Kanye West is roaring back into the spotlight with a series of much-publicized, surprise visits to technology and media companies from Facebook and Twitter to XXL magazine. At Friday’s (July 30) visit to Rolling Stone’s headquarters, the lyricist broke down the inspiration behind his forthcoming effort.
“Everyone says all great art comes from pain but I think my greatest art comes from excitement and joy. It’s a completely different perspective about being extremely excited about stuff that is only cool to me,” West enthused in a The Louis Vuitton Don also discussed some of the things that get him amped. “Like, when I tweeted, ‘What’s your credenza game?’ I was very excited about that credenza,” West smiled.
Although the outspoken star entered the game as a rapper, West has toyed with the boundaries of hip-hop in his recent music, most notably with his vocally-driven, Auto-Tuned, 2008 effort, 808’s and Heartbreak. The lyricist revealed during his Stone visit that he sought to widen the scope of his work beyond hip-hop.
“It was important to not be limited by the art form of rap but to have rap bring it to another level,” West said. “Is it rap or is it poetry? Is it spoken word? Is it [a] speech?”
West also spit some of his favorite bars from his untitled fifth studio album which juxtaposes a range of contradictions.
“You’re heaven, you’re my angel/You’re my heaven, you’re my hell/You’re my now, you’re my forever/You’re my freedom, you’re my jail/You’re my lies, you’re my truth/You’re my war, you’re my truce/You’re my questions, you’re my proof/You’re my stress and you’re my masseuse,” ‘Ye rhymed.
West reflected on his role as an artist and said he feels an obligation to open the eyes of his fans.
“There’s people throughout history that their responsibility is to be conveyors of truth onto [the] next generations,” West said. “I feel like I’m that type of person that has to carry on the truth and tell the story not history.”
In addition to looking out for the next generation, West lamented his perceived lack of swagger in the game and called for artists to reach for the “greatness of rock ‘n roll.”
“They’re all scared. All the people that could be real rock stars just get scared,” West said. “It takes so much for a me or an Eminem to come back and embrace and say, ‘You know what? We have to deliver this on a major level to make a difference.'”
West’s album is expected to be released in September.