Kanye West GQ Interview 2020

Kanye West GQ Interview 2020

This is what West means when he says he’s creating a new paradigm for human living—the idea is to lead by example. “You get into a position and you become influential, and that becomes more of your goal rather than following your spirit and your anointing,” West says. “So look, I’m not telling anybody who they should vote on, what they should wear, where they should live. I’m doing me. If you just so happen to catch a photograph of me doing me, that’s what I was doing! I’m not doing nobody else in the photograph.”

GQ: I’m going to start recording, cool?

Kanye West:

I think words are one of our lowest forms of communication. Music, sound, food, dancing are nonverbal forms of communication. We get so wrapped up into words. We got to make things that are speechless. We have to make things that leave people speechless. We have to make things to the level where no one can say anything.

Sometimes it seems like you’re never done iterating. How do you know when a project is done? You even kept changing The Life of Pablo after you released it.

Nothing is ever done. That could be the new N.E.R.D. album: Nothing’s Ever Really Done

Me being normal—that’s not even a true statement. You know what normal is to me? An act. I can act normal, and that’s me as Clark Kent. But artists are people who have embraced themselves as a superhero.

People spend one day with me and they’re thinking about their own ideas outside of the box. If people spend years, they should be able to make it to the Super Bowl. To have blind faith is the ultimate confidence. Sometimes it could have felt like it was arrogant. And I think that the arrogance could have come from the fact that I wasn’t working for God, but I was working for my ego, which is like working for the devil.

You’re talking to a person that went to the hospital and back. Now you see the measured nature—being able to let the child take the driver’s seat but still be measured.

When I was not owning up to the maximum of who I could be as a dad and the maximum of who I could be as a husband, that kind of behavior, that kind of mentality, landed me in a place where I needed to be medicated.

I didn’t intend for anything except to speak my mind and express how I felt. I have no intention other than to be free, and I don’t intend to be free—I just simply am.

To get to the Perse home, which feels like it is at the very edge of the earth, you drive to the shore down a long, sandy private road that leads over a series of dunes. The whole house is basically a minimalist open concrete patio under a massive thatched-roof palapa, an open-air infinity dwelling that gives way to an infinity patio that leads to an infinity pool that overlooks an infinity ocean. Pods of whales breach and blow streams of seawater directly in front of the house the entire time we are there. And Kanye has turned it into a multidisciplinary workshop.

Here’s what I mean: A music engineer sits in the open air at a small round table with a laptop and a pair of studio monitors just feet from the infinity pool and yards from the ocean. Meanwhile the architects hunch over laptops and tracing paper at a nearby picnic table. West’s music managers are loitering around, making calls and sending texts, having beats sent to the engineer while also planning West’s upcoming Sunday Service performance during NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago. One of Kanye’s pastors, an intensely chipper white guy named Adam Tyson, sits with a laptop in the sunken concrete rotunda beneath the palapa. All the while, Kanye is moving seamlessly among these various teams and advisers, operating the patio like it comes equipped with Siri: Engineer, play this song. Architects, pull up that rendering. It continues this way until late into the night.

It felt—one conversation is about the end of the world. The next conversation is about the beginning. Really, that’s how it is out here! Two days ago, I sat there in the atelier [in Calabasas] as we all talked about the virus, and just thought: If we were to not be here anymore, all I can think is, What a wonderful life it is. You think about those movies where the world is ending and I just simply thank God for life. Thank God for all these experiences.

It makes me think: Life is a song that’s already been written, that takes your entire life to hear.

But last night, when talking to the press, you said showing the clothes, producing the clothes—it’s all just a creative exercise for you.

Yeah, because who programs us to have certain goals? I like to wake up and exist in a place of ideation every morning. But the way our human nature works, we can increase our productivity when there are checkpoints. Having a fashion show is a step into the goal of the inevitable, which is Armani meets Aman: food, clothing, shelter, space. Showing at an Oscar Niemeyer building gives the apparel some context. But I don’t exist in context. I exist in KAN-text. [laughs]