This latest interview with Kanye West in the NYTIMES is great. Though I can already see people picking it apart and putting it through a negative filter.
I am a fan of Kanye, and it would take him stomping on a bag of puppies for me to dislike him. I’ve only heard great things of him from people I know that have worked with him in fashion and music. Media can be a monster.
I met him once, backstage at an Aziz Ansari standup show. I was in a strange circle of celebs wondering what the hell I was doing there and felt a tap on on my shoulder. It was Kanye West, he sticks out his hand and asks how I’m doing. That moment was stranger than the circle of people I was standing in. It just made him seem a lot more human.
I started looking up more creatives work routines after reading this great book, and I wasn’t surprised the things I found about Kanye. Truly inspirational. Respect.
Some of my favorite quotes.
“He gets up every morning [and eats breakfast] with his whole crew. He talks about yesterday and the next day. They plan over breakfast about what they’re going to do and how they’re going to make their music better. Then they go exercise together. Go to the YMCA, play basketball, lift weights. Focus, get the energy up, get the chi up. Then they go to the studio at 4 o’clock. First he’ll do some charity work, write all these kids and do some charity shit. He’s doing a good deed of the day as well, good karma. Then he goes to the studio. And he stays from 4[pm], and when I was there, we left at 4[am]. 12 hours of in the studio work. Then go to bed and do it again the next day…Focused energy. I’ve never seen that from a rapper before.”
RZA on working with Kanye West
“‘Yo ok my 2nd album, Late Registration, after I drop this College Dropout joint, I’m going to do this song “Hey Mama” song that’s going to be the single.’ And I’m like, 2nd album? What are you talking about? [You don’t even have a first album, you don’t even have a deal yet!]” Talib Kweli on early Kanye’s plan for himself
“We used to leave Kanye in the hotel…I’m on Common’s tour…we have to get on the tourbus and leave and he’s sleeping in the hotel. We can’t even wake him up. We had to leave. And he’d fly himself to the next city. He wouldn’t ask. He would wake up, call you ‘My bad, I’ll meet you by soundcheck.’ And just get a plane ticket and make it. Nobody gave Kanye nothing, man. He went and took it.”
“Kanye got the type of arrogance and ego that points out flaws in your shit. If you’re uncomfortable with yourself, you’re going to be mad at Kanye. If you’re not comfortable with the type of person you are, when you see him on his shit, it’s going to make you mad because it makes you feel bad about yourself. Because you wish you could be that passionate about anything in your life, as he is with his music.”
“I got to watch Kanye make some of the last record…he lived it. My man was in the studio everyday…I was just impressed, everybody in the studio has suits on. I’m serious. I thought he had flown in some guys from Europe or something. But all the engineers and everybody were in black suits and white shirts and black ties. He set up a mood and when you walked in there you felt a mood. When you talk to him, he’s living it. And when he does the fashion, he’s immersed in it.”