Why did you decide to get out of your seat and come up when Beck won album of the year? You know, I felt like just the whole Grammys, right when that happened, everybody was looking at me and then people started screaming, “Kanye! Kanye! Go do it!” Ok, that didn’t really happen, these were voices in my head. So the voices in my head told me go and then I just walked up like halfway up the stage. You know, what I really wanted to do is just joke around about what had happened before, but I just really didn’t want to take away from Beck’s moment or the time he’s having to talk because you know the Grammys, they play music really quick no matter who you are and everything. So I didn’t want anything to take away from his screen time. So I just walked back down because you know, it was kind of a joke like the Grammys themselves.
Some say it was disrespectful to Beck. What would you say if you could say anything to him? Well first of all, Beck is one of the nicest guys and one of the most respected musicians in the game. So, there’s nothing that I will want to do as a fellow musician to disrespect him in any way. And the weird thing is like, and I don’t feel like I have the right to take away from people’s moments, but the reality of it is — and case in point by who came up to me right afterwards — is it’s almost like a chiropractor. You know, you just get a little crook out like, “Wow, this crook has been there!” It’s just a little jolt of truth, right? And then you know, everyone feels better after the fact, or everyone is way more famous after the fact, or everyone sells way more albums after the fact, and then Kanye just goes on being an a**hole to everyone.
Would you collaborate with Taylor Swift? Yeah, she wants to get in the studio and we’re definitely going to go in. Any artist with an amazing point of view, perspective, fan base, I’m down to get in the studio and work. I don’t discriminate, I don’t have an elitism of music because of like how many Grammys or you know, the amount of ratings you get on an album. I that think everyone loves music whether they love hip-hop, alternative, country, and if I could be involved in giving people any type of energy, advice in the studio, whether you’re Beyonce, whether you’re Taylor Swift, whether you’re Jay Z, whether you’re Beck, whoever, and they can be reciprocal with that, I’d like to be involved with that.
Do you think there’s an issue with perception versus intention? Oh yes, definitely, but the road to hell has been paved with good intentions. You know, I’m at a point where it’s ways to do things in a smoother way. And feel like at the Grammys — I don’t know exactly what the press has been [saying] because I don’t keep up with that — but at the Grammys when I did go up onstage and left off, there was a really good vibe about it, and everybody was laughing and smiling.
On his serious post-Grammys rant with E!: Well you know what happened? It’s because I sat there and I kind of let that [smolder] and I was asked my opinion and I was given a platform. And when given a platform, it’s very hard as we know — and I’m going to talk in third person like I’m a crazy person — but it’s very hard for Kanye West to not be very true and vocal to what he feels. You know, it’s like people take the Grammys for granted in a way because of the commercials, because a lot of the musicians are very rich and everything, but this is our Super Bowl. You know, and someone’s got to be mad that [Marshawn Lynch] didn’t get the ball.
On the critics who say his stunt stemmed from racism: I also wanted to stress to people that it’s not a black or white thing at all. It’s not me always standing up for a black artist. I feel that racism is a distraction to humanity. We are one race. We are the human race, period. And I feel that we have to base our new society, the future post-Internet society, off of blocks and bricks of truth. And if the Grammys are capitalizing off the amount of views that Beyoncé gets for them and still not laying that brick of truth and being respectful towards [deserving artists] — because Beck says afterwards, literally, says, “Hey I think Beyoncé should’ve won it.”
On his comment about Beck disrespecting artistry: And when I said that thing about respect artistry, I think it came off the wrong way, and that was a mis-wording on my part because obviously Beck is one the most respected artists and respects artistry. But I felt — and this is my opinion and he’s his own man and he’s not wrong and we’ll still go play basketball and stuff [unless] he doesn’t want to do it — but I felt that even though the Grammys some times gives awards to people who you wouldn’t think should win in the category, as a respect to artists, we mention the other artist’s name in our speech. And that was the point I was making about it. There’s like many of times I gave other people my award, literally made them come up onstage. Maroon 5, when they won best new artist, [Adam Levine] mentioned me because it was the College Dropout and [it had] 10 nominations and all that.
Do you believe Beyoncé didn’t win because she’s so commercial, popular, and successful? I believe she didn’t move and run to the stage because she’s a respectful individual. But because she is so successful, a lot of times, success disables your ability to communicate exactly what the f**k you want to say!
What’s the story of your song “FourFiveSeconds” with Rihanna and Paul McCartney? I had the amazing opportunity to work with Paul McCartney and you know, we just went in a vibed out. As you can see, I might be a little bit more angst than Paul. And remember the last time when Paul had somebody really angst working with them, the type of music they made? Hey everyone, America, I’m not comparing myself to John Lennon, I’m just saying I’m angst a bit like John Lennon. And the [tension creates] a new magic. The pressure creates the diamond from the coal. And he came in with the best vibes ever, and I said, “Four, five, seconds from wildin’,” and he said, “It’s great everyone!” and we just had that. And then Rihanna heard it — I’m executive producing Rihanna’s album — and she heard it, and literally she was not going to be satisfied until she had this record. I didn’t feel like I was projecting [the song]. Excuse me if I compare Rihanna to Annie Lennox, but I feel like she has this type of energy in her vocals. And she even brought it to another level of like soul and heart and artistry — keyword of the week, artistry. I said, ‘”Ok cool, I’ll give you the song.” I gave her the song and the next day I woke up on the Grammys, so I guess it worked out.
About the Adidas 750 Boost Launch: “We’re going to show this presentation but now only are we going to show the presentation to buyers, press, the way they do on fashion shows, we’re gonna show the presentation 10 times over the next 2 days so if you have your family in Brooklyn you cam come and bring your kids and just check it out. But wait a second, not only Brooklyn, we’re going to steam to presentation to 40 locations across the globe: Johannesburg, Melbourne, Sydney, London, Atlanta, Chicago, so say if you you’re in Atlanta and you’re a fresh kid and you wore the Margielas cause you saw me up there at the Yeezus Tour with them, and your girl is fresh and she’s got the Alaia shoes off Ebay cause she saw Kim wearing them at fashion week, and you’re doing your thing and everything, and you find out that Ye has this fashion show that you can go to a theater to see that, you’re gonna go see that! You gonna wanna to feel that energy and I want everybody, this is isn’t about elitism, separatism, this is about as many people being involved with this vision as possible.”
“The shoes come out this Saturday. And I want to apologize to all the kids and all the parents that can’t get the shoes cause there’s only 9.000 and also cause they are $350 and if they are out of anyone’s price range, I just want to make sure that we keep it safe because I’ve heard about people getting hurt for sneakers in the past, and I just want everyone to be safe and be patient cause we will make more Yeezys. Eventually, everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezys. Adidas has promised me that because there’s so many kids that wanted them, but couldn’t get them. And I talked to the heads at Adidas and they said, We can make them. Next season my focus is going to be doing high school uniforms. Like when I was growing up, kids wanted Jordans. Kids got killed for Jordans. Now that I’m in a position, I’m going to make sure everyone gets Yeezys.”