10 Things We Learned from Kanye West’s ‘New York Times’ Interview
All eyes are on rapper, producer and fashion designer Kanye West following a lengthy profile published today (June 25) by The New York Times. In a series of candid interviews, nothing was off limits for the father of three as he opened up about his struggle with bipolar disorder, those controversial comments surrounding slavery, as well as the plastic surgeon who operated on his mother Donda West before her death in 2007.
Here are 10 revelations from Yeezy's in-depth interview.
1. Kanye thought his wife Kim Kardashian-West would leave following his controversial "TMZ Live" interview in which he suggested that slavery might have been a choice:
There was a moment where I felt like after TMZ, maybe a week after that, I felt like the energy levels were low, and I called different family members and was asking, you know, ‘Was Kim thinking about leaving me after TMZ?’ So that was a real conversation.
2. Ye stands by his slavery comments, which sparked outrage back in May from die-hard fans and casual listeners alike:
I said the idea of sitting in something for 400 years sounds — sounds — like a choice to me, I never said it’s a choice. I never said slavery itself — like being shackled in chains — was a choice. That’s why I went from slave to 400 years to mental prison to this and that. If you look at the clip you see the way my mind works.
3. Kim Kardashian-West summoned motivational speaker Tony Robbins as an attempt to stage an intervention:
He could look at me and you know, I don’t know why he mentioned suicide, but he could tell that I was very low,. Really medicated, shoulders slumped down, and my confidence was gone, which is a lot of the root of my superpower, because if you truly have self-confidence, no one can say anything to you.
4. The Chicago rapper was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and talked openly about contemplating suicide:
Oh yeah, I’ve thought about killing myself all the time. It’s always a option and [expletive]. Like Louis C.K. said: I flip through the manual. I weigh all the options ... I’m just having this epiphany now, ’cause I didn’t do it, but I did think it all the way through. But if I didn’t think it all the way through, then it’s actually maybe more of a chance of it happening.
5. Kanye faced pressure from the Black community to vote for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign:
Man, I had my [expletive] [expletive] castrated: 'You have to like Hillary. That’s got to be your choice.' The family meaning the world — because you’re black, because you make very sensitive music, because you’re a very sensitive soul, it was like an arranged marriage or something. And I’m like, that’s not who I want to marry. I don’t feel that. I believe that I’m actually a better father because I got my [expletive] voice back, I’m a better artist because I got my voice back. I was living inside of some universe that was created by the mob-thought, and I had lost who I was, so that’s when I was in the sunken place. You look in my eyes right now — you see no sunken place.
6. While Kanye continues to endorse President Donald Trump, he doesn't agree with all of his policies, including the Muslim ban. During a recent sit down with his father in Wyoming, Kanye says he attempted to justify his support for Trump.
He expressed that he felt that some of the policies were hurtful and that I’m a person that does not intend to hurt people, never hurts people with intention. I expressed the example that I have a cousin that’s locked up for doing something bad, and I still love him, so I don’t base my love for a person on if they doing something good or bad.
7. Yeezy and Virgil Abloh, who was recently appointed the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's men's wear collection, are back on good terms again:
You see me and Virgil’s relationship. I don’t know what might have been in your mind, but there might have been some place where you wonder if those dudes still talk like that. And you saw, we do.
8. Despite the controversy, Kanye doesn't fear that the Black community will abandon him:
It’s not going to happen ... Like I said, wouldn’t leave. Like yes, got a bunch of different opinions. You’re not always going to agree, but they’re not going to leave.
9. Drake was behind the hook for "Yikes" from Ye, but he also penned an entire verse that didn't make the final album. Kanye also gave fans some insight as to what his creative process is like:
It’s incredible how we just sit there and just think and rethink and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. We’re not pulling off a magic trick here. We’re like Tesla, we’re not ‘The Prestige.’
10. Ye was written one week before its release. The LP debuted atop the Billboard Hot 200, but the 21-time Grammy winner maintains that he's no longer concerned with being number one:
And it was this thing where it’s like O.K., you’re not the No. 1 rapper, Drake’s the No. 1 rapper, but you’re the No. 1 with shoes, or this or that. And it’s like yo, no more No. 1s. What’s the No. 1 tree over there? Just be one of them. All of them are beautiful. If you cut one of those trees down, what would it be worth? Those look like $400,000 trees, just one of them, and look at how many of them are.
You can read the full interview here.