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Kanye West Praises Tupac Shakur
Posted by Joseph Lee on 01.20.2014



In an interview with director Steve McQueen for Interview magazine, Kanye West praised Tupac Shakur for bringing success to "thugs". Here are highlights:

On Tupac: "One of the things that Tupac kept saying is that he wanted thugs to be recognized. Now, Jay Z is a multi-hundred-millionaire who came from the streets, so Tupac's mission, in a way, has been realized. But my mission is very different from Tupac's—and I'm not Tupac. But I think that when I compare myself to Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Howard Hughes, or whoever, it's because I'm trying to give people a little bit of context to the possibilities that are in front of me."

On how Yeezus was different from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: "I just had to throw it all in the trash. I had to not follow any of the rules because there was no way to match up to the previous album. Dark Fantasy was the first time you heard that collection of sonic paintings in that way. So I had to completely destroy the landscape and start with a new story. Dark Fantasy was the fifth installment of a collection that included the four albums before it. It's kind of the "Luke, I am your father" moment. Yeezus, though, was the beginning of me as a new kind of artist. Stepping forward with what I know about architecture, about classicism, about society, about texture, about synesthesia—the ability to see sound—and the way everything is everything and all these things combine, and then starting from scratch with Yeezus ... That's one of the reasons why I didn't want to use the same formula of starting the album with a track like "Blood on the Leaves," and having that Nina Simone sample up front that would bring everyone in, using postmodern creativity where you kind of lean on something that people are familiar with and comfortable with to get their attention. I actually think the most uncomfortable sound on Yeezus is the sound that the album starts with, which is the new version of what would have been called radio static. It's the sonic version of what internet static would be—that's how I would describe that opening. It's Daft Punk sound. It was just like that moment of being in a restaurant and ripping the tablecloth out from under all the glasses. That's what "On Sight" does sonically."

On if he has another ten years for rapping: "One-hundred percent. Easy as cake, easy as pie. Too many people are scared. But it is my job to go up every night and talk about this kind of shit. It is actually my job. I'm like a broadcaster for futurism, for dreamers, for people who believe in themselves. We've been taught since day one to stop believing in our own dreams. We've had the confidence beaten out of us since day one, and then sold back to us through branding and diamond rings and songs and melodies—through these lines that we have to walk inside of so as to not break the uniform or look silly or be laughed at. So I hope that there are people out there laughing. Laugh loud, please. Laugh until your lungs give out because I will have the last laugh."





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