West: [To someone outside room.] Lock that door and stand on the other side until I knock for you … No, lock the doors.
West: [Resuming a conversation in progress with Swift, her end initially unintelligible.] … *** from the old school, yes. I’m doing great. I feel so great about the music. The album comes out February 11, I’m doing the February 11 fashion show at Madison Square Garden, we drop the album February 12 that morning. It’s like…
West: Oh, thank you very much. Yes. It feels good. It feels like real Ye, Apple, Steve Jobs-esque music. So my next single, I wanted you to tweet it. It’s a good Friday to drop it. It’s a good Friday song. So that’s why I call you that I wanted you to release the song.
Swift: Oh, wow. Like, uh, what would people … I think it would just be, people would say, “Why is this happening?” They would think I probably had something to do with it.
West: Well, the reason it will happen is because it has a very controversial line about you at the beginning of the song.
Fast: [Apprehensively.] What does it say?
West: So it says… and the song is so, so cool. And I literally sat with my wife, with my entire management team, with everything and tried to rework this line. I thought about this line for eight months. I’ve had this line and tried to rework it in every possible way. And the original way I thought about it is the best way, but it’s the most controversial way. So it’s going a little Eminem, so can you brace yourself?
Fast: [Sounding resigned.] Yes.
West: Okay. Okay. Wait a minute, you sound sad.
Swift: Well, is it getting mean?
West: No, I don’t think it’s mean.
Swift: Okay, then let me hear it.
West: Okay. It says, um, … and the funny thing is, when I first played it and my wife heard it, she was like, ‘Huh? What? That’s crazy, ‘blah, blah, blah. And as Ninja heard from Die Atword, he was like, “Oh my God, this is the craziest s—. This is why I love Kanye, ‘blah, blah, blah, things like that. And now it looks like my wife’s favorite fuckline. I wanted to give you an idea of that. Turn right?
West: So it says, “All of my Southside [N-word] who know me best, I feel like Taylor Swift owes me sex. ‘
Fast: [Laughs, relieved.] That is not mean.
West: Okay. Well, this is what I’m calling you for, because you have an army. You own a mother’s land – in fact 2 billion people, that if you thought it was funny, cool and hip-hop, and it felt like ‘The College Dropout’ and the artist like Ye you love then I think people would be so in there. And that’s why I think it’s super genius to let you be the one who says, ‘Oh, I really like this song. Like, yes, whatever, this is cool, whatever. “It’s kind of like, I have something on my album that I’m so fond of,” I bet Ray and I would be friends if we don’t love the same bitch. “
Swift: Oh my God! I mean, I have to think about it, because you know, when you hear something for the first time, you just have to think about it. Because it’s absolutely crazy. I’m glad it’s not mean. It doesn’t feel mean. But oh my God, the build-up you gave it, I thought it would be like, “That stupid, stupid bitch.” But that is not it. So I do not know. I mean, the launch thing, I think it would be pretty confusing to people. But I certainly like it … I certainly think that if I am asked about it, of course I will say, ‘Yes, I love that. I find it hilarious. “But I have to think about it.
West: You don’t have to do the launch and tweet. That was just an extra idea I had. But if you think that’s cool, it’s cool. If not … I mean we launch the s *** like on just good friday on SoundCloud, on the site, s *** like that.
Swift: You know, the thing about me is that everything I do becomes a feminist mindset. And when I launch it, they will be like, wow, they will just turn into something that … I think if I launch it, honestly, I think it will be less cool. Because I think when I launch it it adds this level of criticism. Because they have so many followers and now have so many eyeballs on me, people are just looking for me to do something stupid, stupid or lame. And I don’t know. I feel like people would try to make it negative if it came from me, you know what I mean? I think I am very self-conscious about where I am, and I feel almost overexposed at the moment.
West: Oh. Well this one, I think this is really cool to have.
Swift: I know, I mean, it’s kind of a compliment, kind of. [Chuckles.]
West: I have this line where I said … And my wife really didn’t like it because we tried to make it prettier. So I say “For all my Southside [N-word] who know me best, I feel like I and Taylor might still have sex. “And my wife really wasn’t there. She was much more into the “She owes your sex.” But then the ‘due’ part was like the feminist group-esque shit I was like, ahhhhh.
Swift: That’s the part I was a little bit of … I mean, they’re both very tense, but the only thing on the line is that it’s like, then the feminists come out. But I mean, you don’t care. So…
West: Yes, actually. Well what I’m af *** ing about is just you as a person, as a friend …
Swift: That’s sweet.
West: I want things that make you feel good. I don’t want to do a rap that makes people feel bad. The way I love Nike, of course, so people think, “Oh, he’s a bully. He ran onto the stage with Taylor. He’s teasing Nike now, “this $ 50 billion company.
Swift: Why do people say you bully Nike?
West: Because on “Facts,” as I say, “Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy, they’ve been queuing for days / Nike here bad, they can’t give anything away.”
Swift: Yes, yes, yes. I mean that’s exactly what you do. I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s possible to bully a company like Nike. But I mean … uh, yeah, I mean, go with which line you think is better. Either way, it is very ironic. And I really appreciate you telling me about it. That is very nice.
West: Oh yes. I just had the responsibility for you as a friend. I mean, thanks for being so cool about it.
Swift: Thank you. Yes, I really appreciate it. The heads up is so much fun. You’d be surprised how many people just do things without even asking or seeing if I would like it, and I really appreciate it. I never expected you to tell me about a line in one of your songs. That’s really nice that you did it.
West: You mean like unexpected things – like taking the time to give someone a very, very valuable prize and then run straight to the president? In such a way unexpected? [Laughs.] [SwifthandedWesthisawardforhislifeduringthe2015AwardsofHe[SwiftpresentedWestwithhislifetimeachievementawardatthe2015AwardsHe[SwiftoverhandigdeWestzijnonderscheidingvoorzijnleventijdensdeAwardsvan2015Hij[SwiftpresentedWestwithhislifetimeachievementawardatthe2015AwardsHe followed by a high-profile speech in which he admitted that he had smoked a pot beforehand, which also reflected his ambition to become president.]
Fast: [Laughs.] We have not talked about what happened.
West: I thought that was just wavy. It was vibey. The funny thing is that I was thinking about the weed and the president, both things I thought about in the shower the day before and I started laughing like crazy. I was like, I must say I just smoked some weed and then said I would run for President … So those are my bases from … I knew I wanted to say something about liking the Dodgers game with my daughter and I liked to be booed and that was scary and I knew I wanted to say that I changed more and thought about people since I had a daughter. And then I wanted to say the weed thing. And then I wanted to say the president thing. And everything else was just off the cuff.
Swift: Oh my god. It was absolutely like it stole the show … And then the flowers you sent me. I posted a photo of them on Instagram and it’s the most Instagram likes I’ve ever received. It was 2.7 million likes in that photo of the flowers you sent me. Crazy.
West: It’s a connection or something I think is really important for that moment when we met on stage. There is something I think is really important, and where humanity is going, or where I and Kim are, and have a family and everything, the way things land. So it’s always … relationships are more important than punchlines, you know.
Swift: Yeah, I mean, I don’t think anyone would listen to that and say, “Oh, that’s a real diss” – like, “She has to cry at that sentence.” And I think because of how crazy and weird and fateful the way we met, I think we should pick our moments to do things together and make sure they’re just really cool things.
West: Yes, exactly. We can’t pretend it’s someone else’s idea that comes to the fore and they’re like … Because if you’re a real, creative, visceral, vibey-esque person, it’s probably hard for you to join a company to work. So how can you give creative creative ideas and you work in a house of non-creativity? It’s so weird … So if we talk right away … Okay, what if I had to say later in the song, uh … “I made her famous”? Is that a …
Fast: [Apprehensively.] Did you say that?
West: Yeah, it may have happened. [Laughs.]
Swift: Well, what am I going to do about it?
West: Uh, like, does the hair cut?
Swift: Yes. I mean … Um … It’s just like, whatever, at this point. But I mean, you have to tell the story as it happened to you and the way you experienced it. You really didn’t know who I was before. It doesn’t matter if I have sold 7 million of that album [Fearless] before you did that, what happened. You didn’t know who I was before. It is well. But, um, yes. I can’t wait to hear it.
West: I mean, it’s fun. It’s definitely … You’re ready for trend. That’s all I can say.
Swift: Uh, what’s the song called?
West: Uh, it can be called “Hood Famous.”
Swift: Oh, cool. Will it be a single, or will it be a SoundCloud release? What are you doing?
West: Oh, this one here is like af *** ing Song of the Year type territory.
Swift: Oh my god. Astonishing. Thats crazy. Oh my God. Speaking of Song of the Year, are you going to the Grammys?
West: Uh, you know what? I thought I wouldn’t do it. But I think this song … You know what? I’ll send you the number and send you the exact wording and everything about it, right? And then we could sit through it and talk. But if the song goes and f *** ing just … [Brief break in video.]
Fast: [Resumes.] … They just look at us and go … [Unintelligible] … Even if we did an incredible job, for some reason it is more difficult for people to write our names down. That’s just human nature. It is envy. It asks people in our industry to vote for the people who already kill it.
West: Yes. It’s like so many people wanted Meek Mills (sic) to win because Drake killed it for so long, and they were like, “We just have to want like Meek Mills (sic) …” But I think, you know, okay so that has got my mind through many places to troubleshoot. I spoke to Ben Horowitz – do you know this man? He is a VC. Ben Horowitz from San Fran. But he is working on that.
Swift: I know that name. I do not know him.
West: It’s like the San Fran cabal, you know, things like that, like he’s staying down the street from Mark Zuckerberg and getting scared like that. So I talked to him and I was like ‘Bro’ … Like me, I have personal debts. I owe about 20, 30 million since fashion, and still haven’t made it. So that’s part of the reason I had to go to Roc Nation and the tour deals evolved, and it allowed the whole city to try and feel like they could control Kanye or even talk to me like I’m normal or have agents do it, but they saw they couldn’t. It is as if he is even walking around in debt as if he were a billionaire.
I’m like, yes, I’m a cultural billionaire! I may have financial debts. So I told Ben Horowitz, I was like, “You, you, Mark Zuckerberg or anyone else, Tim Cook, you have to clean that up.” So I send Ben Horowitz my current balance. That means I haven’t gone up 50, not 100 million, not 200 million, not 300 million. No – currently 20 million negative. Me, Kanye West, the man who made the music genre that is the Weeknd, that’s Drake – the man who made … Every person who makes music now, his favorite album is ‘The College Dropout’. Any person who makes music. But I’m rich enough …
For example, I went into debt with my wife by working 6 million in a f *** ing house less than a few months ago, and I was able to repay her for Christmas and stuff. So, you know, when I talk about Nike, the idea that they wouldn’t give me a percentage, that I could make something so tangible when Drake just poked me in the mess, that I could have something tangible that showed my creativity and expressed to me, that could also be a company that I could have a fivefold number on and sell it for a hundred million, 200 million, or a billion dollars, that was very serious.
Every conversation, every time I shouted to Charlemagne (Tha God) or to (radio host) Sway, it was really very serious. And it was also with my family. I had the feeling, look, if I was just the angry black man with a pair of cool Nike red shoes five years ago, I’d visit my daughter instead of living with her. It would have been as if enough is enough. It wouldn’t be cool anymore because it would have been a group of people including my wife who all had at least 500, 400 million in their account.
And then you get the angry black man at the party talking about ‘I’m the one who put Kim in the dress! I am the one who did this! “But it never realized itself. So that’s one of the things I just talked to Ben … And I’m talking about it on the album. Talk about personal debts and s ***. Just the idea like, ‘Oh, this guy with this f *** ing Maybach making $ 50 million f *** ing on a tour still hasn’t put it up or was not from the time that AEG and Live Nation wouldn’t give him a deal. ” The blame started after ‘Watch the Throne’ because I didn’t get a deal. But I still did my creative projects on my own, filmed, did a fashion show, just tried to be very Disney, be very visceral, be creative. And…
Swift: I mean, I’m sure you’ve been thinking about this up and down, but I mean, is there a way to monetize it in a way that you thought would still feel authentic, but it’s a billion dollar company would make?
West: Well, that’s what we’re going to do. That is what we are doing. I’m going to be 100% as a multi, multi, multi billionaire. I think it’s nice that I can be like Charlie Sheen and say, “Hey, I have AIDS.” You know, like … I told Drake recently. I was like, “Yo, Drake, I have personal debts.” And for me to tell Drake, the f *** ing number one bachelor in the world who can rape someone in a trash can who lives four blocks down the street from my wife and basically all her friends that I personally have debt, it’s like putting down the sword or laying down or opening the hand, showing the hand. That I don’t have my poker face with any of you.
I’m just myself. I am just a creative. You know, everything I did, even when it was misjudged, whatever it might be from a … It’s always like a good place, and I know I’ll overcome it and I know the world will overcome. Because I’m going to change the world. I’m going to make it … I’m going to make people’s lives better with some post-Steve Jobs, Howard Hughes-esque shit. I’m going to do things with education. I’m going to do things that help calm the murders in Chicago or around the world. Things that help calm police brutality and equalize wealth in the class system.
Because there are a number of classes of rich people who hate Obama because he is more social and he wants the people who have nothing to have everything. And in my little way, by learning to design, design is something that is only given to the wealthy. The exact color palette that Hermes uses versus the color palette that Forever 21 uses – a color palette is extremely important. Color is important. You know, the knowledge of relationships … you know, the size of our house versus the size of other people’s houses, and just the dynamics of that ratio. I don’t want this conversation to last too long, but I wanted to tell you a little bit about where I stand and the perspective I stand on and the road … the fact that I am the microprocessor of our culture.
I mean, I can figure out how to give Rihanna a Mary J. Blige-esque album. I can figure out how to make the fashion world accept my wife, and thus the whole family. I can’t figure out much impossible … I can figure out how to make something you wear at the airport, five years after the whole world was like, ‘Hang that up [N-word] alive and f *** him, and let’s see him slowly, publicly, die. “So it is a lot. I figured that out myself, so it’s a lot – that together, with the strength you have and your fans, the strength my wife has, the strength I have, we can do to make it really where it is not only are the rich getting richer, but … You know, make sure it’s not just charity, not singing for Africa, but changing things for people to experience themselves – a piece of the good life. You know?
Swift: Yes. I mean, they’re great ideas and great concepts, and I’d love to talk more about them. I know you have to do something now, but I love that you go there. And so it has been. I mean, when we went out for dinner, there were rumors about those ideas. I like that you always think outside. And in the past six, seven, eight years, however long it has been since this happened, I haven’t always liked you, but I’ve always respected you. And I think you say that when you say, you know, “I may be in debt, but I can make these things happen, and I have the ideas to do it, and I can create these things or these concepts. “I will always respect you. And I’m really glad you had the respect to call me and tell me about the song as a friend, and it’s really cool to do, and a really good show of friendship. So thank you.
West: Oh, thank you too.
Swift: And you know, when people ask me about it, look, I think it would be great for me to say, “Look, he called me and told me the line before it came out. Like, the joke is on you – we’re okay. ‘
West: Yes. Yes. Okay. I think that’s pretty much the switch.
Swift: Yes. Like, you want to call this a feud, you want to call this cast shadow, but you know, right after the song comes out, I’m going to stand on a Grammy red carpet, and they’ll ask me about it and I’ll say, “He called me and sent me the song before it came out. ” So I think we are good.
West: Okay. I’m going to lay this verse and I’m sending it to you now.
Fast: [Taken aback.] Oh, you have … you haven’t recorded it yet?
West: I recorded it. I nuance the lines – as the latest version says, “Me and Taylor may still be having sex.” And then my wife said, “That doesn’t sound too difficult!”
Swift: Well, I mean, she’s saying that honestly because she’s your wife, and like, um … So I guess what you think is actually better. I mean, of course, do what’s best for your relationship. I think “I owe sex,” it says several things. It says … “Owes me sex” means “Look, I made her what she is. She actually owes me something. “That will split people up, because people who love me will say,” She doesn’t owe him anything … “But then people who liked it thought it was bad and crazy and great that you’re so outspoken like, “Yes, she does. It made her famous. So it’s more provocative to say ‘still have sex’ because no one would see it coming. They are both crazy. Do whatever you want. They both get all the headlines in the world. “Owes me sex” is a bit more like throwing shade, and the other is more flirtatious. It just depends on what you want to achieve with it.
West: Yeah, I have a feeling with my wife that she probably didn’t like the ‘maybe still sex’ because it would be what if she was on a TV show and said ‘Me and Tom Brady would can always have sex ‘or something?
Swift: You have to protect your relationship. Do what’s best. You just had a child. You are in the best place of your life. I would never advise you to breed with that. Just choose what … It’s cause and effect. One makes people feel a certain way, and the other gets a slightly different emotion. But it’s not … I don’t care. There is not one that hurts my feelings and the other does not.
West: Yes. It’s just that when I point this gun, what I tried to do differently than two years ago is like when I shoot a gun, I try to point it away from my face. So someone is a little bit more flirtatious and easier … I think, so really, that means the conversation is real, you’re a little bit better for the audience and a little bit less good for the relationship. One is slightly worse for the public and better for the relationship.
Swift: Yes. I can hear it. But they are really your goals. I mean, you always just go with your gut – of course. But, great. Send it to me. I’m excited.
West: Okay, cool. Thank you very much.
Swift: great. I talk to you later.
West: Okay, cool. Peace. Bye.
West: [To cameraman.] We had to record that.
Camera operator: [About interruption.] Sorry. The battery of this thing is empty.
West: It’s like when it dies … Do you get a s *** like Kanye talking to Taylor Swift explaining that line? There should be three cameras there. We cannot miss a single element.