Kanye West Compares Himself to 12 Years a Slave 's Solomon Northup

Kanye West Compares Himself to 12 Years a Slave 's Solomon Northup

Yeezus likens being stripped of his creativity to feeling "enslaved."

Published November 21, 2013

Weeks after performing on stage with Jesus Christ, Kanye West is now comparing himself to Solomon Northup, the free man sold into slavery whose story is at the center of the acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave.

In an interview with author Brett Easton Ellis on his podcast, West says he feels "enslaved" when others try to take away his creativity. In one of his signature rambling rants, the fashion-forward rapper calls out mega-brands like Nike, Louis Vuitton and even online shoe giant Zappos for failing to recognize his talents and insights. 

“For me, I felt like the main character [Solomon Northup] in what I’m dealing with, even as a mega-popular-rich-celebrity-f***-you-who-do-you-think-you-are-to-complain-about-anything situation that I’m in. Or, in the past, when I’ve dealt with attempting to create in other fields [such as] clothing," he said. "I was sitting in Paris and dealing with all of these companies that I promoted, and...my friends promoted, and the reason literally why they would sell on Barney’s floors, is because me and Jay Z wore it,” he continued.

“It will be something that I sort of discovered maybe four years before...and then you say, 'Hey, I want to be part of the creative conversation and be able to make money off of that,' — and they stop you right there." He continues, “I kind of saw that...as the parallel of the main character in 12 Years A Slave. When it was taken away from me, it felt like as a creative to be enslaved, to have all of these ideas for product, things you were talking about earlier.”

The "New Slaves" rapper, who is set to walk down the aisle with fiancè Kim Kardashian as early as next summer, caps off the interview with a tribute to his own awesomeness. “So me having like a world view of just being super dedicated to awesomeness, and making things better, because particularly in clothing…I can do this parallel,” he says.

Love him, hate him or can't comprehend him, it's hard not to be entertained by Kanye.

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(Photo: AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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