Kanye West goes beyond the Surface.
Covering the magazine’s Art Issue, Yeezy gets deep about everything from Wiz Khalifa to futuristic ideas to his theories surrounding Q&As.
“I’m really bad with answering questions,” he says during the interview. “Usually, I don’t even answer them. I try to find inspiration inside of the question. I think, and I jump from one beam of inspiration or energy to the next, as opposed to explaining the energy.”
Elsewhere in the interview, West compares himself to Dustin Hoffman’s character in the 1988 film Rain Man. “Maybe this will be an eloquent interview,” he says. “It’s a 50/50 chance every time I open my mouth. At the end of the day, words get in the way. Regardless, whether you understand this or that, you know it’s Rain Man sitting here. You just fucking know it’s Rain Man. No matter what Rain Man’s doing, you know, if you take him to that fucking table, he’s going to pick the right cards.”
West’s Surface cover is part of the mag’s December 2016/January 2017 issue. The black-and-white photo shoot was done by Albert Watson and took place before the recent Yeezy controversy.
Today, West’s camp confirmed that the rest of his 2016 “Saint Pablo Tour” would be canceled. Prior to that, the rapper/producer endorsed Donald Trump and called out Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Drake, among others.
Watch the 35-minute interview and see highlights from the conversation below.
On Brands Vs. Companies: “I like the idea of companies more than I like the idea of brands. There’s something about constant self-promotion in a brand. I’m sitting here. It’s me. I’m Kanye West, in Adidas. But the ultimate goal is to be like water, to create in an invisible way, to create something where you can add some kind of information that can help people along their path.”
On Futuristic Ideas: “I don’t want to tell you an idea that’s so 17 years from now that it will get fucking ridiculed for 16 years, so I’m trying to figure out how to word it in a way that people can understand in the now. A simple now [statement] would be: There is currently a lack of people in power who are motivated by the idea of helping people, but thanks to the internet, there are people who would never have made it through a corporate system who are able to jump into positions of power in their twenties. They can collectively work on ideas for the new world. I think I worded that in a 2016 way.”
On Coolness: “More people need to know that they’re not fucking cool. In today’s world, having money has allowed people who are extremely uncool to think that they’re cool and carry it like that. People who really are cool and people who really are artists and have ideas have to literally turn in their cool card to society just to make it past the age of 28. It’s either die at 28 or turn in your cool pass. I would love to be a part of creating a world that allows the artist to think and create at the highest form and be respected for their ability.”
On Talking: “This is turning into a 12-minute freestyle. Which is good. When I talk it’s like a painting.”
On Yeezy Season 4: “I care about people’s time; it wasn’t on purpose. The fact that they can outright Lebron-James-went-to-the-Heat-level burn my jersey after all I’d contributed to art, fashion, and culture just in 2016 alone … They said, “Ye’s a genius. But in fashion, he doesn’t innovate.” Not having a bunch of colors was an innovation! They undermined a color palette that I worked on and studied. There’s a picture I painted in 1995, and it was basically a Pantone chart before I knew what Pantones were. Color is so important, and T-shirts are so important, and colored T-shirts are even more important!”
On Wiz Khalifa: “For some reason, I just wanna say ‘Wiz [Khalifa] wears cool pants’ right now. He really does. He dresses really good.”