Will there ever be an artist possessed with more conviction, more passion, or more awareness than Kanye West? Probably not.
Kanye West interviews never cease to amaze us, and despite the notion that Kanye is a serial ranter, we think he’s brilliant. Over the past decade, the “Bound 2” rapper’s devotion to creating timeless music and innovative art hasn’t wavered, and we just can’t get enough of Ye’s fervor regarding the integrity of his art.
Intrigued by how much Kanye has NOT changed, GlobalGrind rounded up Kanye’s 20 best quotes from today’s release of his MTV interview from 12 long years ago.
Explore the mind of Kanye before Graduation, before My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and before Yeezus below.
“People always ask me what’s going to happen when I make more hits. I’ve made plenty other than these on here (points to scroll tattoo on his arm), but what I’m telling you at this point is that I never change.”
“I’m always rapping. I had groups but I was always the weakest rapper out of the people in the group. There would always be like somebody who had “it,” but they just didn’t have the passion for it. Every night I was working…there was nothing that could stop me. I’ve been doing this since…telling my teachers I might not even have to turn in my homework ’cause I’ma be signed this year.”
“I was always rapping. And It’s just so happened that really, really, phenomenal rappers got to rap on my beats before I got a chance to! So that pushed me into the classification as a producer, but I’m a rapper from the heart. I got something to say!”
“I feel like everyone’s rapping because it’s free.”
“I’m just happy to be here, but as an artist I’m not going to waste this opportunity.”
“I remember I got so into hip-hop that I had an afro with no lining, umm, I had a Gap life preserver vest, some Reebok’s with fat laces…I was just tryna be and live hip-hop. But then I figured out like man ‘I’m not getting any girls with this. This is not working for me.’ I would be at hip-hop parties in Chicago and nobody would be dancing with girls.”
“When I was in the 7th grade, I was really into drawing and wanted to design video games.”
“I know there’s more than one side to me. I know at one end when I get a check in I’m like, ‘yo man I finna go and get this chain off layaway from Jacobs right now.’ And I know sometimes I might have some money in my pocket and give a bum $20 dollars instead of $2 dollars.”
“I’m confused as a black man.”
“Getting Green Make You Almost White.”
“I hope I can just…keep creating.”
“I speak the truth. People always say I’m a very truthful person.”
“I’m not using rap to get paid…I’m using rap as an opportunity to really say some stuff that needs to be heard. That people will enjoy. I’m tryna give back. I want Q-Tip to hear my shit and be like ‘dawg I could listen to this album everyday.'”
“We used to do Polo hard man. Shout out to TJ Maxx and Marshalls, y’all saved my life (laughs).”
“A beat is not sold, until the check clears…unless you’re Hov or Scarface. (laughs) There’s always exceptions.”
“There’s a lot of producers I respect like Timbaland and Dre. But on this project right here I’m finna do like 99 percent ’cause I have to prove to myself as a producer, that I could take an artist, being myself, I’d like to congratulate myself. (laughs) That’s one of my favorite quotes: that I’d like to congratulate myself. Allow myself to introduce myself.”
“I’m not pressed to impress an A&R…I’m just tryna do something to give back to my people.”
“I’m not easily influenced. Like when I was in kindergarten, people used to tell stories like all the kindergarteners would be following me around in class, because I’d be the one to say ‘no.'”
“In my heart, there’s so much stuff I want to say the world.”
“I’ma use everything that everybody says that I can’t do and I’ma flip it to the positive. I look at everything as the glass half full.”