There was a lot of speculation surrounding a potential Kanye West appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, with news of last-minute cancelations killing the rumors almost as soon as they started. However, yesterday the rap mogul finally sat down with the comedian and podcast host for a three-hour-long interview, and it was as insightful as we expected.
Rogan took to Instagram Friday to announce that after much anticipation, the episode would be airing this weekend. "Beyond my expectations," he wrote alongside an image of the two smiling. "And I think people are going to have a much better understanding and appreciation of how this man thinks" – and he wasn't lying.
Over three long hours, Ye only refers to his highly anticipated DONDA album in passing, but the pair delved into a wealth of other subjects – from Kanye's presidential ambitions, the music industry, family, faith, and everything in between. With so many headlines surrounding the rapper's antics and motivations, it's refreshing to have Ye tell it himself. So here's what we learned from the interview – in Kanye's own words.
He believes God called him to be the leader of the free world in the shower
“I believe that my calling is to be the leader of the free world,” Kanye told Rogan. "It's something God put on my heart in 2015. A few days before the MTV awards it hit me in the shower."
“Even though I’m the pastor for however big my audience is in hip-hop, in music or just as an influencer or celebrity, a dad and a husband in my house—there couldn’t be a better time to put a visionary in the captain’s chair. And that’s not to say we haven’t had visionaries before. I’m not here to down Trump, to down Biden—I’m just here to express why God has called me to take this position.”
Music label contracts are costing artists a lot of money
"I'm not at war with the music industry. I'm just saying we need to innovate. When I posted my contracts, I had ten contracts that kept putting me inside a labyrinth and things we don't need [...] I’m willing to [reveal my contracts] because it’s the right thing to do,” Kanye explained around the 12:40 mark. “Music, at this point, loses me money. It doesn’t make me money. My $5 billion net worth and $300 million of cash that I see a year—music is like negative $4 million for me.”
"Prince would say we don't need the distribution part," he continued. "I'm the kind of person where I'm not trying to eliminate anyone's job. There's a way both parties can be happy. These deals can be flipped in a way that they're just more fair."
He wants to buy Universal
“I was thinking about buying my masters and I realized that that was too small of a thought. I’m going to buy Universal. They’re only a $33 billion organization. I’m one of the greatest product producers that ever existed."
He contracted the coronavirus this year
“Why did I register so late to run for president? Covid. I had the virus and I was sitting in quarantine in my house and my cousin texts me about being prepared to run for president. And I just completely put it off to the side ‘cause I was like shivering and having the shakes and taking hot showers and eating soup. … [Coronavirus] threw everyone off. It threw everybody’s plans off."
Stop describing his ideas as "rants"
“I think very three-dimensionally. I don’t think in the black-and-white lines that I’ve been programmed to think in. And I think in full color, so when I talk, I have to describe a thought in five ways. We enjoy food that has multiple seasonings in it. We enjoy music that has multiple instruments. So when I talk, it’s not a rant, it’s a symphony of ideas, and when you collect that, you say, ‘Oh these are these things that connect.' I just tell the truth, and telling the truth is crazy in a world full of lies.”
Sunday Service taught him how to rap for God
"I stepped away from my music career for a year to serve God. When I made [ Sunday Service], I completely stopped rapping because I didn't know how to rap for God."
On Black people being kept out of positions of power
"The way these companies and the music industry, the way managers and the way society generally looks at Black people is the way a misogynistic man looks at a hot lady: ‘What can you give me? What can you do for me?’ The misogynistic man doesn’t look at a hot lady and say, ‘can you run my company?’"
His Sunday Service merch takes tailoring cues from the bible
"One of the things I got to do for Sunday Service was design the wardrobe for Sunday Service. And we would redesign T-shirt and it says in the bible that Jesus wore seamless garments, so we started building T-shirts where there were only two seams on the shirt [...] I was designing T-shirts for Sunday Service like David tending to the fields."
Watch Kanye West’s appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience in full below.