The year 2013 was full of both new music and overarching controversy for Kanye West, who released a critically lauded No. 1 album in "Yeezus" but consistently made headlines for his reputation transcending his music, from comments made on talk shows and interviews to his big-budget marriage proposal to Kim Kardashian.
If his talk with Seth Meyers on his brand new "Late Night" show tonight was any indication, West may have mellowed out a bit, but his resolve to accomplish that which he's envisioning for his career is strong as ever.
"I'm in the process of breaking down walls," he told Meyers when the topic turned to his attempts to move beyond just making music -- for instance, getting into fashion. "It'd be great if you owned a fashion company; you could support me!" he admitted when Meyers voiced his support for the ventures the rapper is currently trying to tackle.
West concluded his "Yeezus" tour last weekend, but was more than willing to talk about what's now past -- particularly the mask he donned for much of each performance, calling it a way "to feel like a new artist again," rather than be "judged." He's back in the studio for his next release -- and he touched on how making music changes now that he's a father.
"Artistic, intellectual, kid-friendly songs," West said. "You go to Europe, there's nudity on TV. So it's all in the way you raise and have an understanding and appreciation for what you're looking at and what you're hearing and why you're hearing it.
"If you think about the 'Yeezus' album, cursing was definitely necessary. It'd be like if you talked to Quentin Tarantino [and asked], 'Are you gonna make G-rated movies?' It's Quentin Tarantino."
He also called himself a "punk-forward artist," noting that regardless of whether or not he wanted to be there, it was important for him to appear on shows like Meyers' old "Saturday Night Live" stomping grounds -- "I care about history, I care about people, I care about you guys getting the best product possible."
Elsewhere, the duo talked about an early appearance on "SNL" during which the rapper brought to the table a sketch lampooning his interruption of Taylor Swift at the VMAs, complete with an interruption of an 8-year-old's winning moment at a pumpkin contest. "Life is life," he said. "They will give the best pumpkin to an 8-year-old at any given time and you just have to be ready for these types of things."
Kanye was also the night's musical guest, and rather than showcasing new(er) material, he celebrated 10 years as a mainstream artist with a medley of songs, beginning with "Jesus Walks" from "The College Dropout" and stretching all the way to "Black Skinhead" from "Yeezus," with "Touch the Sky," "Stronger," "Heartless," "All of the Lights" and "Mercy" in between. The set ranged from dark and strobe light-laden, West's silhouette the only thing visible, to a completely lit stage, and back again.
"Late Night with Seth Meyers" debuted early Tuesday morning (Feb. 25), featuring guest spots from Amy Poehler, Vice President Joe Biden and A Great Big World. Meyers, a former cast member on "Saturday Night Live," took over for Jimmy Fallon, who moved on to "The Tonight Show."