Kanye West went to his hometown of Chicago this week to work on Chance The Rapper’s upcoming album. While he was there, the rapper sat down with the hosts at 107.5 WGCI Chicago for an emotional interview.
During the hour-long appearance, West touched on the fallout from his slavery comments, his struggle with mental health, and his thoughts on whether Donald Trump cares about black people.
The rapper also got emotional talking about the need for a support system, and said his “downfall” was caused by the absence of his old friend Don C in his life. He then shared his feelings of intense competitiveness with Virgil Abloh and Drake and gave us some more info on the upcoming YEEZY basketball sneakers. Finally, he promised that we would be seeing a “new ‘Ye” soon.
Watch the interview below, then read the eight key takeaways from the interview. What do you think of West’s comments? Let us know in the comment section.
He apologized for the slavery comments
In the interview, West apologized for his comments during his infamous TMZ interview back in May, when he said that 400 years of slavery “sounds like a choice.”
“Also what I wanna say to everyone listening right now—I have never really approached or addressed the slavery comment fully. And it’s not something for me to overly intellectualize. This is something about the fact that it hurt people’s feelings and the way that I presented that piece of information,” West said.
“I could present in a way more calm way, but I was ramped up. And I apologize, he said. “I’m not blaming mental health, but I’m explaining mental health.”
He continued. “I don’t know if I properly apologized for how the slavery comment made people feel. I’m sorry for the one-two effect of the MAGA hat into the slave comment, and I’m sorry for people that felt let down by that moment. And I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to talk to you about the way I was thinking and what I was going through.”
And finally answered Kimmel’s Trump question
West also addressed his apparent silence when Jimmy Kimmel asked him if Trump cared about black people, during a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! On Twitter, West had already made it clear that he wasn’t “stumped” by the question but he didn’t have the chance to answer.
“I feel that [Trump] cares about the way black people feel about him, and he would like for black people to like him like they did when he was cool in the rap songs and all this,” he said.
“[Trump] will do the things that are necessary to make that happen because he’s got an ego like all the rest of us, and he wants to be the greatest president, and he knows that he can’t be the greatest president without the acceptance of the black community. So it’s something he’s gonna work towards, but we’re gonna have to speak to him.”
West revealed more about the rumored YEEZY Basketball sneaker
In July this year, we got two indications that the long-awaited YEEZY basketball sneakers were on the way. At the start of the month, West tweeted a sketch of sneakers with the caption “adding basketball.” Then later that month, West was spotted wearing unseen sneakers while playing basketball at UCLA.
Now, West reveals that he’s speaking to adidas’ Eric Liedtke about the possibility of the YEEZY team — consisting of himself, Mark Miner, and Steven Smith — designing the entire adidas basketball footwear division. “I’m saying it out loud now to put it into the universe,” West jokes.
He denied giving Pusha-T intel during the beef
West set the record straight on rumors that he told Pusha-T about Drake’s secret child during the beef between the two rappers. “No, I didn’t,” Kanye said, dismissing the idea. “Don’t pull me into this conversation. I’m ‘Ye… I honestly don’t care that much, in all honesty.”
And said he still has love for Drake
West revealed his personal thoughts on the Pusha-T and Drake beef. “It hits me in a really sensitive place,” he said, “Because you, like, hang around people and they come to your house and be around your family and this and that, and then they get mad about a beat and then send you purple demon emojis.”
But then goes on to stress that while he’s upset, he still has love for Drake. “It ain’t no beef… We all got love for Drake. We understand that he got upset about [Pusha-T’s diss track, “The Story of Adidon”]. I feel that it was insensitive for [Drake] to, in any way, stress me out in any way after TMZ, while I’m in Wyoming healing, pulling all the pieces together, working on my music.”
Finally, he promised that “we’ll reconcile that one day because we got to, because we got work to do, and these voices is just too powerful.”
West touched on the intense competitiveness in the industry
West discussed his growing feelings of irrelevance and how he’s pitted against Virgil Abloh and Drake. “In a relationship, maybe someone would do something, just to see if you still love them,” he said.
“People can come in and tell you that, ‘This was only streamed this much,’ or ‘This didn’t sell,’ and it makes you feel like your voice is not meaningful. I come home to Chicago and I hear three Drake records, and I don’t hear a Ye record.”
He continued: “I’m pitted in competitions directly with Drake, pitted in competitions with Virgil — at the same damn time. I’ve literally got to have the shoes popping to the Off-White, Louis Vuitton level, while I’ve got a record that needs to be at the Kiki’ level.”
He got emotional about his relationship with Don C
West broke down when discussing his relationship with the designer Don C, who had been a close part of West’s entourage for his early career.
“I believe that the downfall of Kanye West is directly related to Don C not being around,” he said. “Don is actually… He’s actually in town right now because I just told him I need him. To be there for me, so shit like this doesn’t happen to me.”
He discussed how his mental health impacts his life
West touched on his mental health throughout the interview, revealing how it had an impact on how he delivered his slavery comments. “If you deal with someone that’s bipolar, that’s ramped up,” West explained. “They might say something that’s their truth, that’s how they feel, in a way that’s not going to make you feel comfortable.”
He then suggested that the TMZ moment gave viewers an insight into how living with bipolar disorder affects his life and his family. “I could go on Charlamagne and be at the top of the 300 acres and describe my experience of being put in handcuffs and being brought to UCLA,” he said.
“But it’s not ‘til people got to see an actual moment of me being ramped up and see the way that it affected us as a community, as family members.”
Finally, West promised a “new ‘Ye” soon
“Thank you for riding with me. I need y’all as a city to have my back,” West said. “I promise you, you’re going to see a new Ye. You’re going to feel the impact of the new relationships and the new ideas and the exposure that I’ve gathered. It’s about to be applied now.”
He continued, citing recent experiences as a basis for his reinvention. “It’s going to be a new Kanye West, and it’s going to be better,” he said. “It’s going to be better because of this mental health situation. It’s going to be better because of this TMZ situation.”
In other music news, Lil Pump was arrested for driving without a valid license.