Kanye West went off on reporter Sway Calloway this morning during an interview on the SiriusXM station Shade 45. He was responding to the host’s question about past attempts to break into the world of fashion.
You can hear a snippet of West’s tirade in the clip above, as well as check out the entire interview on Hip Hop ‘n More. In the audio, Calloway seems to suggests to West that he skirt the fashion industry and release his ideas himself, prompting West to scream: “How, Sway? You ain’t got the answers, man!”
What follows is a half-conversation, half-shouting match about the similar roadblocks both West and Calloway faced while trying to start their own clothing lines. While West takes some rather unnecessary jabs at Calloway’s former venture (“What’s the name of your clothing line? We don’t know”), his frustration seems reasonable after he mentions losing some of the $13 million of his own money he spent “trying to empower [him]self.”
When the two finally do calm down, trading apologies (sort of), West explains more in detail that he continues to feel marginalized by companies like Nike, despite the massive success of his music career and the attention his fashion endeavors have garnered.
“The thing that compresses me is time versus money,” West said. “Integrity, money and relevance. Because as I work on clothing more, I’m not rapping as much. . . I’m not rapping as much, I’m not having as much finances. I’m losing relevancy. The relevancy is part of my power that allows my brand to be big. That’s what I’m saying: you juggle so crazy, and then you get a Nike that can simply say, ‘The [Air] Yeezys did good, that was a good job. Let me get you some more so you can start your own line because obviously people linin’ up for it.’ But they’ll marginalize and play you and talk about, ‘We don’t even know when the Red Octobers are coming out.'” Recently, West said on Hot 97 that because Nike had skirted that design’s release and wouldn’t pay him royalty, he was done with the shoe giant and had instead inked a deal with rival Adidas.
Towards the end of their interview, West joked to Sway about going off on him, revealing that Charlamagne Tha God, the confrontational host of “The Breakfast Club” on NYC’s Power 105.1, had tried to arouse his ire earlier that day. While West certainly kept his cool throughout his interview with Charlamagne, which you can watch below, there were a few tense moments, particularly when West was discussing the same topic (and again referring to himself as the new Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and/or Michaelangelo). “The reason I’m influential, the same reason why you want me to come to your show or why you want me to wear your product, is the same reason why you gotta involve me and you gotta cut me in,” he said.
West’s reasoning for this was personal, though, as he explained. “What I tell my daughter in two years? That I’ve been working trying to make Nike still hot and I still don’t have the backing to really support and protect her?” he asked. “Me and Kim, we’re on our grind, we had to do what we had to get to this point to support our family, but we ain’t there yet. We ain’t financially there to make sure North is safe at all times. And that’s the reason I’m turning it up, right now.”