Kanye West Interview – ShowStudio

SHOWSTUDIO, 2015. Kanye West: In Camera: Live Interview: SHOWStudio [27 October 2015]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYwiR1kA7gI

Kanye West was interviewed by Lou Stoppard for SHOWStudio and I found a lot of what he said inspiring, but I also sternly disagreed with some of his opinions, particularly on race.

Kanye talked about how it is your responsibility as artists to speak your truth and give your truth at that time which I think means that you should always produce things that you believe in and that you believe are meaningful and powerful, instead of being convinced by others that it is wrong or too abstract. He also said that you shouldn’t be afraid of changing your mind and that you should always look outside the box which inspired me to always push that little bit further with your creativity and that it is only natural to change your mind, so don’t be afraid to follow or adapt towards new ideas. Kanye advices that you should never be afraid to branch out of your artistic area and that it is great to be skilled in different areas, e.g. music and fashion. I agree with this as I look at music, fashion, painting etc. all just as different art forms and I think you can definitely link them together, for example, music videos or fashion films. Kanye does, however, think that fashion is the highest form of art because there is so much energy and passion surrounding it. I agree with this, closely followed by music, because everyone wears clothes and decides what looks good with what so everyone can relate and has opinions on it.

Kanye said that he decided to define himself as a creative genius because otherwise he feel that other people will define him as a ‘celebrity’ or a ‘rapper’ which he feels have many negative connotations linked with them. I can see where he is coming from, however he definitely does fit into the category of a celebrity and a rapper, so he can’t really complain if people refer to him as one. I also think it is a very big statement calling yourself a genius because the word genius means you are exceptionally creative or intelligent. However he clearly thinks very highly of himself as he says that he thinks he is either on the same level or a higher level that Picasso, who was one of the greatest and most influential artist of the 20th Century. I personally found this uncomfortable to watch because I think many people would disagree with this heavy statement and would laugh at it.

Kanye says he never experienced doubt, even as a young child, which I find hard to believe because, as human beings, you always question yourself and think you could have done something better or differently, so I think he is just saying that to try to create a strong and untouchable image of himself so people think they can’t break him down with their opinions or criticisms. Later on in the interview he says that he thinks he would be even more dangerous and powerful if he had stayed in art school because he would have so much more knowledge behind him. I agree that he may be more successful because he would understand more things and know more of fashion and art’s history. I also felt that he struggled to express himself literally in this interview at points because he had to take long pauses and he said a lot of ‘errrrm’ and ‘uuummm’ which made him seem unsure of what he was trying to say or how to say it.

I think it was very unfair when when he was asked a question by a fan and he said ‘wait a second, is that a white person that said that?’ because it shouldn’t matter which race said what, we should all fall under the same category. I felt like he kept saying that everyone is equal and that other people are racist, when actually he was the one separating the races, when asking questions like the example above. Kanye said that he feels that if you are born white you get an automatic advantage, however I completely disagree with this. I think that is just how he sees it. The Guardian states that ‘white British children from deprived areas appear to be less resilient to the effects of poverty than other ethnic groups, who perform better at school despite similar levels of deprivation’. This shows that Kanye’s comment was not researched and untrue. This could however be because white people that were born in the UK automatically get free education and so they may take it for granted, meaning they wouldn’t do the homework or would misbehave in lesson. Whereas someone born in a different country would have had to fight for their free education and so would appreciate it more and take full advantage of the opportunity.

Kanye makes a point saying ‘anyone that is criticising most likely.. ..saw the 360s and acted like they didn’t like them because they’re racist and they’re discriminatory’. I think this statement is completely unfair because, speaking as a white person myself, I don’t care if a white person of a black person has made a particular pair of shoes. If I like them then it’s because of their design, not because a black person made them. This was another example of when Kanye completely separated each race in an unfair and unnecessary way. I also think it is very naive to think that the only reason anyone would criticise his shoes is because of his race; he is almost saying that there is no way there would be any other reason that people wouldn’t love my shoes. I understand that white people were very unfair to black people in the past, but the past is the past, and I think people need to let go of it and move on. I think that the majority of white people don’t see black people as any different, but it is the black people that are holding on to the negative history. An example of this is when two boys got arrested for dressing up as two black men; whereas if two black boys dressed up as white people then everyone would just find it funny and I guarantee you that hardly any white people would be offended by it.

Even though I disagreed with many of the things Kanye said, I do admire how much he believes in himself and how passionate he is about his work and family. I found it a real eye opener when he said ‘to let your life be controlled by public opinion is like asking to sit in traffic for the rest of your life’. I found this inspiring because he says that you can’t be controlled by other people’s opinions of you and your work and you just have to do what you think is right and what you believe in.

ADAMS, R., 2014. Top teachers needed to help poor white pupils, says MPs. In: TheGuardian. 18 June 2014 [27 October 2015]. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jun/18/top-teachers-needed-to-help-poor-white-pupils-say-mps

SHOWSTUDIO, 2015. Kanye West: In Camera: Live Interview: SHOWStudio [27 October 2015]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYwiR1kA7gI


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