Here's what you need to know about rapper Kanye West: His first album sold 3 million copies, won a trio of Grammys, and established him as a hip-hop superstar. Oh, and he recorded it with his jaw wired shut. So forgive the 28-year-old for feeling a tad . . . cocky.
Luckily, pretty much everyone agrees with West's self-regard. Critics lauded The College Dropout, his debut album, for its musical complexity and nimble lyrics. The songs present a portrait of life both funny and fierce, which seems appropriate, given the album's backstory.
In 2002, West fell asleep at the wheel of his Lexus. He ended up in intensive care, his face shattered, with doctors telling him he was fortunate to be alive.
Given a reprieve, the Chicago-raised Atlanta native has seized every chance to make his mark, producing albums for Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, and Ludacris; launching the Kanye West Foundation to help keep kids in school; and cutting a follow-up album, Late Registration, which is even more audacious than his first. Earlier this year, West was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People, an honor he shared with Bill Gates and the Dalai Lama.
Obviously, West's self-assurance is working for him. Maybe a touch of that attitude might work for you, too.
ON SPEAKING YOUR MIND
It's hard for me to speak without a message. It just comes out of me. What if you bought a Kanye West album and it was all party songs? It would probably suck the breath out of you, like, "Oh my God, what the hell is this?"
People come to me to get some type of food for their souls. I see it, I guess, as a responsibility at this point. It's important that if you're a comedian, you entertain. If you're a politician, make policy. But I'm me. I mix these things. I'm the rap version of Dave Chappelle.
Confidence is a positive thing. People say, "Yo, you're too confident." That to me is like saying, "Yo, you're too optimistic." The person who says that is someone who's setting out to lose. I would hope my confidence rubs off on people.
There was a point last year where I put up this false modesty, this humble act, just because I was tired of hearing it. Then I saw this home videotape of my grand-father, and he started off like, "You have met the master. Now let me explain why I'm the master." Then I realized that I come by it naturally.
So I say to critics, "Kiss the ring. Bow down." And to everyone who wants to dis me: "Would you rather I not make music?"
ON SAYING THANKS TO YOUR PARENTS
I wrote the song "Hey Mama," on my new record, as a tribute to my mother. I actually have it tattooed on my arm. My mom was my original manager. She paid for a keyboard when I was 15 that was completely beyond what any kid should have at that age. She's always supported me.
It's impossible to specify all the things you learn from your parents. I could talk about it for a year. The main thing is, my mother influenced me in music, and my father was also an artist and a photographer, so having that eye influenced me. Both of them were always activists and socially responsible. Now, it's part of who I am.
ON FACING MORTALITY
You know, I used to pray to God to deliver me from pain, and then I had the worst pain inflicted on me, unimaginable pain, so I stopped praying for that. I know it's cliche, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I'm proof of that.
Now I'm just not scared of death. Everything I do is as if I already passed away. Every move I make. I live like I've already passed away--like I have nothing to lose.
I'm not living particularly to make money or to have a song go number one. I'm more living to carve my place in history. The best way to do that is to help other people. You can't make it just by helping yourself. The more people you can help, the better chance you have of being remembered.
ON STANDING BEHIND YOUR WORK
I know what I'm doing. I might have designed the sound of music for the next decade. If you ask me about my music, about how I've impacted the world, I will argue that my first album is one of the best freshman albums ever. That's not me being a fan of me, but me being a fan of music.
So don't ask me about that if you don't want my opinion. People ask me, "How you doing?" I'll be like, "Yo, great. I'm Kanye West. How can I not be great?" My life is a dream come true.
1. You have to be your own biggest fan.
2. If you're good at something and you point that out, it's not bragging. It's honesty.
3. If you have a platform, don't just shout. Shout about things that matter.
4. Your true legacy is how you impact other people.
- When liquefaction occurs what changes intermolecular forces
- In which continent UAE is
- What causes puddles to evaporate
- Who speaks the Galician language
- What is the KAM theorem
- What is the healthiest scrambled eggs combination
- Can all dogs interbreed
- Was Tamil Nadu a part of Afghanistan
- How is rajalakshmi institute of technology
- Can Jews believe in Muhammad
- Why doesnt Kate Middleton have a sash
- What are 4 Vedas of Hinduism
- What are the duties of a mailman
- What are the units for rigidity modulus
- What is a guest login
- What is polyamide
- How can I make a water filter
- Whats the benefits of sleeping nude
- What is the meaning of beleaguered
- Why is QPSK called quadrature shift keying