Following several public appearances around the UK in support of his upcoming album So Help Me God, Kanye West gave a more intimate and private talk at the prestigious Oxford University on Monday afternoon. The rapper discussed classism in fashion and revealed that Steve McQueen, the director of Oscar-winning movie 12 Years a Slave, has helmed the video for his latest single “All Day.”
“I was sitting with Steve McQueen; he shot the visuals for ‘All Day’ two days ago. It’s completely different to the Brit Awards,” revealed West. He dropped this information while telling an anecdote about a conversation with McQueen where the rapper compared The Matrix to the Bible.
“What I said was The Matrix is like the Bible of the post-information age,” explained West. Before he says this, he carefully explained to the students that he did not want the comparison to be taken too out of context or too literally noting the use of “like” in his quote.
The lecture at the Museum of Natural History, announced on Sunday, made £4 tickets available to students at three specific times over the night and early morning, beginning at midnight on Monday. According to student newspaper The Tab Oxford, over 5,000 spots were balloted but only 350 people were allowed into the tiny lecture hall. West had requested that students turn all phones off, in order to protect his privacy.
Over the course of his hour-long talk, West spoke about many of the same subjects he has covered in recent interviews, including classism in fashion, the human capacity to be great and Drake’s recent rise to the top. “Clothing should be like food. There should never be a $5,000 sweater,” proclaimed West to the gathering of students. “You know what should cost $5,000? A car.”
West’s speech came with a healthy dose of self-awareness as well. While noting his perceived consensus from the likes of Chris Rock to critics that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is “the best album of the past 25 years,” the rapper acknowledged that Nicki Minaj’s “Monster” verse outshone him. On the topic of his weaknesses, West called his ego his “Achilles’ heel.” “And if I, Kanye West, can remove my ego, I think there’s hope for everyone,” he added.
Though still early in 2015, West has been pulling double-duty as he heavily promotes both his Yeezy Boosts collaboration with Adidas and his new album. He has unveiled new songs for fans every couple of weeks and most recently debuted the grimy and fun “All Day” during a fiery performance at the Brit Awards. No release date has been set for the album or “All Day” video.