It takes a rebel heart to know a rebel heart. Kanye West has gotten a lot of flak for his outspoken, often defiant behavior, but Madonna, for one, admires that in him — to a point, at least. Speaking with Rolling Stone for its new cover story in advance of the March 6 release of her 13th studio album Rebel Heart, the "Living for Love" singer praised West's candor but noted that he doesn't always use it to his advantage.
Exhibit A: The 2015 Grammys, where the "Only One" rapper, 37, caused a stir by following Beck onstage after the Album of the Year announcement and then saying later that the Morning Phase rocker should have given his award to Beyonce, who was also nominated in the category.
"Don't go to awards shows looking for justice," Madge advised West, who worked with the singer on several tracks for the new album, including the provocative, celeb-name-dropping "Illuminati." "That's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Just go and have fun. I never got too engaged with who wins awards or not, because I don't honestly think it's that important."
West disagrees, and he's made his feelings about the Grammys very clear in several interviews over the last few weeks. "So that part of him I can't relate to," Madonna told Rolling Stone. "Like, what's the point of fighting for somebody to…like, 'This person should have got it?'…I think sometimes he takes things too seriously."
That said, his intensity can be a boon in a certain situations. "It's really hard to describe Kanye in one sentence, so I may have to use several. He's a brilliant madman," the Queen of Pop, 56, raved of Kim Kardashian's husband.
"He can't help himself. Like, he doesn't have the same filters other people have," she continued. "He has to blurt things out, he's always saying inappropriate stuff. But he also has brilliant ideas, if you can get him to pay attention long enough, working with him in the studio."
That's a big "if," but the payoff is worth it. "He would come and go. He would drive me bonkers, because he's got so many things going on in his life," Madonna explained. "And this seemed to be the theme of my record, working with people who can't get off their phone, can't stop tweeting, can't focus and finish a song."
It drove her "crazy," she said. "But when they did pay attention, it was brilliant." West, in particular, has a certain je ne sais quoi that appeals to the "Girl Gone Wild" hitmaker.
"I feel like the music business needs him, because everyone's become so politically correct, so safe," she told RS. "I don't always agree with the things he says or does — I don't always like his music, even. But he's a beautiful mess. I love him."
Madonna's issue of Rolling Stone is on stands now.
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