As an invited guest speaker at Oxford, Kanye West took to the lectern to deliver a lesson in Yeezeology 101 yesterday. Here’s just a little snippet:
"We’ve been sold a concept of joy through advertising, through car advertising, through fashion branding. It’s not the concept of time, time with your family, time with your friends, the little time that we do have on earth and what we do with that. It was somehow sold to us through a Gucci bag or something. Time is the only luxury. It’s the only thing you can’t get back. If you lose your luggage – I’m not gonna say the obvious brand of luggage that I’d normally say because I’ve got a meeting with them soon – if you lose your expensive luggage at the airport, you can get that back. You can’t get the time back."
West also took time to say The Matrix is “like the Bible of the post-information age,” to admit that he was “outshined…beat by a girl, basically” by Nicki Minaj on “Monster,” and so much more.
To get a full sense of the legacy of William Blake, you need to see his paintings alongside his famous poems. The Wordsworth contemporary did much of his best work — including the covers of his own collections — with a brush. At the New York Review of Books blog, Jenny Uglowpays a visit to a new exhibition at Oxford.
Lil B isn’t the only rapper with something to tell these college students a thing or two!
But can we really call Kanye a rapper these days? Read his lecture, in quotes, below.
“I’ll take one question. I wanted to vibe off an idea, and then I can riff off of that…they said I’ve got 20 minutes or so, I might go longer.
“OK, everyone please be completely quiet, because I can literally hear a whisper, and it’ll throw off my stream of consciousness, and when I get my stream of consciousness going that’s when I give the best, illest quotes. Literally, a whisper can throw it off.
“Today was the first time I realised, If I could have done it again I would have gone to the Art Institute over the American Academy of Art, I would have researched where I could have got the best and the strongest education.
“And I’m sure this will end up online, so I don’t want to diss anyone at the American Academy, I’m sure it’s equal to the Art Institute of Chicago by now, but at the time I was going I would look around at the work of the class and not feel inspired by the teachers, and I kinda, the idea of being a fine artist, that’s a really difficult profession to get into, to be respected in, to make money at. Maybe the goal for some of the people was just to work at an advertising agency or at a record label.
“My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater.
“That always sounds so funny to people, comparing yourself to someone in the past that has done so much, and in your life you’re not even allowed to think that you can do as much. That’s a mentality that suppresses humanity.
“Some of you here probably remember the night when the Donda tweets came through me and I started talking about professions that you guys are going into, that seemed they had nothing to do with a rapper. I was talking about a band of thinkers that could remove religion, race, gender, and somehow come together to find solutions for a broken planet.
“We have the resources as a civilization to find a utopia, but we’re led by the most greedy and the least noble.
Masters, undergraduates, visitors; they sat huddled closely together on the backless oak benches, their elbows on the long tables, their eyes shaded with their fingers, or turned intelligently towards the platform where two famous violinists twisted together the fine, strong strands of the Concerto in D Minor. The Hall was very full; Harriet’s gowned shoulder touched her companion’s, and the crescent of his long sleeve lay over her knee. He was wrapt in the motionless austerity with which all genuine musicians listen to genuine music. Harriet was musician enough to respect this aloofness; she knew well enough that the ecstatic rapture on the face of the man opposite meant only that he was hoping to be thought musical, and that the elderly lady over the way, waving her fingers to the beat, was a musical moron. She knew enough, herself, to read the sounds a little with her brains, laboriously unwinding the twined chains of melody link by link. Peter, she felt sure, could hear the whole intricate pattern, every part separately and simultaneously, each independent and equal, separate but inseparable, moving over and under and through, ravishing heart and mind together. She waited till the last movement had ended and the packed hall was relaxing its attention in applause. “Peter—what did you mean when you said that anybody could have the harmony if they would leave us the counterpoint?” “Why,” said he, shaking his head, “that I like my music polyphonic. If you think I meant anything else, you know what I meant.” “Polyphonic music takes a lot of playing. You’ve got to be more than a fiddler. It needs a musician.” “In this case, two fiddlers—both musicians.” “I’m not much of a musician, Peter.” “As they used to say in my youth: ‘All girls should learn a little music—enough to play a simple accompaniment.’ I admit that Bach isn’t a matter of an autocratic virtuoso and a meek accompanist. But do you want to be either? Here’s a gentleman coming to sing a group of ballads. Pray silence for the soloist. But let him be soon over, that we may hear the great striding fugue again.”
—Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night, Chapter XXIII, 1936.
J. S. Bach wrote his Concerto for Two Violins, Strings, and Basso Continuo in D minor (BWV 1043) between 1717 and 1723. “Counterpoint most generally involves very different, independent, and harmonious musical lines.” (x, x)
“I love Steve Jobs, he’s my favourite person, but there’s one thing that disappoints me. When Steve passed he didn’t give the ideas up. That’s kinda selfish. You know that Elon’s like ‘yeah, take these ideas’. Maybe there are companies outside of Apple that could work on them and push humanity forward. Maybe the stock brokers won’t like that, the stock holders wouldn’t like that idea, but ideas are free and you can’t be selfish with them.”
- I have to agree with Jim Dalrymple. Kayne is a complete dumb ass. No question about it!