During Kanye West’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, he defended his comments about slavery, talked about defying expectations, his new album and his love for his kids.
West appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live after five years. He also brought Kimmel shoes from his own brand. Kimmel asked the rapper and designer, “Is [hearing that people like your shoes] for you more rewarding than hearing people say they like your music?”
West responded that he appreciates both, explaining that for him the idea of defying expectations is much more exciting.
He said, “Yeah, when you go and do creative journeys, it’s exciting for people to appreciate specially if people didn’t think that it was possible. Like when I started off in Chicago as an artist, as a visual artist like I went to art school, and I decided to start doing music and people said it wouldn’t work out.
“Then I started producing and selling beats and I started selling beats to Jay Z, Rockefeller, and that started going well and I said I wanted to rap, and people said that wasn’t going to go well. They had this term ‘producer rapper’: it basically meant you wouldn’t rap as good as the real rappers.”
“That started working out, then I said I wanted to design clothes and then that started working out,” he added.
Kimmel also asked West, who is known for his controversial opinions and tweets, if he ever regrets anything he has put out there.
In true form, West took the question much more philosophically and said, “I think people focus too much on the past and focus too much on regret. Even like when you deal with schools, you take like the slave idea, my point is I’ve heard of history class, I’ve never heard of a class that breaks down how you balance a checkbook or how you control your finances which my father never taught me that. I’ve never heard of future class.”
He continued, “They keep us so focused on history that we start to believe that it actually repeats itself and we become overly traditional and we can’t advance as a race of beings. we get too caught up in the past and what everyone’s saying and what everyone’s tweeting and sometimes you have to be fearless enough to break the fucking simulation.
“And when I say simulation, this is what I mean when I say simulation.”
He took a little breath here to tell the audience, “So I know you guys want to clap but everything I say is going to be amazing.”
He then continued with his explanation of simulations amidst raucous laughter, “Here’s an idea of why you’re in a simulation. Let’s start with acting. A two year old screams at a restaurant, the entire restaurant screams teach that kid how to act. We’re all unpaid actors in some giant script that we didn’t write.
:Simulation: a two year old jumps on a coffee table and someone says that’s a coffee table, don’t jump on that. So it went from being something that makes him feel like Superman, he’s got his cape on to something where he has to think about this family member he doesn’t like anyway. He’s two years old, he doesn’t’ give a f— about coffee or a table. And he’s starting to like calculate all these things.”
He continued on to stretch his analogy to his own life and the kind of world he lives in, saying, “And by the time you’re 40 years old you’ve got a wall full of coffee tables calculating you into traffic, calculating you into your career choice, calculating you into this town house that’s not quite as big as the town house next to it and it just never worked. That’s the simulation that I’m talking about, that’s what I mean when I say simulation.”
When Kimmel asked him for his thoughts on people that are stopping him from jumping on the coffee table because they want to protect him, he said, “We are too protective. We always don’t want someone to get hurt. Can you imagine me talking to my publicist before I said I’m going on TV again?”
As the audience laughed, he elaborated by explaining his appearance on TMZ when he said that slavery is a choice by saying, “One of things that got missed on TMZ is the main thing that I was stressing is the idea of trying love. We’re always pushing out so much hate and love can cure so much. Just to think, am I moving in love, is this out of love, not out of pride.”
“Pride is a word that people often say in a positive connotation but it’s actually one of the seven deadly sins and it takes too much ownership but you can replace pride with love and when I see people just even like go at the president it’s like why not try love for one person to stand up against all odds and just hug somebody the way that Alice Johnson hugged her family when she got out of jail.”
“That one by one we can diffuse this nuclear bomb of hate that we’re in as a society by thinking of everyone as our family and how would we treat our kids.”
Kimmel also brought up the Harper’s Bazaar cover that Kanye posed for with his kids North and Saint. Kimmel asked if West’s kids were aware of the process of design and if they understood what their father worked for.
Kanye said, “My daughter went to fashion camp for 5 days a couple of weeks ago. And I visited her, and together we put the thread through the sewing machine and it really brought me to tears to think about the 15 years that I’ve been working on apparel and for my friend Virgil to be the head of Louis Vuitton and for me to have this 1.8 billion dollar company out of a thread going through.
He continued, “My daughter asked me ‘Daddy do you have a sewing machine like this in your office?’ And I brought her to my office ad she did a bunch of sketches and my head patter made her dresses right there for her. So she loves coming to the office and doing sketches.”
West also said that even thought he released an album and worked as a producer on five other albums in one month, he slept for most of it.
He explained to Kimmel, “I have a team and we worked together. I spent a year and a half after I got out of the hospital and I would go to the Neba Records Store and I would start chopping up samples. It was very therapeutic because I wasn’t full Ye, I don’t know if I’m full Ye now or better or worse but it was therapeutic just to listen to those songs and go back to being 14 years old in my mom’s house.”
“By the time it was time to put the albums out, we have a whole time at Yeezy sound that will come and do the drums, help with lyrics, help with choruses. And I would give like 6 or 7 people ideas that I want on the song and I would just go to sleep,” he added.
Kimmel asked West about his recent tweet telling fans how to not kill themselves. His advice was for them to not hang around people that make them want to kill themselves, and West elaborated on that by saying he had the advice after an Alexander McQueen film.
He also said that like the designer, he has his own tombstone planned out, and it is supposed to say ‘Are you happy now?‘
Kimmel told him, “It’s funny but not really funny. When you have thoughts like that you have to be careful and talk to people.”
West said, “Well not be careful, just be expressive and just understand that all these people are sensitive people like you get these celebrities and they get a bad photo and everyone just tears them all the way to shreds and you forget that this is a daughter, a son, a mom, a dad. And I think that I fight for all of us.”
West’s album Ye was released on June 1, 2018.
Watch the full interview below: