Kanye West hasn’t been speaking to the press, but he has granted a few rare interviews including The New York Times and W. For its latest cover, the fashion magazine followed the G.O.O.D. Music rapper to Paris while he was recording Yeezus and got to witness his genius—and madness—firsthand. From the inspiration behind “I Am a God” to his next fashion endeavor, here are 10 things we learned about the pop culture phenom.
1. In addition to Pablo Picasso, Steve Jobs, and Michelangelo, he also compares himself to Le Corbusier, the Beatles, Marlon Brando, Tiger Woods, Azzedine AlaÃ¯a, Kate Moss, and even the Soup Nazi.
2. The Weeknd visited him in the studio while he was recording Yeezus in Paris. “A lot of people who hate you are just going to hate you so much more,” says the Candian crooner after hearing one of ‘Ye’s new songs.
3. He wrote “I Am a God” after a major fashion designer informed him that he’d be invited to his show only if he agreed not to attend any other shows. “Cause it’s like, Yo! Nobody can tell me where I can and can’t go. Man, I’m the No. 1 living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix.”
4. He thinks his first womenswear collection, which was panned by critics, was better than his second. “The first collection was way better than the second,” he says. “It was more artful. It was 30 collections in one. It just takes time for me to slow down and think like a normal person.”
5. He is working with a French brand on a new men’s capsule collection of jeans, T-shirts, and hoodies, which will be unveiled in July.
6. Despite the rumors, he doesn’t tell Kim Kardashian what to wear. “Nobody can tell my girl what to do,” he says. “She just needed to be given some platforms of information to work from.”
7. He and Kim’s mother Kris Jenner have a loving, yet joking relationship. After playing her “Awesome,” which he wrote about her daughter, Jenner says, “Great job!” He responds mockingly, “Great job? … Great job, Baccarat, for making a glass that can hold liquid! … Great job, belt loops, for keeping my pants up!”
8. He agreed to appear on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” out of love. “It’s simply that. At a certain point, or always, love is more important than any branding, or any set of cool people, or attempting to impress anyone. Because true love is just the way you feel.”
9. He is still the creative director for the upcoming Jetsons movie.
10. West has tried to suppress his big ego at times. “On one end, I try to scale it back,” he says. “Because I don’t want to close any of the doors needed to create the best product possible. But my ego is my drug. My drug is, ‘I’m better than all you other motherfuckers. Kiss my ass!'”
For the full story, visit W Magazine.