Kanye West graces the August cover of GQ. In his first interview since his marriage to Kim Kardashian in May, the rap mogul/devoted father/fashion designer speaks about his new outlook on life, what he’s learned from his wife, and redefining celebrity.
He also opens up about his upcoming album, which he hopes to drop around September, and even shares some of the lyrics from his new single “All Day.”
Kanye admits that Drake is currently the most popular man in rap, but he’s considering taking back his spot. “It’s a real question for me. Do I want to?” he said.
Read highlights from the cover story below.
On Drake: “He got last summer. And I’d never given it up till last summer.”
On how being a father and husband has changed him: “You see I haven’t name-dropped and said a bunch of negative stuff about people.”
On his defensive nature: “I’m not a shark, I’m a blowfish. … People have me pinned as a shark or a predator in some way, and in no way am I that. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone. I want to defend people. I want to help people.”
On his daughter North West: “We’re going to fight to raise the respect level for celebrities so that my daughter can live a more normal life. She didn’t choose to be a celebrity. But she is. So I’m going to fight to make sure she has a better life.”
On redefining celebrity: “I’m here to fight for the re-education of what celebrity is. To say, ‘Yes, we are celebrities, but yes, we’re also innovators, we’re also inventors, we’re also thoughtful.'”
On Beyoncé and Jay Z’s no-show at his wedding: “It doesn’t even matter to me whatsoever, who would show up.”
On “New Slaves”: “The second verse. I argue that it’s the best rap verse of all time. It’s the Coming to America or Anchorman of a verse. You know, it’s got the funny shit. It’s got the antagonization. It’s got patterns. It’s got social and political consciousness. It’s got struggle. It’s got bravado. It’s everything that a rap verse is supposed to be.”
On his new single: “Even lyrically, I think about certain lines that I say on my new single, which is called ‘All Day,’ that usually Jay would say, but Jay’s not on there. So I say, All day, nigga, it’s Ye, nigga. Shopping for the winter, it’s just May, nigga. Ball so hard, man, this shit cray, nigga. You ain’t getting money unless you got eight figures.'”
On the impact of Yeezus: “Yeezus was extremely purposeful. And what came from Yeezus: Paparazzi are nicer to me. The entire fashion industry is nicer to me. I do have a collaboration coming out. Young designers that would go and work at a house now look and say, ‘Wow, maybe we could potentially work at Donda. Maybe we could work for Kanye. Maybe that’s a real thing.'”
On what he’s learned from his wife: “I had to learn from Kim is how to take more of her advice and less of other people’s advice. There’s a lot of Kim K skills that were added. In order to win at life, you need some Kim K skills, period.”
On his new album: “I hope I can get one of these songs out in the next couple of weeks, just to have something up and running. But I think most likely September. I go back and forth. Like, should it be September or should it be October? Should it be November? When Beyoncé was working on her last album, she took a while. I was thinking it could somehow come out in June, like Yeezus, and just kill it for the summer. But then I’m like, I have to work on Adidas and be with my child.”
On the new cool: “Family is super cool. Going home to one girl every night is super cool. Just going home and getting on the floor and playing with your child is super cool. Not wearing a red leather jacket, and just looking like a dad and shit, is like super cool. Having someone that I can call Mom again. That shit is super cool.”
Read the full story and see all the photos from Kanye’s fashion shoot on GQ.com.
Photo credit: Patrick Demarchelier/GQ