Another day, another set of ridiculous Kanye West quotes.
The rapper, producer and – lest we forget – dabbler in fashion design gave an hour-long interview to New York radio station Power 105.1 FM on Friday morning. In conversation with Breakfast Club show DJs Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy, West covered much: calling himself a modern-day Robin Hood, for example, and musing on race to addressing his Grammys spat with Beck.
Here are the interview’s most contentious moments, rolling in like logs to fuel the outrage of all those who just wish he would stop speaking to the press. Sorry, guys.
The first thing we’re gonna do to stop racism is stop focusing on racism.
In West’s mind, the best way to undo centuries of institutionalised racism in America would be to just pretend it never happened and not address it. According to him, discussing the idea of ethnicity “slows down the conversation”.
I had to take 30 showers before I got with Kim.
West, on ex-girlfriend Amber Rose, in a move that infuriated many who felt West did a bang-up job of slut-shaming Rose. West did backpedal a bit, adding “don’t ask me no more – I just wanna be respectful” while DJ Charlamagne tha God wheezed with laughter.
I hadn’t even heard it, man.
West hadn’t listened to Beck’s Grammy-winning album Morning Phase when he spoke about Beck’s win being “disrespectful to inspiration”. Obviously, this would appear to make his quasi-stage invasion unfounded – what if Beck had made West’s favourite album of 2014 but he just hadn’t heard it? Turns out, when Morning Phase came on while West was dining out with Taylor Swift, he thought: “Man, this is kinda good”. Insert facepalm here.
I think I deserve more.
More Grammys, that is – though he had the grace to laugh. West’s total currently stands at 21.
I’m only a humble servant.
West reiterated this point, saying that “the people” have chosen him to be their champion, and essentially speak on their behalf. I’d like to know when that vote was counted, and why I wasn’t aware of it.
He got in early, I think he was smart.
This one was a real doozy. West commented briefly on 25-year-old rapper Tyga’s relationship with 17-year old Kylie Jenner. Tyga has insisted the relationship isn’t romantic, but that hasn’t stopped people weighing in on the rumours and feeling a bit wobbly at the idea of a man in his mid-twenties courting a teenager. (In California, the age of consent is 18.) Someone get R Kelly on the line to explain his brief marriage, at 27, to a 15-year-old Aaliyah.
I can’t run in front of every bullet.
West spoke about taking his father’s advice and keeping out of the conversation on the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of American police officers last year. For some hip-hop fans, his silence felt like a betrayal – especially given how vocal West had been in 2005 about what he perceived as George W Bush’s poor humanitarian response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
And an honourable mention ...
Truthfully, I’m the most influential person in footwear.
Kanye has designed trainers for Reebok, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Adidas and Bathing Ape. Does that make him more influential than whoever came up with the idea for sandals, 10,000 years ago? You decide.
This article was written by Tshepo Mokoena, for theguardian.com on Friday 20th February 2015 21.40 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010