Kanye West recently spoke with 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen for Interview Magazine, and that conversation is now online in its entirety.

They touched on a variety of topics, from the Grammys to the "controversial" 'Bound 2' video. A few excerpts can be seen below, but we suggest heading here for the full interview.


'Bound 2':

MCQUEEN: I heard about all of this controversy that came to surround [the "Bound 2" video], which I had to sort of scratch my head about. I mean, call me silly, but when I saw that video for "Bound 2," I just thought to myself, "It's just a video. It's obviously a sort of romantic video of him and his partner, and it's a bit tongue-in-cheek."

WEST: Yeah. I think all that stuff around it is just that: controversy. I think people are afraid of dreams, and that video is one of the closest things to the way that dreams look and feel, or the way joy looks and feels, with the colors. You know, I think there are rules to fashion, with the all-black everything, and rules to art, with white galleries. There are rules to how a lot of things are: the concrete jungle, stone pavement, brick walls. There are even rules to what a Brooklyn apartment looks like. But this video completely didn't respect any of those rules whatsoever. [laughs] It's a dream, and I think the controversy comes from the fact that I don't think most people are comfortable with their own dreams, so it's hard for them to be comfortable with other people's dreams. I mean, look, it took some time for us to be comfortable with a walking, talking mouse, but that became an icon. So this stuff, what I'm doing now, is the beginning of me throwing out what it means to be a rapper—you know, with the gold chain ...

MCQUEEN: To me, "Bound 2" looked like a Prince video. Aesthetically, it had that kind of feel. It wouldn't have looked out of place if it were part of Purple Rain [1984].

WEST: Well, I'd be biased to think that the community of Geminis is the most consistently in tune with what their spirit is telling them to do or why they have breath in their lungs. But I do think that creative Geminis—Tupac, Biggie, Prince, Miles Davis, all being Geminis—have, throughout history, been really in tune with those things. You know, some different friends of mine have been showing me these interviews that Tupac did and how they're very simple and to the point. I watched them, and one of the things that Tupac kept saying is that he wanted thugs to be recognized. Now Jay-Z is a multi-hundred-millionaire who came from the streets, so Tupac's mission, in a way, has been realized. But my mission is very different from Tupac's—and I'm not Tupac. But I think that when I compare myself to Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Howard Hughes, or whoever, it's because I'm trying to give people a little bit of context to the possibilities that are in front of me, as opposed to putting me in the rap category that the Grammys has put me in. In no way do I want to be the next any one of them. But I am the first me. So I only mention those other names to try to give people a little bit of context.

The Grammys:

MCQUEEN: It actually stunned me to find out that you've never won Best Album at the Grammys. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but it's kind of odd, considering what you've done in music over the last decade. WEST: I wasn't even nominated for Best Album this year. This year, I only got two nominations by the Grammys: for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song.

MCQUEEN: Well, that's my problem with all this stuff. It's ghettoization—and I'm talking about country as much as rap. It's all just music. And I've got a problem with people kind of trying to categorize it, where it's either good or it's bad. I find it all odd, to be honest. Have you ever been nominated for Best Album?

WEST: I've been nominated for Best Album maybe three times. I made Dark Fantasy and Watch the Throne less than a year apart and neither of them got nominated. "Ni**as in Paris" [off Watch the Throne] wasn't nominated for Best Song either. But let's go into the fact that I have the most Grammys of any 36-year-old or 40-year-old or whatever, and I've never won a Grammy outside of the Rap or R&B categories. "Jesus Walks" lost Best Song to some other song; "Ni**as in Paris" wasn't nominated in that category. But those are the labels that people want to put on you. People see you in a certain way, so if I was doing a clothing line that had rock tees in it or whatever we just did for the "Yeezus" tour, which sells $400,000 of stuff in two days ... You know, I like Shame [2011] as much as 12 Years a Slave, but Hollywood likes the idea of a black director directing 12 Years a Slave more than it likes the idea of a black director directing Shame.

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