In the run-up to the release of his sixth solo album (Yeezus, coming June 18), Kanye West granted The New York Times' Jon Caramanica a rare and illuminating one-on-one interview, in which the couture-clad father-to-be touched on a wide variety of topics, including finding true love, the evolution of his music, and what it feels like to be "a frequent lightning rod for controversy" who can count "rankling two presidents among his achievements."
Be sure to read the entire interview. But in the meantime, here, in no particular order, are some of the most endearingly ridiculous things Kanye West told the Grey Lady:
On what he learned after interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards:
It's only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It's only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That's all it is. [New York Times]
On what went through his head after he said George W. Bush doesn't care about black people:
Yeah, it was pretty bugged out. When you think about it, I was wearing like, a Juicy Couture men's polo shirt. We weren't there, like, ready for war. [New York Times]
On knowing he was destined for fame:
I knew when I wrote the line "light-skinned friend look like Michael Jackson" [from the song "Slow Jamz"] I was going to be a big star. At the time, they used to have the Virgin music [stores], and I would go there and just go up the escalator and say to myself, "I'm soaking in these last moments of anonymity." I knew I was going to make it this far; I knew that this was going to happen. [New York Times]
On finding true love:
Any woman that you're in love with or that loves you is going to command a certain amount of, you know, energy. It's actually easier to focus, in some ways.
Yeah, that's what I mean when I say like, "Yo, I'm going to be super Zenned out like, five years from now." I'm the type of rock star that likes to have a girlfriend, you know? I'm the type of soul that likes to be in love and likes to be able to focus. And that inspires me. [New York Times]
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
On what else inspires him:
Architecture — you know, this one Corbusier lamp was like, my greatest inspiration. [New York Times]
On being a bad singer:
I love the fact that I'm bad at [things], you know what I'm saying? I'm forever the 35-year-old 5-year-old. I'm forever the 5-year-old of something. [New York Times]
On how to handle yourself in public:
Maybe 90 percent of the time it looks like I'm not having a good time. [New York Times]
The idea of Kanye and vanity are like, synonymous. But I've put myself in a lot of places where a vain person wouldn't put themselves in. Like what's vanity about wearing a kilt? [New York Times]
On his place in history:
I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means… I've been connected to the most culturally important albums of the past four years, the most influential artists of the past ten years. You have like, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, Nicolas Ghesquière, Anna Wintour, David Stern. [New York Times]
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