This year Kanye West broke what had been a prolonged, and mostly strict, media embargo, and he did it in a big way. West's new album Yeezus was outsold by friends (Jay-Z) and frenemies (Drake), but thanks largely to his explosive and thoughtful interviews, 2013 belonged, undeniably, to him. Here are Ye's most memorable quotes from a wild year. BY JORDAN SARGENT
"I've reached a point in my life where my Truman Show boat has hit the painting. And I've got to a point that Michael Jackson did not break down. I have reached the glass ceiling. As a creative person, as a celebrity. When I say that, it means, I want to do product, I am a product person. Not just clothing, but water-bottle design, architecture, everything, you know, that you could think about. And I've been at it for 10 years, and I look around, and I say, wait a second, there's no one in this space that looks like me, and if they are, they're quiet as fuck. So that means, wait a second, now we're seriously, like, in a civil rights movement."
"You guys don't understand that I did the Yeezys and they eBay-ed for $90,000 and people wanted them bad as whatever, right. But I didn't get a call from Nike the next day. You guys don't understand that I met with companies and they say, 'What we're trying to figure out is how we can control you and control that.'"
"We got this new thing called classism. It's racism's cousin. This is what we do to hold people back. This is what we do. And we got this other thing that's also been working for a long time when you don't have to be racist anymore. It's called self-hate. It works on itself. It's like real estate of racism. Where just like that, when someone comes up and says something like, 'I am a god,' everybody says, 'Who does he think he is?' I just told you who I thought I was! A god! I just told you. That's who I think I am. Would it have been better if I had a song that said, 'I am a n***a? Or if I had a song that said, 'I am a gangster'? Or if I had a song that said, 'I am a pimp'? All those colors and patinas fit better on a person like me, right? But to say you are a god, especially when you got shipped over to the country that you're in, and your last name is a slave owner's. How could you say that? How could you have that mentality?"
"I'm a postmodernist, at best, as a career. I'm a futurist, mentally."
"Why do you think the song 'N****s in Paris' was called 'N****s in Paris'? Because n****s was in Paris!"
"Do you know how many times I sat with people and said I want to make a store. And they said, 'How could you make a store? blah blah blah.' It's in my code. It's in my code. Have y'all ever seen Wreck-It Ralph? You remember how that girl in there … she was the glitch? You tellin' me they don't look at me like I'm the motherfucking glitch? You tellin' me people don't look at Kanye West like the glitch?"
"Brought the leather jogging pants six years ago to Fendi, and they said no. How many motherfuckers you done seen with a leather jogging pant?"
"I really do believe that the world can be saved through design, and everything needs to actually be 'architected.'"
"I got off the phone with this one dude. I guess he used to run a multi-billion dollar company or something like that and he had some advice for me, right. He said, 'I don't approve of your methods in your interviews lately.' He said he only saw one person before who ever really pulled this off and that was Muhammad Ali."
"There's so many amazing creative inventors who weren't recognized in their time. And if I've got the voice and I've got the opportunity to turn up in these interviews, I just have to look and say, 'What do I have to lose?' What do I have to lose? We only have everything to gain. So don't ever let them make you think for one moment that I'm going insane. Because I sit back and see shit and think 'Am I the only one that's not crazy?"
"I'm a creative genius and there's no other way to word it."
"Never think I'm not from Chicago for one second."
"It's only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It's only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness."
"This one Corbusier lamp was, like, my greatest inspiration."
"Nobody can tell me where I can and can't go. Man, I'm the number one living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix."