What do Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Bjork, Haruki Murakami and Kanye West all have in common?
Probably not that much. But they’re all listed in TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Not only that, but he’s listed as a ‘Titan’ not ‘Artist’.
Love him or hate him, nobody can suggest that Kanye West is not influential and not important. A musical pioneer, his music has changed the game forever – and let’s not forget his phenomenal production talents. Not afraid to bend styles and fuse genres together (he’s worked with everyone from Rihanna to Elton John to Gesaffelstein to Bon Iver, and he’s sampled everyone from Aphex Twin to Bill Withers to King Crimson… you get the idea,) West has proven time and time again that there’s a reason he stands out from the crowd.
It’s been more than ten years since debuting The College Dropout. Since then, he’s not only changed the way his own music sounds, but hip hop as a whole. Moving beyond his music, he’s launched a record label, numerous fashion lines (at varying levels of success) and a lot more. His public image has made him larger than life. His in-concert monologues, his Twitter antics, interview quirks and of course, marrying Kim Kardashian, have also made him something of a viral goldmine – although it seems like he’s turned a new leaf. Remember when he claimed he was the new Robin Hood?
Watch the video where Kanye speaks about his roots and the future of society, fashion and more. Insightful and humble, this is well worth a watch.
“I don’t care about having a legacy, I don’t care about being remembered,” West said. “The most important thing to me is while I’m here, while we’re having fun, while we’re going to sleep and breathing oxygen, and living life, and falling in love, and having pain, and having joy, is like, ‘What can I do with my voice, what can we do for each other to make life easier, make life doper for our kids as they grow up?’ You know, they were born into a broken world and we’re like the clean-up crew.”
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX and all around wonderful man had this to say about Yeezy:
Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list. The dude doesn’t believe in false modesty, and he shouldn’t. Kanye’s belief in himself and his incredible tenacity—he performed his first single with his jaw wired shut—got him to where he is today. And he fought for his place in the cultural pantheon with a purpose. In his debut album, over a decade ago, Kanye issued what amounted to a social critique and a call to arms (with a beat): “We rappers is role models: we rap, we don’t think.” But Kanye does think. Constantly. About everything. And he wants everybody else to do the same: to engage, question, push boundaries. Now that he’s a pop-culture juggernaut, he has the platform to achieve just that. He’s not afraid of being judged or ridiculed in the process. Kanye’s been playing the long game all along, and we’re only just beginning to see why.