While the world awaits the emergence of Saint West as our forthcoming hip-hop lord and saviour, for now, we’ll have to be content with Kanye’s own transcendent words.
Back in March, The Oxford Guild Society was lucky enough to nab Kanye for a guest lecture and until now, had only released snippets of the inspirational speech. They’ve now released the full lecture, which in typical Kanye style, touches and draws on his own experiences with race, class and his own artistry.
As always, there are too many highlights to simply list here. He begins by arguing that artistry is an inherent quality in humanity, as we are all artists of one form or another, whether that is an artist of business or of composition. After some comparisons to Picasso, he discusses the level of criticism and opinion he attracts – comparing it to The Matrix’s Neo and the thousands of Smith agents that track him. He also delves into a discussion of class and even a discussion about his ego – and how he’s ‘removed it’.
Some of his best quotes:
“I was joking with an interviewer earlier today…people talk about the amount of viewers the Brits get, or the amount of viewers the Grammys get. They need to do award shows for the Nobel Peace Prize, but I guess that doesn’t sell as many MasterCard commercials.”
“One of my biggest problems, one of my biggest Achille’s heels has been my ego. And if I, Kanye West, the very person, can remove my ego, I think there’s hope for everyone.”
“One of the most memorable things about My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was Nicki Minaj, and the fact that she kicked my ass, on my song, on one of the best albums…the best album – I’m just saying what the critics said – of the past 25 years.”
“My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater.”
“I’m crying about the people. I’m crying about their daughters. Our daughters, as one family. What good is it. What good is anything that everyone can’t have. Every ism. They think we’re done with racism. What about elitism, what about separatism, what about classism? That’s all.”
Listen to the full speech below: