Top 15 quotes from Kanye West’s New York Times interview

Kanye West New York Times interview

We’re only one week away from the release of Kanye West’s new album Yeezus, and in honor of what I’m sure Kanye would consider the most culturally significant event of the last 100 years, he talked with The New York Times reporter Jon Caramanica for several hours over three days at the Shangri-la Studio in Malibu. In the lengthy interview, Kanye’s famous ego seems only slightly tempered as he reflects on his career, his music, family, Kim Kardashian, and his undeniable awesomeness.

Without worrying too much about context (rarely an issue with Kanye), I’ve compiled a list of my Top 15 quotes from the interview in chronological order:

“You know, if Michael Jordan can scream at the refs, me as Kanye West, as the Michael Jordan of music, can go and say, ‘This is wrong.’”

[On his instinct to speak out on what’s right] Has that instinct led you astray? Like the Taylor Swift interruption at the MTV Video Music Awards, things like that? “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.”

“I’m forever the 35-year-old 5-year-old. I’m forever the 5-year-old of something.”

“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.”

“I’m the type of rock star that likes to have a girlfriend, you know?”

“I’m still, like, slightly a snob, but I completely removed my snob heaven songs; I just removed them altogether.”

“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?

“I don’t believe that it’s luxury to go into a store and not be able to afford something. I believe luxury is to be able to go into a store and be able to afford something.”

“If you don’t make Christmas presents, meaning making something that’s so emotionally connected to people, don’t talk to me.”

“Why do you want to control me? Like, I want the world to be better! All I want is positive! All I want is dopeness! Why would you want to control that?”

“That’s why I said ‘I throw these Maybach keys’ [in the new song ‘New Slaves‘]. I would rather sit in a factory than sit in a Maybach.”

“Yeah, respect my trendsetting abilities. Once that happens, everyone wins. The world wins; fresh kids win; creatives win; the company wins.”

“I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z.”

“I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.”