is because these songs and these videos are like my kids. I feel like I’m raising them up in good schools and the average artist ain’t spending three months in the edit. Like I spent three months in the edit for “Stronger” with three different [inaudiable]. Like when you see that machine shot, that’s like some Steven Spielberg stuff. I feel like a T.V. channel should be honored to have something like that on their station, in a format that they can play. Like what do you do at the end of the day to say, “Yo Kanye, we appreciate the amount of work you put in this game or the level of artist that you are.”
Angel: Okay. A lot of people want to know, do you know how to cook?
Kanye: Yeah. I used to know how to cook. But now I got like these automatic, like futuristic stoves and stuff and they’re hard to work.
Angel: un huh
Kanye: And I made sure for my New York apartment that I got a gas stove. But I just moved in like a week and a half ago, so I haven’t had the opportunity to cook. But I ain’t like super dope, but like Consequence can really cook, he’s like actually like a real chef. And my girl is like a real chef, like straight gourmet chef. All she does is watch the food channel all day long.
Angel: Hey. So, what’s your favorite collaboration so far?
Kanye: Well my favorite person to work with is Common. I just love being in the studio with Common. You know Common is the type of person, you know y’all don’t need to tell me not to spaz out. Common gonna tell me that. Common’s gonna call me like “Damn, we getting sick of this, stop doing that.” You know we’ll sit there and he’ll help me through. Because you know, I have issues. I have acceptance issues. I grew up in Chicago, but I’ll be in my dad in the suburbs and like moving around like military brats, you could never quit fit in. Like in the suburbs, I’d be in areas where I’m known as the black kid.
Kanye back in those high school days.
Angel: I feel you, I’m a military brat.
Kanye: Like when I go back to the city to stay with my mom, everybody is wearing Cross Colors while I’m wearing Girbaud or wearing Gap or something. And people looking at me like I’m crazy and I’m looking at them like they crazy. Why he got on those big-ass red pants?
Kanye: Like what’s wrong with you? You know what I’m saying. Like I never quite fit in, so I always had like issues with that. Like when I was in 7th grade going on 8th grade, I practiced all summer to make the basketball team and I shot all the free throws, shot all the lay-ups, did all the suicide drills and I read the list and my name wasn’t on the list and they was like, “You too short.” So sometimes, at these award shows, it’s like they saying you’re too short. But I’m like, I did everything I was suppose to do. What else do you want from me? So it ain’t just like the award shows, like I have some problems [both of us laugh].
Angel: So we saw you on Entourage. So are you going to get into the acting thing, like do any new features?
Kanye: Yeah, yeah. We working on it. I’ve been taking acting classes and stuff. And Don C. has been taking acting classes and we bout to get in. Especially even after the Emmy’s. People are like wow you know, he actually does have a personality, instead of like spazzing out or something or just rapping. But yeah, we’re working on a show on HBO and we’re meeting with some new writers right now. We shot one pilot and we bout to shoot another pilot, so we in bed with HBO. I’m doing something with Comedy Central right now with my dog Rhymefest. I don’t want to give away what it is, but it’s another type of project.
Kanye: But we’re really getting into that. Just getting into that whole Quincy Jones territory where you start producing, you know television and movies. We got a million ideas.
Kanye: Like me and Hype Williams, we have an idea for a movie that’s really crazy. I’m not gonna tell you what it is, but me and Hype are working on something right now.
Angel: Okay, can’t wait for that.
Kanye: And these are not things like, “Starring Kanye” it’s not stuff like that. Its stuff like entertainment for people on the same level as I think I bring on the music level, you know?
Kanye & Cedric the Entertainer last year
Angel: Since we know you check out the site a lot, what was one of your favorite comments you read on CL about yourself?
Kanye: There is a picture of me and Cedric The Entertainer out in front of the Gucci store and I had this pink and gray BAPE hoodie on. And somebody put up a comment and it said, “I ain’t finna call no grow man delicious.” [both of us laugh]
Angel: That was your favorite comment on the site?
Kanye: I thought that was the funniest. Like out of all the comments. Because you know, you could do a comment and be like, “Aww, Kanye’s a fag.” But it’s like can we get more creative; can it be funny in someway? I thought that one was really funny though.
KANYE ON JENA 6
Angel: Well I wanted to ask you a serious question right now. I know you are most likely aware of the Jena 6 situation down in Louisiana and a lot of people were concerned that bigger stars weren’t taking a stance on the issue. So, what is your opinion of that?
Kanye: Yeah I think that is a very serious issue. You know I need to focus more into it and get on the phone with Mos Def to see what we can actually do, like what major moves, because we not finna let them get tried as adults. You know, I’ve been making statements here and there about it, but I really need to go down there and get busy and get educated about what’s going on. It’s like, we really need to stop this, because it could reach a whole nother level.
Kanye: I think that I have a calling in that type of area. You know as far as like moving people and motivating people and making sure things get done. And this might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back that forces me to really get into that type of thing. You know what I’m saying? To make sure, because I’m going to make sure that I’m going to try to do everything in my power, but everything in my power might not be particularly going down there on this specific date, but making sure before it goes down, that I’m involved.
Angel: That’s cool, that’s cool.
KANYE ON MISCONCEPTIONS
Angel: So what is like the biggest misconception you think people have about you?
Kanye: I think the press always goes for the cliché joke. You know? Like comment about, he’s so arrogant, so even when I do interviews they try to sway it one way or the other. Because I’m going to say, in this conversation I’ve said maybe three things that you could take and make them arrogant and make them like the headline. But then I’ve also said at least three or four things that could be inspirational to people. Like that line right there, could be taken as an arrogant line. It’s all in how people edit what I do. It’s like I always give them too much to play with. That’s why I said, “I will never be picture perfect Beyonce” because Beyonce not gonna give you nothing to take out of context.
Kanye: You know what I’m saying? You not gonna mesh her words. It’s perfect. Imma be on T.V. talking like it’s just you or me and I’ll just deal with whatever backlash I have to deal with from that, cause the truth will come to light at the end of the day. With the press I get, there is no way I should have sold that amount of records, because with the press I get nobody should like me. I think the press has an agenda to try to make people not like me, because they realize what my voice can do. With the situation with MTV, it’s like damn, I kind of feel bad because MTV has helped me a lot.
Kanye: But I think MTV is getting more backlash than I’m getting. It’s more like people are coming to MTV like, “wait a second, even though Kanye was screaming I kind of agree with some of the stuff he was saying.”
Angel: Yep, a lot of people said that.
Kanye: That means that I have a powerful voice and the press is going to try to do everything to try to take away from that. Because at a certain point it can be used to expose too much negativity, you know, too many things that are glitches in the matrix. Or with the situation with this Jena 6, where I could actually make a difference.
Angel: un huh.
Ernie Barnes painting on his ceiling. [Click here to see more photos of his crib]
Kanye: I think that people don’t think that I have a sense of humor. I think that people think I’m not cool to hang out with. I was upset a little bit by the Harper’s Bazaar article because it said I had a 8 ft picture of an Angel that was a painting of myself. Who wants to hang out with a guy that has a 8 ft Angel on his ceiling of himself?
Kanye: That’s like on Dodgeball when that dude had that big painting when he was grabbing the bull.
Angel: oh yeah [laughs]
Kanye: That was a picture of me that Ernie Barnes drew in there and I asked him that because I don’t have any paintings up of myself in my house. I don’t have any plaques up. Like I see one of the Grammy’s here, it’s like in my closet. Like I don’t have all this stuff on display, like look at these different things. I’m more into art. It’s not like, let me remind you how many records I sold. That’s one of the reasons why I was such an underdog with this because with as many raps as I had, I never mentioned to anyone that I sold like 856,000 records on the last one the first week. That’s not my thing, like dropping numbers and saying, “Yo, I got this much money!” So like a lot of the things that confident about me, I’m saying I’m going to make the best video, I’m going to make the best music, or I’m going to do what I’m supposed to do the best I can do it. And it’s taken as, oh he’s over confident. I feel like over confident should be a bad word. You should bleep that word, because there are too many people that’s under confident.
Angel: I feel you.
Kanye & Alexis at fashion week last month (Getty Images)
Angel: So do you have any final words for your fans?
Kanye: I just want to say that if I have something crazy on, please dish it. Because that’s what I love about the blogs, you know what I’m saying? It’s like an instant focus group. And did help me to focus more, because I wonder if Mike and Prince and some of our previous legends, where would they be today if there were blogs? Because it’s a certain time when it’s like, the Emperor wears no clothes. It’s not like everyone around you in a “yes man”, but everyone around you might be in the same mentality that your under like to feel like it’s okay to walk on stage with your shirt that far unbuttoned.
Kanye: You know what I’m saying? Because there was nobody to tell me like yo, maybe you shouldn’t do that. You know at the time I wasn’t with Alexis and I think she would have said, “Oh Hell No!” And as you see evidently we’re back together and it’s put my whole act together. Like when I came out the gate, I was with Lex, you know when I first dropped The College Dropout.
Angel: Oh okay.
Kanye: And that’s like the person that you got and now I’m with her again and I think it’s a real testament to every good man has a great woman by his side.
Angel: Un huh.
Kanye: Because, now I’m with her again and people like me again.
Angel: Can’t hate on that.
Well that was basically it. I asked him to do the drop for the site and thanked him for chatting it up with me.
Big shout out to Gabriel & Don C for setting this up, I appreciate it!
And if you haven’t already, make sure you go out and get a copy of Kanye’s latest release, GRADUATION. In Stores Now!!