Sure, his rap career and 21 Grammys are nothing to scoff at, but Kanye West’s greatest talent is actually his ability to craft the world’s strangest sound bites.
On Tuesday, March 3, the “Only One” emcee, 37, was a guest lecturer at Oxford University in England. He started off the talk taking one student’s question to “vibe off” of and proceeded to cover a host of bizarre, seemingly unrelated topics.
Here are the 10 best lines (via Vulture):
1. On asking questions: “Okay, everyone please be completely quiet, because I can literally hear a whisper, and it’ll throw off my stream of consciousness, and when I get my stream of consciousness going that’s when I give the best, illest quotes. Literally, a whisper can throw it off.”
2. On his dreams in school: “My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater. That always sounds so funny to people, comparing yourself to someone in the past that has done so much, and in your life you’re not even allowed to think that you can do as much. That’s a mentality that suppresses humanity.”
3. On his faith: “There’s a Bible saying, ‘No weapon formed against me shall prosper.’ Recently I’ve been doing interviews and I’ve had to go back to this verse because I don’t think there’s a living celebrity with more weapons formed against them, but I also don’t think there’s one more prosperous. So what weapons have prospered? The smoke and mirrors of other opinions.”
4. On Steve Jobs’ death: “I love Steve Jobs, he’s my favorite person, but there’s one thing that disappoints me. When Steve passed he didn’t give the ideas up. That’s kinda selfish. You know that Elon [Musk]’s like ‘Yeah, take these ideas.’ Maybe there are companies outside of Apple that could work on them and push humanity forward. Maybe the stock brokers won’t like that, the stock holders wouldn’t like that idea, but ideas are free and you can’t be selfish with them.”
5. On name dropping: “I understand that I’m a servant. And with my voice, with my ability to build relationships with amazing people, speak to amazing people. Call Elon Musk out of the blue, or call Obama out of the blue … he calls the home phone, by the way.”
6. On buying gifts for North: “I’d see toys that some people would buy for my daughter and I’d say this toy isn’t quality. I don’t want my daughter playing with this. There’s not enough love put into this, this is just manufactured with the will to sell, and not the will of inspiration.”
7. On the cost of clothing: “In America people really do wear $3,000 shirts. For real. Here and in Stockholm people will be like ‘Oh dude, it’s a $3,000 shirt’ I’m assuming I’m probably wearing a $2,000 shirt but I got it for free from the designer so.”
8. On parenthood: “People say it takes a village to raise a child. People ask me how my daughter is doing. She’s only doing good if your daughter’s doing good. We’re all one family.”
9. On his big ego: “One of my biggest Achilles’ heels has been my ego. And if I, Kanye West, the very person, can remove my ego, I think there’s hope for everyone.”
10. On being controlled: “My momma taught me that if I was in a grocery store and I’m by myself and a stranger grabbed my hand, scream at the top of your f—king lungs. If I’m at an awards show and a stranger grabs my hand and they say, ‘So we’re going to use these moving lights, or we’re gonna play the music right now before we define the look, or we’re gonna cut the TV cameras in a traditional way,’ I’ll scream at the top of my f—king lungs.”
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