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9 Highlights From Kanye West's Interview With Charlamagne Tha God

Kanye covered everything from mental health to Taylor Swift to racism to his meeting with Donald Trump.
Photo via Youtube

Kanye West has successfully confused the fuck out of many of us over his nearly two-week tweet storm. Ye has gone from tweeting out messages of love, to endorsing right wingers, to professing his love for Donald Trump. And, in the midst of all this, he released a pair of songs that are outright weird for different reasons. Still, there has seemed to be some hope from online communities that at some time soon, Mr. West would further explain this barrage of unfiltered thoughts either through an album or some kind of press.


Today, those wishes were granted when Kanye uploaded an interview with Charlamagne Tha God to a website called During the two hour-long conversation, Kanye talked about his battles with mental health, his relationship with JAY-Z, and his newfound philosophies. Here are some of the most crucial quotes from the interview.

1. He talks about his mental health and going to therapy.

“Nah I use the world as my therapist. Anyone I talk to is my therapist. I will pull them into the conversation. I’ll talk through things… And I put that as advice to people Use people around you as your therapist because they probably know more about you. Like a therapist does a crash course in Ye and then comes and wants to give you some advice. I’m not saying therapists are bad but I like talking to acquaintances friends family. And I’ll keep them on the phone for 45 minutes just talking through things"

2. He also discussed his issues with JAY-Z’s issues, which were exacerbated by Jay's "Kill JAY-Z" song.

“I think me and Jay’s issues—my issue—it just came down to information. I’m super hungry for information. I need information more than I need validation. More than I need finance. If I learn how to fish, then I can feed my family forever…That concept that he gave me the money, that’s what frustrated me because actually, the money, he got from Live Nation. That’s normal that somebody gives somebody a touring deal. But the fact that it was worded that it came from him—I’m a very loyal, emotional artist person. That made me feel like I owed more than just the money itself for the fact that it came from him. It put me under a bit more of a kind of controlled situation.”


3. He says that after the now-infamous Taylor Swift moment at the 2009 VMAs, he struggled to get consistent radio play.

"Ever since the Taylor Swift moment, it’s never been the same, connection with radio. Whatever powers that be, it was much harder after that.

4. Kanye went deep into the loss of confidence he felt after his hospitalization:

“One of the things that was incredible when I got out of the hospital was, I had lost my confidence. And you could see it, that’s why they kept saying sunken place and all this stuff. And wow. I never had the empathy for people who lacked confidence. I had so much of it, I didn’t know what it was like to be without it. […] It just wasn’t Black Panther/Superman level confidence. It was placed into the simulation. I completely could be molded and controlled if that was the case. I wouldn’t speak up.[…] I didn’t have my confidence. So that superpower—if I was homeless, any situation—you could take everything. You could Black Mirror me. You could put shit on the media and say Ye fucked a goat…and you would not take my confidence away.”

5. Did he even cover Bitcoin? You bet your ass he did:

“That was the moment I wanted to use bitcoin, when I saw Harriet Tubman on a $20 bill…Why you gotta keep reminding us about slavery? Put Michael Jordan on the $20 bill.”

6. Kanye also touched on racism and praising Trump:

“I felt like when I came out and expressed what I said and what I felt that it was almost like a Clayton Bigsby moment when everybody’s head exploded. Like ‘My ‘Ye, George W. Bush doesn’t care about black people, this dude has to like diss Trump at all costs.’ So many people around me said don’t express your feelings. Because of his brand […] well what makes George Bush any more racist than Trump? My response is, well racism isn’t the deal breaker for me. If that was the case, I wouldn’t live in America. In this gated community, I deal with it [racism]."


7. He talked about his falling out with Nike.

"I got love for Obama. I got love for everybody. But I felt like Obama was perfect. He was almost like Nike. Or Nike when I was at Nike. When my karma comes, I’ll accept it in real time. I got some karma waiting on me. It was heartbreaking for me to have to leave Nike. But they refuse to allow me to get royalty on my shoe and I knew I had the hottest shoe in the world. They just said, look you can make 5,000 shoes or 10,000 shoes and we’ll give some of the royalties to your favorite charity. But it was nothing to build. Now, we building factories."

8. Toward the end of the interview, Charlamagne and Kanye looped back to talk more about his affection for Donald Trump. 'Ye seemed to suggest that he identified with the president as an outsider.

I love real change. I love challenging the norm. I love people who don’t love him. I love the fact that they speaking up. And everybody’s just giving their opinions. Everybody’s expressing themselves. I love that. I been waiting for this moment in time. This is a Ye moment in time. My dad is a activist and my mom was an activist. We was in marches and stuff. I feel that energy coming to a head now.

I don’t have all the answers that a celebrity’s supposed to have but I can tell you that when he was running I felt something. It’s like the fact that he won, it proves something. It proved that anything is possible in America. That Donald Trump could be president of America. I’m not talking about what he’s done since he’s been in office. But the fact that he was able to do it. Remember when I said I was gonna run for president? I had people that was close to me, friends of mine, making jokes, making memes, talking shit. Now it’s like, “Oh its proven that that could have happened.” I felt the nonconventional. Even from what we’re doing in fashion to me being the kid with the pink polos to me being outspoken to me being ostracized because of the Taylor Swift thing or the George Bush thing or who I’m dating who I’m marrying , what I’m talking about. All of this is an outsider thing, so when I see an outsider infiltrate, I connect with that.


Virgil working at Louis Vuitton, Trump being in office, its a time for the unconventional. I’m not a traditional thinker. I’m a nonconformist. So that relates to the nonconformist part of me. Now, you know, but also I’m a producer, I like to segue things I like to take “Otis,” chop it up. What’s the Ye version? The Ye version is maybe the Trump campaign and the Bernie Sanders principles. That would be my mix and stuff. But I think both are needed.

9. Kanye also reflect further reflected on his mental state and his hospitalization, telling Charlamagne that moments of that time were among the worst in his life.

Nah, nah. I’m happy it happened. I’m happy to have gone to the other side and back. I want to point out the moment when you’re in the hospital bed and you’re next to your friend and you tell them “Don’t let this person leave my side” and they put you inside of an elevator and take all your friends away from you. That was the scariest moment of my life. I thought I was going to get killed.

The conversation ends on a positive note though. As the pair walk through the 300 acres of land Kanye's acquired Charlamagne asked what he thinks College Dropout Kanye would think of present day 'Ye.

"I think he’d be happy, satisfied, and he would believe it." he says You know how people say they wouldn’t believe it? I always believed it. We're standing on my first property. I’m going to be one of the biggest real estate developers of all time, what Howard Hughes was to airplanes and what Henry Ford was to cars."

He ends with one final statement: "We gonna develop cities."