Following his wife’s booty-ful cover in November, Kanye West graces the cover of PAPER magazine’s “American Dream” issue. And rather than a normal Q&A interview, Yeezy shares his thoughts across 12 pages in the publication to give us a sneak peek at who he is and his most inner thoughts in a candid essay.
In his PAPER essay, the "Only One" rapper opens up about his thoughts on what he believes the American Dream is where he reveals he yearns for a world filled with peace. He also talks about the importance of mentoring younger artists. He writes,
I know people want to talk about the American Dream, but my dream is a world dream. It's a world in which everyone's main goal would be to help each other. The first thing I told my team on New Year's Day was, "You know, people say bad news travels fast, but this year let's make good news travel faster." You get back what you put out, and the more positive energy you put out, the more positive energy you'll get back. We had to do a lot of fighting in the past couple of years to get people to understand what we want to do, what we will do and what we're capable of doing.
I think it's so important for me, as an artist, to give Drake as much information as I can, A$AP, Kendrick [Lamar], Taylor Swift, any of these younger artists as much information as I can to make better music in the future. We should all be trying to make something that's better. It's funny that I worked at the Gap in high school, because in my past 15 years it seems like that's the place I stood in my creative path -- to be the gap, the bridge.
Yeezy then goes on to also touches on being considered an official professional in the fashion industry & those who doubt his abilities:
I was speaking at a fashion award ceremony -- I gave the head of Milk Studios, Mazdack Rassi, the first award of the night -- and I talked about the concept of "the fashion insider." I believe that everyone is a fashion insider, because it's illegal to be naked. But in all seriousness, the fashion world can say, "Yo, you know what I mean: the inside insiders." I saw this article that asked, "Should Kanye leave fashion to the professionals?" That question is really ignorant, in a way, because the second I sell my first T-shirt or my first shoe, doesn't that make me a professional? And when you sit down with Riccardo Tisci at the Louvre and he pitches the idea of you wearing a leather kilt, which could be considered by all of your gangbanging friends as some sort of a dress or skirt, at that point you are now a part of the fashion world. You have paid your dues to be an insider. I paid my dues when I had to wear a kilt in Chicago, and friends would say, "What's your boy got on?" But there are warriors that have killed people in kilts in the past. Who gets to decide what's hard and what's not hard? When I saw this kilt, I liked it. I was into it. It looked fresh to me. I felt creative; I didn't feel limited by some perception.
He also shared childhood experiences that sparked his interest in the fashion industry and how he has transformed into an innovator:
When I was working at the Gap at 15, I don't think I had any desire to actually make clothes, but I always felt like that's what I wanted to be around. I loved the fabrics, I loved the colors, I loved the proportions. Abercrombie was too expensive for me and the Gap was too expensive for me. Even though I worked at the Gap, I didn't get enough hours to get a discount because I was a part-time employee, because I went to high school. At that time I focused mostly on painting and basketball, but then I took two steps away from my potential career as an artist. I had scholarships to Saint Xavier, the Art Institute of Chicago -- I went to the American Academy of Art on an arts scholarship, but I stepped back from that to paint in a different way. I chose to paint sonically. To chop samples in a Warhol-type way. I just looked at civilization: I'd have an assignment to do an ink drawing that took me two weeks, three weeks, and I'd show it to my friends and they'd say, "Cool. My friend can draw. Now let's go play ball. Let's go downtown and talk to some girls." But when I'd work on a track, I'd work on it for just that afternoon -- chop up a sample, put some drums to it. And if my friends liked it, we'd make a tape of it and play it all the way downtown. We'd listen to it all night, keep rewinding it. I made a decision at that point to focus on painting with sound instead of painting visually. I loved music. I loved it more than I love it now. But I think that can happen with anything. You can live in New York for 10 years and say, "I now want to move to San Francisco." It's just harder for me to do music now, period. It's easier for people who focus on it all day and who are younger in their concept of what they want to do with it. I am not what I would consider truly a musician. I am an inventor. I am an innovator.
Later, he addressed TIDAL being apart of the Illuminati in which he says celebrities don't "run anything" and that those type of rumors are ridiculous! He said:
I heard a comment -- a joke -- about the Tidal press conference being an Illuminati moment. If there was actually an Illuminati, it would be more like the energy companies. Not celebrities that gave their life to music and who are pinpointed as decoys for people who really run the world. I'm tired of people pinpointing musicians as the Illuminati. That's ridiculous. We don't run anything; we're celebrities. We're the face of brands. We have to compromise what we say in lyrics so we don't lose money on a contract. Madonna is in her 50s and gave everything she had to go up on an award show and get choked by her cape. She's judged for who she adopts. Fuck all of this sensationalism. We gave you our lives. We gave you our hearts. We gave you our opinions!