Kanye West – Jimmy Kimmel Interview Pt. 1
Jimmy Kimmel: My guest tonight is a 21-time Grammy award winning performer, who last month threatened his very existence by threatening one of America's most beloved television personalities. We had a big dumb fight on Twitter, but he was nice enough to agree to come and talk about it tonight. Please welcome Kanye West!
JK: How are you?
Kanye West: I'm okay.
JK: I'm very happy that you came. I'm glad you did, and I wanted to clear this up. I really felt bad about all this stuff. I did.
KW: Mm-hmm. [Laughter]
JK: I guess the first question I should ask is, who are you wearing?
KW: It's Ralph.
JK: Kramden? Lauren?
JK: Is that a new grill you have there?
KW: Nah they've been in my mouth for three years.
JK: That one on the bottom? OK well it's good to see you.
KW: Good seeing you too.
JK: I guess we should talk about what happened, because I do think that somewhere in you, you want people to understand where you’re coming from is that true?
KW: Yeah, correct.
JK: So we did a sketch on the show where we had - you did an interview with the BBC Radio and it was an intense interview - and I’ll be honest with you, I only saw a couple of little parts of the [Zane Lowe] interview when we did this sketch.
KW: Yeah, that’s what I thought.
JK: In fairness, there was context to it and we took it out of context. And we had a couple of little kids reenact it. Which I didn’t think would be something that bothered you. Do you mind if we show a little clip of it?
Little Kanye: I've reached a point in my life where my Truman Show boat has hit the painting. I'm not trying to regurgitate myself. I'm a product person: not just clothing, but water bottle design, architecture, anything you could think about! Brought the leather jogging pants 6 years ago to Fendi, and they said no! How many motherfuckers have you done seen with leather jogging pants?!
JK: I'm gonna tell you something, the truth is the main reason I did that is because I like to see kids curse. I think it’s funny. (*Kanye laughs*) And I think that some people read into it differently that we were positioning you as a child, but that’s not true. In fact, we’ve done this to other people, with Lady Gaga, with quite a few people that we've had kids say what they said and reenact them. Of course this is not something you knew. And this is not something that people who just watched it online or whatever knew. And you called me. A lot of people think this is some kind of publicity stunt that you and I cooked up. But this isn't, right?
KW: I mean everyone out there in TV world, real world, whatever world you stay in, needs to know that I’ve never done a publicity stunt in my life. Any time I went up and spoke my mind, whether it put my career in jeopardy or whatever someone so called said, it was always what I thought was the truth. Whether I'm like reading from through a teleprompter or whatever I felt emotionally. I don't follow like rules of normal celebrity or what their publicist tells them to say. So I don’t do publicity stunts, period. So don’t ever think that.
JK: Me neither guys. (Laughter) So we talked on the phone, and I didn’t really know why you were calling. I heard you were upset. But I didn't know the context, and we had a bad conversation, right?
KW: Yeah, I knew you before. And I saw you at a wedding and I remember you telling me, I want people to know this side of you and different things like this and I saw this good guy at the wedding. So when I saw the skit - which I didn't watch all the way through because I didn't want to be infuriated - I was like I know you. So it was a combination of me knowing you, but also me NOT knowing the person who put a bad headline on the cover of In Touch. And me not knowing this person. So I was like this is the one person I know. So I can go and let out everything that I feel about every single bogus weekly cover, every skit, every single rumor in barber shops, everything that people feel is ok to treat celebrities like zoo animals or act like what they're saying is not serious, or their life is not serious or their dreams are not serious. And you know, it kinda just went and elevated from a call that we just had as men… that elevates sometimes, you take a guy, Jimmy does his thing. And I do my thing and at a certain point these egos can flare up and we kind of just took it back to high school for a minute.
JK: And I got beat up a lot in high school, So I didn't wanna go back to high school.
JK: And this is something that to be honest with everyone, this is something that when you're with another celebrity we complain about. This zoo animal, it's a perfect thing, because people online they just want you to click through so they'll put whatever they can put as a headline to get you to click through and it can be damaging and I think people look at you and they go, "this is a guy who’s got millions of dollars, he's got a beautiful wife and a new baby, we can’t possibly hurt this guy." And to be honest, even though I’m in that same position too - I don't have a baby - it’s not something that comes to my mind when I’m cooking up a comedy sketch. And some of these things are hurtful, and the truth is important. And it's... but on the other hand, I will say a lot of times you I think you bring it on yourself, this kind of misunderstanding about you.
I personally found it odd to be in the position that I was in because I often… I don’t know if you know this, a lot of people think you’re a jerk. And I often, in my own personal conversations, say, no, I know this guy, he is not a jerk. In fact I think we have a picture which I happened to see on my Dad's iPad at the wedding and it's you and my Dad [*shows a photo of Kanye with Kimmel's dad] - who you may have though was Wolf Blitzer in fairness - but I mean to go to a wedding of a friend of mine and you took a Southwest Airlines flight to that wedding just to make it for this guy who was just a coworker and then to be so nice to everyone there, that tells me a lot about you. Everyone's nice to me when they meet me because they know I have a talk show and almost everyone's on their best behavior. But what I observe is how celebrities behave around other people - how they treat our staff and how they treat in this case my family, and I’ve always said that to people about you. And I think that's important for... I know part of you doesn’t care, I see you onstage saying, "I don’t want to hold your baby, I’ll drop your baby on it’s head…" you know I don’t believe any of that stuff when you say it.
KW: I’m not running for office, I’m just here to make good music, make people feel good when they hear my music. And you know when I did that [Zane Lowe] interview, I was really vocal about a lot of things that I've been dealing with over the past 10 years, when I was put in the classification of “just a celebrity.” Because you know for me, I’m a creative genius and there’s no other way to word it. I know you’re not supposed to say that about yourself, and I say things the wrong way a lot of times but my intention is always positive and I wanna bring more things to the world, I want to help the world. I want to make peoples’ lives easier. I spent 2 of my checks in telemarketing when I was 18 years old on a pair of Gucci slippers, and this is before there was H&M and Zara, you couldn’t just find cool stuff when you were growing up. And for me, I care about cool stuff. It means something to me, it means stuff to a lot of people that are like me, and that’s what I was talking about on the Zane interview.
So when I come on here, I can laugh and I can joke, and I can see a skit and we can say, ok we love Kanye or we think his baby is cute or whatever, but for me, it’s bigger than who I am and my presence, living. It’s about when I was on Earth what did I do to help? And at what point did I hit a glass ceiling where people said you’re a celebrity so you can’t help in this box, you can’t help in this box. But I talked to Quincy Jones at John Legend’s wedding, and you do music, you can do anything. Once you learn how to produce, you’re a producer, you understand textures and colors. I have an art background even before I was a musician. People told me I couldn’t rap. People had all this advice for me about how I shouldn't try to rap. And I wouldn’t even say I’m a rapper, I’m more of a messenger than a rapper.
So even when you say rap beef it sort of undermines it, and keeps re-contexting what I said. Whereas if you look at the Zane interview, it’s really something extremely fearless for someone in my position to do. Because most people just like bow down to TV or bow down to these cameras. Like I could care less about any of these cameras, all I care about is my family, I care about protecting my girl, protecting my baby, and protecting my ideas and my dreams. And ya know that's the reason why I went so crazy.
JK: I wanna go back to one thing you said which is when you say you’re a genius that upsets people, but the truth is a lot people think they’re geniuses, and nobody says it because it’s weird to say it, but it is most certainly more honest to say "I am a genius"…
KW: I’m totally weird, and I’m totally honest, and I’m totally inappropriate sometimes. And the thing is for me to say I wasn’t a genius, I would just be lying to you and to myself.
JK: That's true, it’s false humility.
KW: Oh my god. It comes with your first ticket to LA, soon as you get off the plane, here’s your false humility. Maybe if keep up with this act long enough and go with this agency they'll give you a star on the Walk of Fame one day for kissing everybody's ass. But it's like that's not what we're doing. By the way, I want to shoutout the Walk of Fame, because they said something like they’re not gonna put my girl on the Walk of Fame because she’s a reality star. It's like people are so so dated and not modern. There’s no way a Kim Kardashian shouldn’t have a star on the Walk of Fame. Its ridiculous old concepts. And you know for me, I’m just gonna give y’all the truth. It’s like my grandfather loved Ali until he died, and my grandmother hated Ali ’til she passed. So you’re gonna love me or you’re gonna hate me, but I’m gonna be me.
JK: Alright, Kanye West is here, more with Kanye when we come back.
Announcer: The best tweets of Kanye West.
Josh Groban: Can we please toast to the motherfuckin' douchebags tonight? Do you know where to find marble conference tables? Looking to have a conference... not until I get the table though.
At most his tweets are 140 characters, but the depth of his passion is immeasurable.
Fur pillows are hard to actually sleep on. Man... what ever happened to my antique fish tank?
Announcer: You'll get all of your favorites
Josh Groban: Classical music is tight yo. I make awesome decisions in bike stores. French fries are the devil. Black is the new black.
Announcer: And many many more. Josh Groban's the best tweets of Kanye West includes 752 original songs on 48 CDs.
Josh Groban: I love me!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Announcer: In stores now.
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