Photo courtesy of Derek Hui for Noisey
The only thing that could make 2015 a better year for music is if we managed to get a Kanye West offering of some sort before the end of December. Despite his quiet musical year, Kanye West has nonetheless been very busy making clothing and babies. In a rare interview with Vanity Fair about fashion, Kanye West managed to drop enough knowledge to hold us over until the album comes out and the impending tour comes to a town near us.
What do Kanye's upcoming album and my apartment have in common? They're both two-year long painting projects:
VF: In terms of the soundtrack, was there a reason you chose that particular song, “Fade”?
KW: We had a couple options and I just thought it sounded good against the people. For the 40 theaters across the globe, for the kids that all went to see it in theaters, I thought they’d be happy to hear some new music. I’ve been doing that [making a new album] too. That’s like a sonic landscape, a two-year painting. That song I played has been a year and a half in the making and it may be still a year from being complete. But it was to let people get a glimpse at the painting.
Kanye has achieved a level of fame and success where he no longer worries about time. I'm sure Def Jam loves this new approach to deadlines:
VF: I know we’re here to talk about the fashion, but people are just a little bit interested in the album. It could be another year?
KW: I’m not sure. I’m not worried about the years. I’m worried about the life and the body of work that I can put out while I’m breathing.
As always, Kanye is right about guessing how people want to dress now:
VF: That loose silhouette, combined with the bodysuits that are skintight, you feel that’s how people want to dress now?
KW: I think people just wear yoga pants and sweatshirts, and I wanted to make the most beautiful version of that possible.
Kanye then reflects on the way he's seen his parent's influence play out on his own life:
"My dad has two masters degrees. My mom has a PhD, she used to work at Operation PUSH. Somehow the more and more creative I get, the closer and closer I get to who I was as a child. When I was a child, I was holding my mom’s hand at Operation PUSH. I think it’s time. Rap is great.
It’s fun. It’s fun to be a rock star, and I’ll never not be one I guess, but there’ll be a point where I become my mother’s child. With all the things I’ve done that people would consider to be accomplishments, what’s the point where I become the person that Donda and Raymond West raised? My parents’ child."
Remember Kanye's presidential promise? He still plans on delivering, but he prefers not to run against someone. He's open to hearing ideas from all sides—even controversial Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson:
"I want everyone to win. When I run for president, I’d prefer not to run against someone. I would be like “I want to work with you.” As soon as I heard [Ben] Carson speak, I tried for three weeks to get on the phone with him. I was like this is the most brilliant guy.
Kanye's presidential run should just be held in clubs since that seems like a happy medium:
"I sit in clubs and I’m like, Wow, I’ve got five years before I go and run for office and I’ve got a lot of research to do, I’ve got a lot of growing up to do."
When asked about how disruptive his presence might be to the fashion world, Kanye references and American classic:
"A lot of times I feel like Will Ferrell in the movie Elf. You know this big guy that wants to [join in] and his hands are a little bit too big. . . . I could just say please forgive me if I ever step on any toes, because there’s nothing that I would ever want to do or say that would take away from any designer, that would take away from anyone’s work or what they’re working so hard on."
How do you go three years without a phone? What do you do when you sit in those clubs?!
"I think if Michelangelo was alive or Da Vinci was alive, there’s no way that they wouldn’t be working with shoes, as a part of what they work on. Definitely one of the things they’d work on would be shoes. I’ve gone three years without a phone. I don’t go a day without shoes."
And yeah, this isn't great news. That album?
"It’s currently called Swish. I’m forgetting even what the last name of it was now."
Kanye also gives an incredibly detailed breakdown of his designs and current inspirations, including his fascination with the Gap. A newly naturalized citizen interrupts the interview at one point to offer to send his daughter presents. Good things abound. Read the full interview with Vanity Fair here.
Slava Pastuk is the Editor of Noisey Canada. Follow him on Twitter.