Kanye West Says He’s ‘the Michael Jordan of Music’ in New York Times Interview
Kanye West is known for his strong opinion. In a rare interview with the New York Times, the 36-year-old rapper-producer talks about his career, his upcoming album, 'Yeezus,' and his place in hip-hop.
During the conversation, West explained why he is so tenacious when it comes to demanding that he gets proper accolades for his work.
“You know, if Michael Jordan can scream at the refs, me as Kanye West, as the Michael Jordan of music, can go and say, ‘This is wrong,'" he says.
“'[My Beautiful] Dark [Twisted] Fantasy'” and 'Watch the Throne': neither was nominated for Album of the Year, and I made both of those in one year. I don’t know if this is statistically right, but I’m assuming I have the most Grammys of anyone my age, but I haven’t won one against a white person," he continues. "But the thing is, I don’t care about the Grammys; I just would like for the statistics to be more accurate."
Elsewhere in the interview, Yeezy talks about his previous albums -- like 'College Dropout' and '808s & Heartbreak' -- and his early musical influences. He cites Dead Prez as a major influence of his style as well as the Chicago house scene and Quincy Jones.
West also talked about the next phase in his life -- fatherhood. He was mum on how he and his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, were going to raise their baby in the spotlight, but he vowed to be very protective.
"Well, I just don’t want to talk to America about my family. Like, this is my baby. This isn’t America’s baby," he states.
As for 'Yeezus,' West is especially grateful for veteran producer Rick Rubin's contribution to the project. The G.O.O.D. Music leader says the album has taken him to another musical plateau.
"This album is moments that I haven’t done before, like just my voice and drums," he explains. "What people call a rant -- but put it next to just a drumbeat, and it cuts to the level of, like, Run-DMC or KRS-One."
"There’s no opera sounds on this new album, you know what I mean?" he continues. "It’s just like, super low-bit. I’m still, like, slightly a snob, but I completely removed my snob heaven songs; I just removed them altogether."
Lastly, West attests that he's moving the culture and influencing the world. All he asks for is respect.
"Yeah, respect my trendsetting abilities. Once that happens, everyone wins. The world wins; fresh kids win; creatives win; the company wins," he says.
"I think that’s a responsibility that I have, to push possibilities, to show people: 'This is the level that things could be at,'" he adds. "So when you get something that has the name Kanye West on it, it’s supposed to be pushing the furthest possibilities. I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus."
Kanye West's 'Yeezus' will arrive in stores on June 18.