The New York Times: “Behind Kanye’s Mask”

Kanye West talks candidly in a sit down session with The New York Times

Love him or hate him, we can all agree with one thing about Kanye West – there is no in-between.  The man is arguably the most polarizing figure in pop culture right now and probably has been for the better part of his tenure on the music scene.  So when a personality such as his gives a rare and candid glimpse into the machinations of his mind, the methods to his madness, then one can’t help but pay attention.  For all the bombastic ranting and boorish displays of narcissism, Kanye West still manages to stay true to himself and sticks to the guns he feels are the only weapons to use in killing off what isn’t dope or is negative in his eyes.  If anything at all – beyond the imperfections that we can easily pick at on the surface of Kanye (with some leading to glaring misnomers of his character) – we can always take away a genuine essence with how he operates.  In his latest sit down with The New York Times, we get just that – 100% ‘Ye.  Hit the jump for some excerpts from the provocative interview, along with a link to the full-length version on The New York Times.

One of the things that you’ve thrived on over the years is sort of a self-conception as an outsider, that you’re fighting your way in. Do you still, in this moment, feel like that?

No, I don’t think I feel like that anymore. I feel like I don’t want to be inside anymore. Like, I uninvited myself.

What changed?

I think just more actual self-realization and self-belief. The longer your ‘gevity is, the more confidence you build. 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?

But there’s vanity in fashion. You make clothes, but some people think it’s a vanity project, that you don’t take it seriously.

But the passion is for humanity. The passion is for people. The passion is for the 18-year-old version of myself. The passion is for the kids at my shows. I need to do more. I need to be able to give people more of what they want that currently is behind a glass. 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.

I sat down with a clothing guy that I won’t mention, but hopefully if he reads this article, he knows it’s him and knows that out of respect, I didn’t mention his name: this guy, he questioned me before I left his office:, “If you’ve done this, this, and this, why haven’t you gone further in fashion?” And I say, “I’m learning.” But ultimately, this guy that was talking to me doesn’t make Christmas presents, meaning that nobody was asking for his [stuff] as a Christmas present. If you don’t make Christmas presents, meaning making something that’s so emotionally connected to people, don’t talk to me.

For the rest of the interview, check it out HERE.

Richard "Reach" Guinto

Reach loves the Lakers, breakfast, the sound of a Fender Rhodes, and rapping along word for word to Wu Tang's "Triumph." If you're looking for him, he's probably out getting chicken.

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