In his rare down moments between masterminding an acclaimed album, groundbreaking tour and controversial fashion show, Kanye West somehow found time to opine on everything from the election to Wiz Khalifa’s pants.
I have no interest in working with anyone who is too important or too good or too traditional to take a call at 3am. Jan. 10 • This is not album of the year. This is album of the life Jan. 26 • [Wiz Khalifa] you stole your whole shit from Cudi Jan. 27 • Second, your first single was corny as f— and most there after Jan. 27 • You have distracted from my creative process Jan. 27 • I went to look at your twitter and you were wearing cool pants. I screen grabbed those pants and sent it to my style team #Wizwearscoolpants. Jan. 27 • (8th) I made it so we could wear tight jeans Jan. 27 • (17th) I think you dress cool I wish I was skinny and tall. maybe I couldn’t be skinny and tall but I’ll settle for being the greatest artist of all time as a consolation Jan. 27 • Exes can be mad but just know I never let them play with my ass… I don’t do that… I stay away from that area all together. Jan. 29 • 1000% there will never be a Kylie Puma anything. Feb. 9 • I’m sorry Michael Jordan I love and respect you. Feb. 9 • BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!! Feb. 9 • Please no one text me or ask me for anything till Monday. Feb. 10 • I did not diss Taylor Swift and I’ve never dissed her… Stop trying to demonize real artist Stop trying to compromise art… That’s why music is so fucking watered down right now I miss that DMX feeling… Feb. 12 • I want to be the creative director of Hermes Feb. 12 • NO MORE RULES… MAKE YOUR OWN RULES… Feb. 13 • I will have over 100 Grammys before I die. Feb. 14 • I’m practicing my Grammy Speech. I’m not going to the Grammys unless they promise me the Album of the Year!!! Feb. 14
I am the Jordan and Steph Curry of music, meaning I’m the best of 2 generations. Feb. 14 • Bars are worth more than money because it’s something the people can use everyday to feel inspired. Feb. 14 • All you dudes in San Fran play rap music in your homes but never help the real artists… you’d rather open up one school in Africa Feb. 15 • Yes I am personally rich and I can buy furs and houses for my family but I need access to more money in order to bring more beautiful ideas to the world. Feb. 15 • Pitchfork, the album is a 30 out of 10 Feb. 15 • Puff Daddy is the most important cultural figure in my life. Feb. 15 • To Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, New York Times, and any other white publication. Please do not comment on black music anymore… Don’t tell me Lebron had a bad game. What yo jump shot look like??? Shut the f— up and enjoy the greatness. Feb. 15 • Education puts Americans into debt before they even get a chance to get started… We have to lower the price of textbooks… Feb. 16
My number one enemy has been my ego… there is only one throne and that’s God’s… Feb. 17 • If you are an entrepreneur you may have debt and lawsuits #facts Feb. 23 • I’m tired of old people that have no connection with anything trying to comment on music! Rock and Roll was stolen… Rap was exploited… Feb. 23 • Hi Grammys this is the most important living artist talking. Has anyone at the Grammys ever heard March Madness??? … We the people need to see Future at the Grammys. We need to see Young Thug at the Grammys. Not just me and Jay in a suit. Feb. 24 • I’m not crazy I’m free. Feb. 24 • I’m not even gon lie to you. I love me so much right now. Feb. 24 • The world needs a guy like me… I’m woke! Feb. 24 • I just thought of the craziest idea of all … I’m going to sell winter coats in the winter!!! Feb. 24 • I’m not a rapper. Feb. 24 • Will Ferrell has reached walking living breathing god status! Feb. 27 • I promised Obama Ima do beats on NAS’ next album… March 4 • No more CDs from me. March 7
Please avoid trying to talk me out of being me in the future March 7 • Super inspired by my visit to Ikea today, really amazing company… March 8 • I especially hate suit jackets on women… that was a groundbreaking idea 5 million years ago! March 9 • I believe that Kim is our modern day everything. March 9 • yes I believe in my ripped homeless sweaters!!! I like T-shirts and women in yoga pants… I live in LA that’s what people wear… March 9 • I feel like Rev Run, God MC tweeting positive energy while sitting in the bathroom! March 10 • and yes Run is on my all time top ten list!!! March 10 • What do you mean by @JustinBieber was my favorite song of 2015 March 13 • My tweets are a form of contemporary art March 14 • They can’t kill us all… Everyone has made mistakes. I just make them in public. March 22 • I used the word dislike because I hate the word hate. And I used a period because contrary to popular belief I strongly dislike exclamation points! I used an exclamation just to be an asshole and also to make a point! LOL March 22 • Tribe changed music forever April 5 • I’m really excited to get our first best dressed at the met… This Gala is like the Grammys of style! May 3 • This Tidal Apple beef is f—ing up the music game. I need Tim Cook Jay Z Dez Jimmy Larry me and Drake Scooter on the phone or in a room this week!!! F— all this dick swinging contest. July 30 • If anyone at radio really loves music… Come together and pick your favorite Frank Ocean song and play it at least 10 times a day. This will make the world better. Aug. 23 • McDonalds is my favorite brand Aug. 31 • I got rid of my phone so I can have air to create Sept. 14 • I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues. Dec. 13 • I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change. Dec. 13 • #2024 Dec. 13
Everyone is like Jesus. Kocktails With Khloe, April 18 • I’ve never watched porn with the sound on. Kocktails With Khloe, April 18 • Every time I get in trouble, it’s me jumping in front of a bullet for somebody else! Steve Harvey Morning Show, May 3 • I didn’t read one review of The Life of Pablo. The only review is somebody waking up in the morning and listening to “Ultralight Beam.” Steve Harvey Morning Show, May 3 • You can’t give me an example of as popular of a mixed couple! Steve Harvey Morning Show, May 3 • There’s a lot of people in America that feel like they can now stand up and express their closet racism. Before they had that platform, one really easy way to express it was to say, “F Kanye West.” Steve Harvey Morning Show, May 3 • What’s the point to thinking? Ellen, May 19 • Don’t tell me about being likable… I literally have to be the Michael Jackson of apparel in order to break open the doors of everyone that will come after I’m gone. After I’m dead. After they call me ‘Wacko Kanye.’ (crowd laughter) Isn’t that so funny? Ellen, May 19 • I want people to come to the Pablo shows and know it’s just going to be the best time they’ve had in their life. E! News, Aug. 27 • I am Kanye West, and that feels especially great to say this year… later tonight, ‘Famous’ might lose to Beyoncé, but I can’t be mad. I’m always wishing for Beyoncé to win, so. MTV Video Music Awards, Aug. 28
Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman “Facts,” Jan. 1• I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that bitch famous (Goddamn!) I made that bitch famous “Famous,” Feb. 11 • Name one genius that ain’t crazy “Feedback,” Feb. 14
I miss the old Kanye “I Love Kanye,” Feb. 14 • I hate the new Kanye “I Love Kanye,” Feb. 14 • I always knew them French fries was evil man/Smelling all good and shit/I don’t trust no food that smells that good man Frank Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry zine, Aug. 26
Instagram is the best way to promote some pussy. TMZ, Jan. 2 • This is a gospel album with a whole lot of cursing on it, but it’s still a gospel album. It’s the gospel, according to ’Ye. Big Boy’s Neighborhood, Feb. 4 • Robert Kardashian’s still doing deals for controversial black people from up in heaven. Big Boy’s Neighborhood, Feb. 4. • I want the best for that person [Taylor Swift], but there’s people going through real issues out here. Us Weekly, Feb. 19 • If you like my music, listen to it. If you like her music, listen to it. Us Weekly, Feb. 19 • I’m an arrogant hypocrite? You’re gonna make money on that photo, though, right? to a TMZ photographer, March 5 • I don’t wanna have to be doing “Goldigger” when I’m 50 years old. I wanna be doing it for fun… I know I got rich people problems — that’ s the only problems I wanna have. Big Boy’s Neighborhood, June 3 • Maybe in some alternative universe me and George Bush could have been friends. I could have been his O.J. Simpson-black friend on the golf course. Vanity Fair, June 24 • [I say] a lot of lines other wives would not allow a husband to say. But my wife also puts up photos that other husbands wouldn’t let them put up. One of the keys to happiness in our marriage is we’re allowed to be ourselves. Vanity Fair, June 24 • Matthew Barney is my Jesus. Vanity Fair, June 24
I actually don’t like thinking. I think people think I like to think a lot. And I don’t. I do not like to think at all. Harper’s Bazaar, July 28 • I love sleep; it’s my favorite. Harper’s Bazaar, July 28 • I just love seeing her naked; I love nudity… I think it’s important for Kim to have her figure. To not show it would be like Adele not singing. Harper’s Bazaar, July 28 • We’re numb to the fact that it was seven police shootings in the beginning of July… When I talk about the idea of being president, I’m not saying I have any political views. I don’t have views on politics, I just have a view on humanity, on people, on the truth. Annie Mac interview, July 30 • I have to work with IKEA. Annie Mac interview, July 30 • People call you crazy so much you start to believe it. Annie Mac interview, July 30 • I’m really not here for controversy. Vogue, Sept. 7 • I was just saying the wrong things out loud. I [now] try to start with ‘why.’ Why am I saying this? Vogue, Sept. 7 • I’m the elf that’s Will Ferrell, that’s too big for his hands to make the toys. W interview, Sept. 15 • My definition of success is dropping a Charlie Sheen-level tweet and being like, ‘I am in debt and f— you.’ W interview, Sept. • More people need to know that they’re not f—ing cool. In today’s world, having money has allowed people who are extremely uncool to think that they’re cool. People who really are cool have to literally turn in their cool card to society just to make it past the age of 28. It’s either die at 28 or turn in your cool pass… I will be a part of this because I don’t want to miss out. I don’t wanna be dead when the world starts getting good. Surface magazine, Nov. 20
My dream — I told Anna [Wintour] this backstage — is to be, at least for a couple years, the creative director of Hermés. The Life of Pablo listening event, Feb. 11 • By fifty percent, more influential than any other human being. Don’t f— with me. Recording of Kanye West’s “backstage meltdown” at Saturday Night Live, Feb. 17 • I need you to sign up for Tidal right now. You know why? Because if y’all go to Apple, that don’t make no difference to nobody’s life. 1Oak, Feb. 24 • I’m a millionaire. Clothes is a billionaire’s sport. 1Oak, Feb. 24 • Raise your hands if the Beck album is your shit! I ain’t trying to diss Beck, he’s a nice human being such as Macklemore, he’s a nice human being. But f— outta here! 1Oak, Feb. 24 • Anything I ever did wrong, blame Tip and Phife ’cause y’all raised me memorial service for Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor at the Apollo Theatre in New York, April 6 • I can’t stand short speeches. Webby Awards, May 5 • All I gotta say is, I am so glad my wife has Snapchat. Because now y’all can know the truth. Drake concert, July 28 • That’s why I love you so much. ’Cause as everybody knows, I love me so much. Saint Pablo Tour, Boston, Sept. 3 • I have to be selfish for a second. I needed to hear these songs… I needed to hear me today! Saint Pablo Tour, Washington, D.C., Sept. 11 • I feel so disrespected. Kid Cudi, we two black men in a racist world. I wore skinny jeans first! I got called names before you, bro!… Don’t ever mention my name in a bad manner! None of y’all!… I birthed you! Saint Pablo Tour, Tampa, Sept. 14 15 • Kid Cudi is my brother and I hope he’s doing well. He’s the most influential artist of the past ten years. Saint Pablo Tour, Houston, Sept. 21 • Sometimes when you try new [stuff], you fail. Saint Pablo Tour, Dallas, Sept. 23 • I love making mistakes… They’re gonna play this f—ing back a hundred years from now. After we’re all gone, they’ll remember this night. Saint Pablo Tour, Nashville, Sept. 24
I can’t take this shit, bro. Our kids have never even played together. There will never be a Watch the Throne 2. I wasn’t on the song ’cause of Hov, ’Cause of some TIDAL/Apple bullshit. That shit be getting me tight every time I perform this motherf—er [“N—s in Paris”]. Saint Pablo Tour, Seattle, Oct. 20 • If [Frank Ocean’s] album isn’t nominated … I ain’t showing up to the Grammys. Saint Pablo Tour, Oakland, Oct. 22 • I’m absolutely a f—ing genius… I’m sick of this ‘Ye is crazy’ shit… A crazy person can’t make this floating stage. Saint Pablo Tour, Oakland, Oct. 22 • I told y’all I didn’t vote. But if I voted, I would’ve voted on Trump… who voted for Trump here’s at the show? I know Hillary supporters here may be louder. But my fact is that there are people who voted for Trump here at the show… Celebrities are our influencers now. Just look at our president, he wasn’t in politics and he won. Saint Pablo Tour, Los Angeles, Nov. 18 • A lot of people here tonight felt like they lost. You know why? Because y’all been lied to. Google lied to you. Facebook lied to you. Radio lied to you… I’m on my Trump shit tonight. Radio, f— you. Yeah, I’m taking his lead… Obama couldn’t make America great because he couldn’t be him to be who he was. Black men have been slaves. Obama wasn’t allowed to do this (screams) and still win. He had to be perfect. But being perfect don’t always change shit, bro… Beyoncé, I was hurt because I heard that you said you wouldn’t perform unless you won Video of the Year over me and over “Hotline Bling”… F— looking cool. F— being cool. F— all that, bruh!… This is the way of thinking to make America great again. Ha!… It’s a new world, Hillary Clinton, it’s a new world. Everybody in middle America felt a way and they showed you how they felt. Feelings matter, bro. It’s a new world. It’s a new world, Barack. The Saint Pablo Tour is more relevant than radio and if y’all keep following old models, your ass is going to be Hillary Clinton… I’m not always going to say things the perfect way, the right way. But I’m going to say how I feel… Get ready to have a field day, press. Get ready, get ready. Because the show’s over. (Drops mic.) Saint Pablo Tour, Sacramento, Nov. 19
This article originally appeared in the Dec. 17 issue of Billboard.