(Photo: Paper Magazine, April 2015)
covers this month’s PAPER Magazine
with the cover story “The American Dream.” This is the first time in 2015 that ‘Ye gets to speak his mind in his own words. After being the subject of a profile in T The New York Times Style Magazine
, he opens up about his ventures into fashion, his childhood in China, why he wants to keep teaching the younger generation of artists and much more. If you know Kanye, then there are plenty of quotes to digest, understand and maybe even get inspired by. While you should definitely read the entire thing
, we’ve complied the best quotes from his cover story below.
1. For example, there was an embroiderer at a fashion house who was in her 90s and she refused to give anyone her technique. She said, "When I die, this technique will die also." I think the opposite of that. I think it's so important for me, as an artist, to give Drake as much information as I can, A$AP, Kendrick, Taylor Swift, any of these younger artists as much information as I can to make better music in the future.
2. I paid my dues when I had to wear a kilt in Chicago, and friends would say, "What's your boy got on?" But there are warriors that have killed people in kilts in the past. Who gets to decide what's hard and what's not hard? When I saw this kilt, I liked it. I was into it. It looked fresh to me. I felt creative; I didn't feel limited by some perception.
3. My goal isn't to "break through the fashion world;" my goal is to make usable sculpture. My goal is to paint. My goal is to be as close to a five-year-old, or a four-year-old, or a three-year-old, as possible. If a three-year-old says, "I like the color orange," he's not giving an explanation to an entire world that can give him a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down on whether or not he should like the color orange. I don't care about the thumbs-up or the thumbs-down.
4. Fashion is something that's in my heart to do — in my spirit. There's no world that can stop me from what I love. Not the rap world, not the fashion world, not the real world.
5. I heard this quote from Steve Jobs: someone came up to him when he was working on something and said, "Hey, just do it. It will be easy." And he said, "Wait a second. Anything halfway good is at least medium hard." There's no easy way out. Just choose what you want to focus on. Right now, over 70 percent of my focus is on apparel. I haven't even given my College Dropout of clothing yet. We're still on mixtapes.
6. Graduation was an innovation. 808s & Heartbreak was an innovation. The song "N***as in Paris" was an innovation. "Only One" was an innovation. "FourFiveSeconds" was an innovation. I care about innovating. I don't care about capitalizing off of something that we've seen or heard a thousand times. I'm not a capitalist in that way. I'm an innovator. That's my job.
7. I'm tired of people pinpointing musicians as the Illuminati. That's ridiculous. We don't run anything; we're celebrities. We're the face of brands. We have to compromise what we say in lyrics so we don't lose money on a contract. Madonna is in her 50s and gave everything she had to go up on an award show and get choked by her cape. She's judged for who she adopts. Fuck all of this sensationalism. We gave you our lives. We gave you our hearts. We gave you our opinions!
8. I think the scariest thing about me is the fact that I just believe. I believe awesome is possible and I believe that beauty is important.
9. On "Never Let Me Down" I rapped, "Racism's still alive, they just be concealing it," but for the next generation that's not necessarily true. Racism is something that's taught, but for the new post-Internet, post-iPad kids that have been taught to swipe before they read, it's just not going to affect them as much. They realize that we are one race. We're different colors — my cousins and I are different shapes and we're all from one family. We're all from one family called the human race. It's simple as that.
10. The times that I've looked like a crazy person — when I was screaming at an interviewer or screaming from the stage — all I was screaming was, "Help me to help more! I've given all I've got. I've gone into f**king debt. It's all I've got to give. But if I had a little bit more opportunity, I could give so much more." That's what I was screaming for. Help me to help more.
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