Kanye West's 15 Best Quotes of 2013 - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music Lists

Kanye West’s 15 Best Quotes of 2013

The world according to Yeezy

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

See where 'Yeezus' ranked on Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums of 2013 list

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

On Limits

"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."

Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

On Corporate Control

"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.'"

Kevin Winter/HFA2013/Getty Images for DCP

On Classism

"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?"

Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images

On Titling a Certain Hit Song

"Why do you think the song 'N****s in Paris' was called 'N****s in Paris'? Because n****s was in Paris!"

Desiree Navarro/WireImage

On His Code

"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?"

Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014

On the Infamous Leather Jogging Pants

"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?"

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for MTV

On How to Save the World

"I really do believe that the world can be saved through design, and everything needs to actually be 'architected.'"


On Precedents

"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."

Dominique Charriau/WireImage

On His Sanity

"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?"

Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

On His Awesome Instincts

"It's only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It's only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness."

Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage

On His Place in the Pantheon

"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."

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.