Just like his wife Kim Kardashian covered Paper magazine, Kanye West is following in her footsteps. But while she bared it all, literally, Kanye is letting it all hang out in a different way — by opening up his mind and letting all the truths fly out.
Kanye is the cover boy for the mag’s “American Dream” issue, and West had so much to say. It’s really the gift that keeps on giving as he runs the gamut, from poignant to pointless and all points in between. You ready? Here are some of our faves:
— You get back what you put out, and the more positive energy you put out, the more positive energy you’ll get back.
— Information is not only power; it’s simply everything. It can be a scary thing for people to think universally, to think in terms of the world. It’s not traditional.
— I think it’s so important for me, as an artist, to give Drake as much information as I can, A$AP [Rocky], Kendrick [Lamar], Taylor Swift, any of these younger artists as much information as I can to make better music in the future. We should all be trying to make something that’s better.
— 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. F*ck all of this sensationalism. We gave you our lives. We gave you our hearts. We gave you our opinions!
— It’s important to believe and it’s equally important to pay your dues.
— And when you sit down with Riccardo Tisci at the Louvre and he pitches the idea of you wearing a leather kilt, which could be considered by all of your gangbanging friends as some sort of a dress or skirt, at that point you are now a part of the fashion world. You have paid your dues to be an insider.
— 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.
— My goal isn’t to “break through the fashion world;” my goal is to make usable sculpture.
— But behind bravery and courage is the ability to brace for pain, not the idea of never having pain or trying to avoid pain. Bravery and courage is walking into pain and knowing that something better is on the other side.
— It’s just harder for me to do music now, period. It’s easier for people who focus on it all day and who are younger in their concept of what they want to do with it. I am not what I would consider truly a musician. I am an inventor. I am an innovator.
— 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.
— I believe awesome is possible and I believe that beauty is important.
— I believe money is important. I think that artists have been brainwashed to look at money as a bad thing, and it’s not. I think they’re equally important in our current civilization.
— 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.
— This race is up against some interesting things — poverty, war, global warming, classism — and we have to come together to beat this. It’ll only be as a collective that we can beat this, and we can. We can create a better world for ourselves.
— 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*cking 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.