Author Topic: the most complete kanye interview ever. his favorite producer is DJ QUIK??  (Read 586 times)

We Fly High

taken from okayplayer..

this was originally published in the new issue of Pound Magazine ( ) but all of the article didn't make it. So here it is, in it's entirely, one of the most thorough Kanye West stories you might read for a while

.......Alright. I mean, I can make my own assumptions, but this is just for the record... how about DJ Quik?
Kanye West: I love DJ Quik, he's the best producer ever... of all time. I definitely look up to him.


It was all a dream. He used to love h.e.r. like a musical fiend. His never-ending passion was the inspiration to succeed. Ever since he was a school boy in grade three, where he got his first thought of being a professional musician, he's been focused, man. Determined to get respected as the next shit or die trying, one young, bright-eyed child of a Black Panther and a nurse, he chose his desired destination early in life, and it never, never, never, never changed. It was 'Ye, every day. With the Sixties and Seventies soul of Black folk always inside his sound, he struggled hard to make it to his current position in the game. He created flavor for the non-believes, and never listened to any light sleeper who couldn't feel his beats, didn't care for his rhymes, or couldn't see his vision. He would break through every obstacle placed in his path on the road to riches and diamond rings by really doing unreal things, because the one now known as Kanye West was destined to Shyne like Jamal Barrow, by any means necessary.

The city of Chicago has given the hip hop nation one of the most innovative beat creators to ever hustle hard and come up, to claim a spot on top of the world. Originally getting introducing to the rap game as a ghost producer for one of Puff Daddy's Hitmen, Kanye was grindin' behind the scenes throughout the 90's, hungry for his first break, and ready for a taste of success, with a side of respect for dessert. Even though many times, it seems like his life story was a freestyle without direction, it was written that he would accomplish his near impossible mission.

As a producer, he saw beyond the production perspective of a regular hip hop head. Kanye West has compared himself to Stevie Wonder, Bobby Womack and Prince, to explain why he is a master of ceremony as well as a orchestrating composer. He feels he's no different than these legendary musicians, and can't stop, won't stop rockin to the rhythm until people don't think twice about saying his name in the same breath as such historically esteemed virtuosos. His music encompasses an ever-widening spectrum of instrumentation, incorporating almost every form of popular Black music in the last five decades. Rock guitars, harpsichords, hand drums, strings, and grand pianos all make appearances in Kanye West music. A close friend, Chicago native No I.D., best known as the co-creator of the classic Common Sense album 'Resurrection', advised him what to sample, and how to do it, probably not knowing how far Kanye would take the idea of looping up the emotional old-school records of his parent's generation. Call him the Soul Survivor, as he has ushered in a whole new wave of copycat style biters, who all have their imitation helium-pitched singers crying the hooks to melodic, organically bold, beats. In modern day hip hop, the popular sound is often imitated, but never perfectly duplicated. There is only one Kanyeyo, and the world wants the best high it can get, which comes from pure, uncut sonic love. So with the guidance of the few business partners that were willing to sacrifice anything to manifest the potential of this Chi-town underdog, long-time friends John Monopoly, G Roberson, and Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua, among a few others, made the connections that Kanye needed to stop making songs, and start making history. He can now maximize his music industry domination, enjoying Rocafella Records credibility so he can be heard in the streets of Anyhood, U.S.A., and Everyghetto, Canada, while also capturing underground attention and respect by doing inspiring guest appearances with Talib Kweli, Common and Mos Def. Jamie Foxx, Mira Ben-Ari, and The Harlem Boys Choir are also there to emphasize that Kanye West can do anything he sets his mind to, and make it sound incredible. This guy called West is bringing nothing but a vibe called fresh, like the 2004 version of A Tribe Called Quest. From '04 'til infinity.

As an MC, Kanye is the living personification of both extremes of the typical modern hip hop identity. "The first with a Benz and a backpack", he is the heartbeat of balance in hip hop culture, and someone like him couldn't have come along at a more perfect moment. With the 'Ice Age' slowly evolving into the 'who's nice?' age, and popular, accessible MCs going independent due to the politricks of modern major label business, Kanye is truly music for the masses. Bringing our culture full circle, Kanye West is the best of both worlds without coppin' pleas for assaulting bootleggers, or the pedophilia accusations. Back in the day, a hip hop head would not be looked upon as a schizophrenic faker if they had both Public Enemy 'It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back' and N.W.A. 'Straight Outta Compton', beside their Leaders of the New School's 'Future Without A Past' and Geto Boys self-titled classic. Kanye is bringing those days back to us. He expresses his poignant political perspective without being preachy, on top of being a Christian, none the less. He also has no problem admitting his affinity for the finer material things in life. At the end of the day, differences don't matter. Have you heard 'Jesus Walks'? The Devil himself is dancing to it, because it feels so good like a Pastor Mason Betha hit for Puff Daddy. Chuuch!

Jay-Z's notorious ear for breathtaking beats can extend its reputation, as he was one of the first capitalize on the style that Kanye was concocting. Recruiting the ambitious beatsmith for 'This Can't Be Life' on The Dynasty album in 2000, Hovito never second guessed the sound. When Kanye's beat disc was played, it was said that Jay-Z "made that face"; you know, the one you make when you hear truly ill beats. So it was on. And not long after that, Kanye was chosen to build the foundation for one of hip hop's most destructive battle tracks, the nuclear bomb called 'Takeover', where Jay-Z told you to ask how much Nas don't want it with Hove. The accompanying Michael Jackson-approved 2001 summer anthem 'H to the Izzo (H.O.V.A.)' skyrocketed Kanye to the top of the pops, and his status was platinum-ified. He did more great work with Jay-Z, producing the heart-touching '(Aint No Love) Heart of the City', and the angelic 'Never Change', on the critically-acclaimed, era-defining 'Blueprint' LP. Meanwhile, the people still didn't know that Kanye West has something important to say. So, with his witty sense of humor and wordplay, his stories of various sexual escapades, and his gentle way of addressing depressingly serious issues decaying the core of the Black community and society in general, he was practicing how to spit something worthy on his highly-demanded exotic soundscapes. Kanye really wanted some quality time on the mic, to express himself like Dr. Dre. The powerful music he brings to the table was no longer his main priority. His desire to capture the crown of the best producer on the mic became evident. And the barbershop arguments commenced, like RZA, Diamond D, Havoc, El-P and Lauryn Hill suddenly became less comfortable in their cherished positions.

But the future almost never happened. Not long after signing to Rocafella Records, he was recording his debut solo album 'College Dropout' in Los Angeles. But late one night, in October 2002, on the way to his hotel from the after-hours studio session, Kanye West was driving his Lexus, and was involved in a near-fatal car accident. Thank God he ain't too cool for the safebelt. 2 inches closer to the steering wheel, and hip hop would have another Biggie Smalls tragedy on its hands; a great artist martyred before the prime of their life. Among sustaining other injuries, he fractured his jaw in three places, requiring doctors to wire it back together, so he could continue his newborn dream career as a producing MC for the Roc. He says he still gets flashbacks of the accident, and actually needed to have it re-broken so it would heal properly. Reports of Kanye being sued by the other driver have surfaced, but there have been no arrests. The other driver claimed Kanye "fell asleep while driving, and was driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs." No criminal charges have been filed by the Beverly Hill Police Department.

Strangely, the life of Kanye West has many parallels to the life of 50 Cent, the once-hated rap/crack hustler that is now America's favorite thug life soldier. For both of them, gaining respect has been a long time coming, they both have had near death experiences, they both know the dream-shattering feeling of A&R's supposedly with their 'ear to the street' and major label executives dissing and dismissing them, and they both share a rare determination to not fail, no matter how insurmountable the odds seem. At a certain point in their transformation into superstars, they also both shared the title as a risky gamble for the label that did choose to invest in the artist, like Shady/Aftermath with 50 Cent, but now it looks like Rocafella Records hit the jackpot, making everything chingy. They are about to be fortunate, with fate favoring the bold, proving that it pays to keep disturbing the peace, even when making your dreams come true seems ludicrous. Stand up!

After repeated delays in promoting his debut album, and struggling with even getting his faithful followers to believe in him more, Kanye West got John Monopoly's hustle to help him self-executive produce his first video. What about the industry's big-budget 3-minute music commercial foundation? They shook it with a Polaroid-picture theme, for the Chaka Khan-inspired classic 'Through the Wire'. Shamelessly bootlegged on the internet months before the official release date, and still delayed by the ever-shifting ambitions of Dame Dash and the star-studded Rocafella roster, you could get a full copy of the original 'College Dropout' long before February 10th. 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly' featuring Consequence, 'Keep the Receipt' with the clean and sober Dirt McGirt (aka the M.I.A. O.D.B.), 'My Way', and 'Home' all were removed from the first official version, and Kanye had decided to re-record some songs for his first album. But this tactic seems to have worked to their advantage, as the intense anticipation for this album is possibly the most that will happen for any debut hip hop artist in 2004. If the explosion doesn't manifest with his solo album, at least his numerous high-profile productions for scores of major label hip hop and R&B singer will officially certify this day and age The Kanye West Era.

As far as 'College Dropout' itself? Is it the best debut album of 2004? Time will tell us. Interestingly, it's been said 'Kanye raps because he wants to, not because he needs to', and to an extent, there is truth in that. Lyrically, he is a diamond in the rough, where glimpses of genius extend from the personality of a refreshingly original MC. This album may eventually be seen like an 'Illmatic': a brilliant debut of an artist taking their first steps onto the road of greatness, and taking us to unimaginable places with a song, each time they move music forward. And with the first level of his vision finally realized, one can only wonder if he is going to stick to the script (he has already titled his next three albums 'Late Registration', 'Graduation' and 'Good Ass Job'), or travel off the path in a few years, when he has had new experiences in the music business. Kanye West has already stated he wants Ghostface Killah, Jadakiss, Beanie Sigel, and Cam'ron to rhyme on 'Late Registration', and he already says he wants to release next March. The landscape of his label may be very different then, because right now, it is a pivotal moment in Def Jam/Rocafella history. As Jay-Z gracefully bows out of the rapping game to enjoy an executive's "retirement" of watching his Brooklyn-bound NBA team courtside with his 'wifey' Beyonce Knowles, Damon Dash needs more bonafied stars to keep the reputation of the Roc solid. Jay-Z is supposed to come back only to rhyme on the albums of the artists signed to his rumored new S. Carter imprint. The Jiggaman plays with our emotions yet again, on College Dropout's 'Never Let You Down', where he cryptically shares: "Number One albums, what, I got, like four of them?/ more of them on the way, the 8th Wonder on the way". Shawn Corey, holla back!)

Well, the answer to another mysterious hip hop secret is out. Yes, Kanye West did shape the sound of 'Poppa Was A Player' by Nasty Nas. But will Nas work with Kanye again, now that 'Ye's sound has blossomed into something both chart friendly and ghetto respected? A hip hop head can only pray. We already know about many of the classics he has made for Jay-Z, and he has programmed production for Cam'ron, but the fact that he has also produced for Benzino's Made Men and Eminem's group D-12, plus for groups as conceptually far apart as Dilated Peoples and Trina, he shows that he really is the bridge between distant worlds. Maybe we aren't headed for self-destruction, maybe we can all just get along. Not long after Kanye first brought 'The Truth' out of Beanie Sigel, he began his reign as the producer-du-jour, shaping speedy soultronics for Freeway, DMX, Mystic, T.I., Scarface, Talib Kweli, Knocturnal, Memph Bleek, Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, and more. Making music for everybody from to Fabolous to Britney Spears, he's starting to parallel the Neptunes unprecedented domination of the charts over the past few years. It could be 'The Chronic' era Dr. Dre all over again.

With a 'College Dropout' short-movie planned in the tradition of 'Streets Is Watching', this 26 year old hip hop junkie seems destined to be immortalized as one of the greatest hip hop producers to ever make us move. From back when people would still call him Kayne (mis-pronounced 'Cain') West, and people were unsure if he was able to make it, this child of Chicago lived the message he put into Talib Kweli's historic meeting of the minds on the 'Get By' remix. Kanye said "don't let nobody with the power to sign/ EVER tell you you aint got the power to rhyme", with a conviction that resonates deep inside the soul of every rejected hip hop visionary. Elsewhere, he admits "some say he arrogant, can you all blame him?/ it was straight embarrasing how y'all played him... now, I could let these dream killers kill my self esteem/ or use my arrogance as steam to power my dreams..." If you can't respect that, you're whole perspective is wack. Maybe you'll love him when he fades from rap, like he almost did with his first group, the Go-Getters. His brave heart is radiant enough to demand an 'Encore' though, without making a deal with 'Lucifer' (which was originally going to be used on 'College Dropout'). But in his words "if music get you choked up, this is the three and the rope", so come hang around the campus of Kanye's mind. (By the way, even though Kanye West says he's a user of, he's NOT on Friendster. That one isn't real, like a Saul Williams recording with Kanye. Know the ledge.)

Our interview was conducted under difficult circumstances, and occasionally Kanye's phone lost the words of the story he was trying to tell. Regardless, these are the words and emotions of Kanye West himself, his childhood friend GLC (a member of Kanye's first group, The Go-Getters, also signed to KonMan Entertainment), new school collaborator Consequence (yes, of A Tribe Called Quest fame), and one of the first business executives to see the vision in Kanye's head, G Roberson and Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua, of Hip Hop Since 1978 Records (a partners). There were moments of incredible insight, brutal honesty, irritating miscommunication, and personal revelation, with everybody. Without a college diploma, he has secured his position on the Honor Roll for the Class of '04. and deserves a standing ovation as the Valedictorian of the new school. Kanye West, the world is yours.

Let me get into this shit. Is this the era of hip hop you wanted to make your history in? Or would you rather have come out in say, 1988?
Kanye West: I would have rather come out now. Cause I wasn't that good in 1988.

What were you doing back then?
Kanye West: Going to school... I was just a kid.

Do you live by the '48 Laws of Power'? I heard Beanie Sigel talk about it, you talk about it a bit...
Kanye West: Naw, I don't live by that at all. I just said a rap line... *phone cuts off quote from song* ... and no. You can't live by that and believe in God.

Word. So are you a traditional Christian?
Kanye West: Yup. But I'm also a human being.

Do you want to produce for Nas? You did a joint for AZ...
Kanye West: No, I never did a joint for AZ, but I did joints for Nas back in the day... Nas is one of my favorite rappers of all time. I used to idolize him like, back in 96, when he came out with his second album. Him and Ghostface, those are my two favorites, just as far as on the gear side. I basically copied my whole dress style from them two niggas, yeah.

Yeah, ha ha. Well, how about RZA? Would you make beats for him?
Kanye West: Yeah, what about him?

Would you produce him, along with Ghostface and them kinda cats?
Kanye West: I definitely want to do some stuff with Ghostface.

Shit, that would be ill.
Kanye West: RZA makes his own beats.
True, but the way you've given RZA props with the soul-sample style, I think it would be ill, you and him together, but we'll see...
Kanye West: Yeah.

What about A Tribe Called Quest? Would you produce for their up coming album? You've said you wanted to make a 2004 'Midnight Marauders', and they are reunited, so could people possibly expect to see that?
Kanye West: I would definitely do some stuff with Tribe, if they asked me to get on the album.

Word. So you know you just got Rhyme of the Year in the Source?
Kanye West: Oh word? Hell yeah, I know that... you know I know that.
How does it feel (to get that award)?
Kanye West: Yeah, I read magazines, especially if I'm in it. But, think about it, you think that The Source came out, and nobody, not my manager, told me that I got rhyme of the year? I want you to put in the interview cause that would be funny to people.

*phone cuts in and out, we have miscommunication for a few moments*
Hello? So, doing the 'Get By' Remix, was that your idea or Talib Kweli's?
Kanye West: It was Kweli's idea.
Man, personally, I thought that was your hottest verse man, it touched my soul.
Kanye West: Oh, thank you so much man... I'm mad they took me off of it.
Kanye West: Don't you remember? I wasn't on the official one.
Aw man, that's Rawkus.
Kanye West: I hate Rawkus. There's no more Rawkus.

Word, thank God, right?
Kanye West: They are really stupid.
They fucked up too much shit... they were holding back Pharaohe's next album, the Kool G Rap thing...

Kanye West: They just wouldn't let people be who they were. How are you going to be hip hop, and shoot for radio? You can't shoot for radio. I don't try and make radio joints.

Yeah... how do you feel about that? Your shit isn't traditional radio music, but it's starting to penetrate. Are you happy that your style is getting in? Or would you change your style a bit?
Kanye West: Why would I change my style? I love my style. My style is good across the board.

Of course, of course, I'm personally happy, but I'm wondering if you would...
Kanye West: What do you mean, change my style to be more radio or less radio?

Less. You probably can't do much more. Alicia Keys is working, Ludacris is at the top of the charts, so I mean you don't have to change, but are you going to get even more daring?
Kanye West: But isn't that a straight underground record, though? That Alicia Keys? Doesn't that sound like a grimy beat? Doesn't that sound like a Ghostface Killah beat?

Yeah, that's mad unorthodox.
Kanye West: So, how could you say... you want me to change my style so it would be less radio, since underground is playing on the radio, you want me to make my shit straight... un-tangible for the pop listener?

No, I'm just wondering...
Kanye West: Yo man, what are you doing?!
I'm just wondering how far you want to take cats, though...

Kanye West: I'm going to the fullest.. have you heard 'Jesus Walks' on the radio?
No, not yet.

Kanye West: Well, it's on the radio. It's got over a hundred spins.
Word man? That's beautiful. So, is '2 Words' (with Mos Def and Freeway) the next video?
Kanye West: The 'All Falls Down' will probably be finished before '2 Words'. '2 Words' will be finished at the end of February.

I heard that shit over when you were in England on the Tim Westwood show. That new version is nice.
Kanye West: Oh, thanks.
It's beautiful. She sounds close to Lauryn Hill, but what happened? How come it didn't it work out?
Kanye West: Lauryn just never said yeah, and I had to turn the album in. She never said no, she just never said yeah. She didn't say yeah in enough time for me to turn my album in.

Damn. Well, did it piss you off to take off 'Good, Bad and Ugly', and 'Home', and 'Keep the Receipt', and the other songs from 'College Dropout'? You almost got the 50 Cent download treatment. You got like, a million downloads before your release date. Does it make you mad?
Kanye West: Naw, we're happy. We're going to have a platinum bootleg party. 'Home' is the first single for the next album.

Oh, word? For 'Late Registration'?
Kanye West: Mm-hmm.

Say word. I was just bumping that. That's good news, because that song is too good to not make official.
Kanye West: Right? People throw it out like that song is old, but look how old 'Through the Wire' is.

You have a timeless quality in your production, people still feel it...
Kanye West: Word.

So do you want to do any business ventures? Do you want to have a clothing line or anything? The new level of hip hop? Do you want to be an entrepreneur?
Kanye West: Mm-hmm. I said, 'so, stop fuckin' with that loser/ and get with the shit that got his own business, the entrepreneur'.

So what do you want to do first?
Kanye West: Whatever comes. I'll take it as it comes.
Maybe you should put out some Kanye West beat machines.
Kanye West: Oh word. Maybe I should do that.

Yeah, Kanye West by Roland... Kanye's AKAI's... ha ha. So, does it piss you off about the Roc breaking up, and the beef between Jay and Dame? Does it affect you? Or is it all just rumors?
Kanye West: It's definitely all just rumors. I don't let anything piss me off, for the most part... except for these magazines giving me sub-par reviews.
What? What's going on with that?
Kanye West: You know, a magazine will be like... it will give me a B-plus on my album, and really jock it. It's like don't give me a B-plus because you are scared. Everybody's so scared. They are just as scared as the A & R's that didn't sign me. They are scared to give me a review... and co-sign something that's brand new, that's something else.

Word. Yeah, so how's the Common album coming? That's highly anticipated, too. ("How could I ever let your words affect me?/ they say hip hop is dead, I'm here to Resurrect me" from 'Get Em High', on 'College Dropout' where Common comes to his old senses and breaks the so-called Spell of Baduizm.)
Kanye West: It's crazy. It's the most important thing I'm working on this year, to me.

For real. So you and him and Twista are bringing some kind of Chicago renaissance.
Kanye West: Hell yeah!
Yeah man, were you feeling 'Electric Circus'?
Kanye West: It aiight.

Alright, but you want to give Common the Kanye vibe?
Kanye West: Yeah, that's what I'm going to do!... You're a true fan of the music, you know what I'm about to do. You're a real hip hop nigga, so you know, you aren't like all these fake ass journalists that don't know nothing about me.

Thanks man. I'm an MC too, and I do this because I don't like how MCs are often portrayed in the media.
Kanye West: Man, they change our words. I said a line, I said: "journalists change my words, that don't mean that they ain't bright/ it just means my words are too colorful for black and white."

Say word. So do you think people are starting to respect you as an MC, like on the level of Jay and Nas, where you want to be?
Kanye West: I don't know if they are now, but I know that I'm on that level.

So how is your song writing process? Do you sit down with a pen, or are you off the dome like Jay...
Kanye West: Off the dome. I haven't written anything down in years.
You're a penless writer?
Kanye West: Mm-hmm.

So are you always going to be 50-50, beats and rhymes? Or do you want to move into other things after you do your solos? Is it always going to be 50-50 beats and rhymes?
Kanye West: It's not 50-50 beats and rhymes at all. It might be 10 percent beats, 10 percent rhymes, 10 percent videos, 10 percent marketing, 10 percent fashion, 10 percent artist, 10 percent public speaker, 10 percent historian,10 percent renaissance man... there are so many more layers.

Well, you seem to have that love for hip hop culture that very few A-list people have had, so please, just keep doing it. People will follow your lead.
Kanye West: What did you say, your phone keeps breaking up.
I'm saying that's good to hear. People will follow your lead if you bring about that awareness.
Kanye West: It's not specifically that I'm trying to bring it back, but I'm just trying to be myself, and that's who is myself.

Alright. So, can I ask you how you feel about a couple producers?
Kanye West: Yeah.
So how do you feel about Pete Rock?
Kanye West: Who?
Pete Rock.
Kanye West: You know how I feel about Pete Rock! He's one of my idols!

Alright. I mean, I can make my own assumptions, but this is just for the record... how about DJ Quik?
Kanye West: I love DJ Quik, he's the best producer ever... of all time. I definitely look up to him. Hold on.

*leaves for 20 seconds* *returns*
Kanye West: Hello?
Man, every day is busy, isn't it?
Kanye West: Man, it's CRAAAZY. It's so busy. Hold on a second.

*leaves for 10 seconds* *returns*

So, is it hard to be humble these days?
Kanye West: Um... it's easier and easier. The more and more I get, the less and less I have to rave about it. I only talk about shit when somebody doesn't believe something. I might tell them something like I'm going to do this. There's so many doubters, I have to start raving about it, try to make them believe it before the fact. But the proof is in the pudding. So... we done made a lot of pudding this year!

Ha ha, no doubt! So do you have a bunch of beats just sitting back there?
Kanye West: I got over a hundred not-sold beats right now.

Damn man, hold back, the charts ain't ready! You're going to own the whole shit in a minute.
Kanye West: Man, I hope so. How do you feel about... I feel like... the main thing that I bring to the game... people have been dope before, there's been a lot of really dope producers, but not until now has there been somebody... well, naw, Neptunes... Timbaland also, but I'm talking about straight underground beats being #1 records. That Alicia Keys is a straight underground beat! No hi-hat, you know what I mean?

You're bringing a whole new wave of production to the game. The game needed this shot in the arm for years. I mean, Chad and Pharrell are mad ill, I love the sound of the Neptunes, but you got another dimension to your stuff that they don't have... you have this historic...

Kanye West: Don't do any comparisons, cause that is my favorite producer.

I mean no disrespect, but you have this texture that nobody else has right now. Everybody knows when a Kanye West beat when it drops.
Kanye West: Yeah.

You got Jay and Saul Williams in the studio at the same time...
Kanye West: No! I NEVER worked with Saul Williams, that's J. Ivy from Chicago!
The old version had Saul Williams on it, what's up with that?
Kanye West: No, it is NOT Saul Williams, it's J. Ivy from Chicago! I'm tired of everybody taking J. Ivy's credit!
Oh word. Did you switch the cats, though?
Kanye West: Yo! When did I ever say I had Saul Williams?!
The old bootleg version that is out, it sounds like Saul Williams on it...
Kanye West: That's J. Ivy, from Chicago, for the third time.
(and in the Internet age of improper track listings, the first downloadable release of 'College Dropout' obviously had been titled wrong, and J. Ivy has been confused with Saul Williams. Similarities in the voice? Sucka, check the words.)

Word, okay man, I feel you. I just wanted to hear it clearly.
Kanye West: You didn't hear me the first time, though.
I just wanted to hear it clearly so I write it perfectly. J. Ivy, right?
Kanye West: I-V-Y. I'm tired of people saying it's Saul Williams. It's NOT Saul Williams.
So, there's only ONE version of that song, and it's always been J. Ivy?
Kanye West: Mm-hmm.
Okay. Word man, thanks for letting people know.

Wow. So you got that cat, you got Mos Def and Freeway in the studio at the same time, that's mad ill... these are just your ideas to bring different kind of cats together?
Kanye West: Yeah, definitely.

You got any more crazy surprises you are going to bring together?
Kanye West: Yeah, but they are surprises, so I can't tell you! Ha ha!

Well, keep it coming! That Harlem's Boys Choir, them vibes is just what hip hop needs. Creative surprises.
Kanye West: Yeah, I always try to... I got something that I'm working on right now that is going to be ILLLLL, when I finally finish up with it...

He wouldn't say so, but do you think Jay-Z kind of subliminally admitting that Common is better, if he's talking about 'he dumbed down for his audience to double his dollars', but then he says he wants to rhyme like Common Sense?
Kanye West: He's saying that if he wanted to, he could rhyme like Common Sense, but he decided to rap like how he rap.
Word. But I mean...
Kanye West: That's what he's saying! Next question!

Kanye West: Naw think about it, we already gone past our 15 minutes, but you're asking me questions three times. You might as well take my answer and go to another question. Cause that's one of my main pet peeves, is when someone tries ask me a question and change what my answer is. I'm very clear on what my answers are. But I'm not mad at you, I've been doing interviews all day, and I just don't like answering questions three times...

Sorry man, it's also cause the phones are fuzzy and I can't hear you that good. So, did you work with D-12 and Eminem? How was that?
Kanye West: They were really cool guys. I like Bizarre a lot.

How do you feel about this whole Eminem/Source racism issue?
Kanye West: I feel like... um... when I heard that Eminem had said the word 'niggas' and all that, I just feel like I got more respect for him as an MC at that point too. I said a whole bunch of racist shit when I was a little kid. I mean, think about it, he was a little kid growing up in Detroit. He's not a racist man by heart, but a lot of times you do shit due to influence. I'm not a gangbanger, but I've thrown up gang signs cause of who I was around. You know what I'm sayin'?
I'm sorry man, the phone cut out. Did you say you lost respect for him?
Kanye West: I said I gained respect. Cause now he's going to have to fight this battle... yeah... life is 1% what happens, and 99% how you react to it.

For real. Did you hear him talk about it or anything on his new shit when were building with him? Did you have a conversation about that?
Kanye West: Naw, this wasn't out at the time. And it's not anything I would have brought up anyways. I'm not close enough to him to bring that up. But I'll tell you like this, they try to pinpoint him and bring him down because he said the word 'nigga' or 'bitch' like, back when he was a little fuckin' kid. You know how much stuff I said when I was a kid? Talkin' about fat girls and stuff? Making them cry? And I wish I could go back and apologize for the stupid shit? I was a little kid! So Eminem was a little kid, they want to try and bring him down because of that... mostly for the fact of all the money he made Black people. Fuck how many white people that he's made rich. There's not one white person in Detroit, he helped all those people out. They might not have a deal if it wasn't for Eminem! And don't try to cut off my words and just print that part.

I'm going to put in every single word that I clearly hear. I hope we don't get edited.
*to someone else* You see that? *returns to interview* They are showing me my Rocawear ad at XXL.
Kanye West: so Obviously, Eminem is not a racist guy. (Look at) his actions. You can't pigeonhole someone for something they did as a little kid. Like, are you serious? I can't even believe they tried to make something out of that. Fall back. That was so terrible, man. That was one of the worst things that somebody could have done in hip hop. And this whole section about Eminem, if this is the headline... then forget about it, I'll never do anything again. This can be a part of the story, but if you use 'Kanye said such and such about Eminem' to get the headlines, then I'm not going to like it.

Naw, dog. I just want to get people to respect you.
Kanye West: Thank you so much, dog. I'm really sayin that man, cause.... you know how they do.

So what was it like growing up in the 90's in Chicago, with mainstream hip hop, independent hip hop... from like '92 to '95?
Kanye West: Fun. it was fun. Hip hop was so much funner. Especially in Chicago. You were either into sports, a nerd... you were into music, or gangbanging. And I wasn't that that good at basketball.

Ha ha! so, what were you taking in school when you left?
Kanye West: I went to art school. That was the first school I dropped out of, and I was an English Major in Chicago State.

Did you just leave because your heart was in music, or was there some other things in your life?
Kanye West: Well, actually, my semester was up, and I only had... a scholarship for one semester. I don't want to cut off the interview, but I got like 3 other interviews.

I'll be quick. has your jaw healed?
Kanye West: Um, it's not totally healed. I still got like... if you look at some of my photos, you will see this bump under my lip that is excess skin, like, that hasn't healed properly from when they sewed it up and when put it back together. I didn't get that removed. The doctors cracked my jaw and put it back in the right place.
Aw fuck, man.
Kanye West: Yeah, it's great!

You came here with Talib Kweli and Common in Toronto last year. Do you remember that show?
Kanye West: Yeah!!! What's up!!
I was wylin' the fuck out. You did 'Champions'... Man. I was just clowning. Are you coming back to Toronto sometime?
Kanye West: Yeah, I'm definitely coming back to Canada.

You got to, man, you got fans here. Hey, are you going to run out of space on your arm soon, or what? (Kanye used to tattoos the names of special songs he produced on his forearm).
Kanye West: I only put 10 songs. I'm going to tattoo angels all over the rest of my arm.

Are you going to do some stuff just rhyming over other people's production soon? I heard one song, but is there going to be more?
Kanye West: I rhyme over other people's beats, I do it all the time. I just did a joint that's Mel G. Or is it Mel B. This girl producer named Mel, outta Germany, it's going to be her first single. Timbaland did 'The Bounce' with Jay, I rapped with him.

Oh yeah, I heard you on (Mountain Brothers) Chops's shit, it was dope. So yeah, I just want to say thank you Kanye, and best of luck of February 10th. The date aint changed, it's still February 10th, right?
Kanye West: Yeah, February 10th.

Word, I want to see you go gold in the first week.
Kanye West: Alright, me too! ha ha! thanks man.

« Last Edit: March 13, 2004, 06:27:31 PM by justin718 »


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damn he sounded like a dick in some parts of that

Lil Jay

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damn he sounded like a dick in some parts of that - west coast news network  | - independent west coast hip hop network


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damn he sounded like a dick in some parts of that

Yeah, a little cocky huh?


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he is a cocky muhfucka, i read another interview a while ago....


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im not a fan of kanye west, so idunno why ive read the interview
but shiit, it was frustrating to read it, what an annoying personality, his mom told him he's special a lil too often
« Last Edit: March 14, 2004, 05:19:14 AM by whenimondamic »

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well he pumped up dj quik, and pete rock.. who is one of my all time faves.. so he gets a pass here.. lol


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and i thought Mack 10 was an asshole.....i didn't even read it all, this man takes the dickhead cake and runs with it.


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He said he thought Quik was the best, not his favorite. Thanks for this, though. Kanye seemed like an asshole in some spots, but he said he was doing interviews all day, so I guess it's understandable.

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damn he sounded like a dick in some parts of that

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Say word. So do you think people are starting to respect you as an MC, like on the level of Jay and Nas, where you want to be?
Kanye West: I don't know if they are now, but I know that I'm on that level.

So how is your song writing process? Do you sit down with a pen, or are you off the dome like Jay...
Kanye West: Off the dome. I haven't written anything down in years.
You're a penless writer?
Kanye West: Mm-hmm.
hes on the level of jay z and nas?.... and the reason he doesnt write shit down is casue he recycles his fuckin rhymes

We Fly High

he seems hella pissed off cos the interviewer kept on reiterating and re-asking the question. on many of the questions the phone or whatever gets cut off, and he has to ask the question again.

Young Dan Iza

the guy that was interviewing kanye is a dumb ass, he asked that question about saul williams and jivy about 3 times, just cuz shit is on the internet doesnt mean its true


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I just don't like how peeps are hyping West like he's untouchable or something man.He's talking about how someone can give him a B-grade and be afraid!Nobody's afraid of this fool!I'll give you a C-grade,and he wouldn't do shit!Please that nigga needs to sit down somewhere man.I think I'ma see this dude as a mark like Dr.Stray is right now!

Lil Jay

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Say word. So do you think people are starting to respect you as an MC, like on the level of Jay and Nas, where you want to be?
Kanye West: I don't know if they are now, but I know that I'm on that level.

So how is your song writing process? Do you sit down with a pen, or are you off the dome like Jay...
Kanye West: Off the dome. I haven't written anything down in years.
You're a penless writer?
Kanye West: Mm-hmm.
hes on the level of jay z and nas?.... and the reason he doesnt write shit down is casue he recycles his fuckin rhymes

he must be bullshittin right there...shit cant be true - west coast news network  | - independent west coast hip hop network