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Kanye Talks Taylor Swift and Nude Pics

Radio station Hot 97 hosts West for wide-ranging conversation on Election Night

November 3, 2010 1:53 PM ET

Kanye West joined Hot 97's Funkmaster Flex in the studio for nearly five hours Tuesday evening, playing tracks from his forthcoming My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album and taking part in a far-reaching and highly entertaining interview.

Not surprisingly, Flex didn't take long to get to the subject of Taylor Swift (whose new album, Speak Now, sold more than a million copies in its first week), asking Kanye what she'd said to him in private in the wake of his controversial interruption of her acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs.

Kanye jokingly answered, "She said, 'Ye, I just want to thank you so much.' No, that's not what she said." After laughing, he continued more seriously, "She just talked about how people would come up to her in the grocery store and bring it up, and she would defend. It's an amazing, compelling situation. The situation is bigger to me than the Bush moment. I try to downplay it, but for the sake of being able to try to sell records and just get acceptance on that level that I did as a pop artist, there's just so few black men make it that far. That's a responsibility, that's why so many fans of mine were upset because they're like: 'Man, you've got a powerful situation where you can put your music out like that and do award shows and everything. You can't be so reckless with your opinion. Like, we can agree with you but you've got to play it in another type of way, because you can't throw away the opportunity.'

"Some of that power was taken away with that moment," he continued, "and I think that's what the bigger — to me, as a 33-year-old, someone that had to grow, as a celebrity, as soon as you become a star, as soon as it pops off for you, at that point, you stop growing. As soon as you don't have to wash your own dishes any more."

Watch: Kanye West's Surprise Visit to Rolling Stone

After more conversation, Flex said that Kanye and Swift are "forever joined at the hip."

"I made a mistake," Kanye said. "My timing was definitely, extremely off and the bigger plan, the bigger fight ... how do you go about it? If I hadn't said anything, everything would have just went smoothly."

Photos: Jay-Z and Eminem's NYC Blowout With Kanye West, Chris Martin, Drake, and Nicki Minaj

Kanye also apparently confirmed that the nude pictures of him that recently hit the Internet are real: "Have you heard the first line of Runaway?" he asked. (The line: "She find pictures in my email/ I sent this girl a picture of my, hey!") "I only rap reality! You can't imagine how disappointed I was that I got cut off!"

He also said that the ostracism of the phoenix in his Runaway mini-movie was partially inspired by the reactions to his relationship with the flamboyant model Amber Rose. "Yeah, it's definitely some of that. But also, in the movie, it's pieces of any woman I've been extremely close to. [There are even] representations of my mom in that movie, too. It's representations of my [ex-]fiancee, just the taste level. But the discrimination level of it, it's very Amber."

Hot 97

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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