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Kanye West Is the Best Interview Subject of All Time — A Quote Compilation

Photo: Foc Kan/WireImage

Kanye West conducted a pretty amazing/ridiculous interview with the Times yesterday, but this isn’t his first rodeo . The Yeezus singer has been “forgetting better shit than you ever thought of” since at least 2004. Here are nearly ten years worth of absurd quotes and fantastic insights from Kanye West’s favorite rapper, Kanye West.

On his public persona:
“I get to represent somebody I don’t think is getting represented right now. The regular dude: the guy who believes in God but still likes pussy. You know what I mean? The person that would spend his last [dollar] to try to get a hot car, not the person who says ‘Oh, we don’t buy, we just lease’ or the person who’s like ‘Oh, I have so many cars I could crash a car every day’ and shit.” — The Fader, December, 2003

“I’m the rap version of Dave Chappelle. I’m not sayin’ I’m nearly as talented as Chappelle when it comes to political and social commentary, but like him, I’m laughing to keep from crying.” — Rolling Stone, April, 2004

“I’m a pop enigma. I live and breathe every element in life. I rock a bespoke suit and I go to Harold’s for fried chicken. It’s all these things at once, because, as a taste maker, I find the best of everything. There’s certain things that black people are the best at and certain things that white people are the best at. Whatever we as black people are the best at, I’ma go get that. Like, on Christmas I don’t want any food that tastes white. And when I go to purchase a house, I don’t want my credit to look black.”Spin, December, 2007

“I’m like a vessel, and God has chosen me to be the voice and the connector.” — The Fader, December, 2008

“Someone could be a better rapper, dance better. But culturally impacting? When you look back at these four and a half years, who’s the icon at the end of the day? Who broke down color barriers? What other black guy would a white person use as a fashion reference?” — Details, February, 2009

On his musical legacy:
“Dog, VIBE only gave my album a 4! I know my shit is better than a 4. A horrible album with just ‘Jesus Walks’ on it is a 4! C’mon dog, the demo version was a 5! You need to rate it again, but you’ll have to create a new rating system.” — Vibe, April, 2004

“It’s like this, by not giving my album a classic rating, you diminish your magazine’s credibility. And that’s real.” — Vibe, April, 2004

“Anyone who doesn’t give [The College Dropout] a perfect score is lowering the integrity of the magazine.” —  Guardian, August, 2005

“To go gold or platinum to have songs that are respected across the board, to have some sort of influence on the culture and to change the sound of music and inspire up-and-coming artists to go against the grain.” — Rolling Stone, February, 2006

“Don’t ask me what I think the best song of last year was, because my opinion is the same as most of America’s. It was ‘Gold Digger.’” — Rolling Stone, February, 2006

[On a line from “Slow Jamz”] “That line made me a star. Before that record came out, I used to go to Virgin Megastore and thank God for those last moments of solitude, because I knew I’d be famous after people heard the Michael Jackson line.” — Rolling Stone, September, 2007

“Aw, yeah. I thought that that song could relate to a girl in high school, dealing with people coming down on her. [Sings] ‘Everything I’m not made me everything I am.’ In my humble opinion, that’s a prophetic statement. Gandhi would have said something like that.” — Rolling Stone, September, 2007

“There’s nothing more to be said about music. I’m the fucking end-all, be-all of music. I know what I’m doing. I did 808s in three weeks. I got it. It’s on cruise control … Man, we talked about music for God knows how long! Now let’s talk about how my fucking sweater didn’t come back right from Korea. That’s what’s interesting me.” — Details, February, 2009

On confidence:
“I just think that when my confidence meets other people’s insecurity, that equals ‘Kanye’s arrogant.”— Vibe, April, 2004

“Come on now! How could you be me and want to be someone else?” — Guardian, August, 2005

“Earlier today I said a lot of things but those cocky-sounding statements just look better in black and white. That’s why they always use them. And I always give it to them. That’s why my interviews are so valued. That’s why I should get paid.” — Guardian, August, 2005

“If I was to say that I hadn’t already done all of that, then I’d be on some fake Hollywood bullshit modesty, and that’s just plain stupid.” — Rolling Stone, February, 2006

On self-doubt:
“Really good people like me are scared of falling off. I’m totally scared of falling off. Just imagine it. Just imagine if I woke up one day and I was wack. What would I do then?” — Guardian, August, 2005

“And what if I didn’t back it up? How exciting would that be, also? It’s like I’m walking on this tightrope. It’s like the reason why you go to a circus - it’s more entertaining. It’s like, damn, what if he falls? And if I do make it, it’s like, damn, he made it! But either way you’re saying ‘damn’. Everybody else is just walking on the ground.” Guardian, August, 2005

“There can be a point where your records don’t sell as much, or you’re not as popular as you used to be. The best thing that any of the Backstreet Boys could have had was a really good woman in their life. I’m sure they had a lot of good pussy, but good pussy is fleeting. What’s another word for ‘good pussy’ that’s less vulgar?” — Rolling Stone, September, 2007

On celebrity:
“This is my problem with interviews, you know? What if you did music, and someone else could come in and change your words around and then release it to the radio? And you ain’t even get a chance to listen to it before they dropped it to radio? That’s how interviews are! You say what you say and then you get paraphrased.” Slate, August, 2010

“As a celebrity, as soon as you become a star, as soon as it pops off for you? At that point, you stop growing. As soon as you don’t have to wash your own dishes any more. I was like trying to get somebody to jog for me the other day.” — Hot 97, November 2010

On the Taylor Swift VMAs incident:
“She just talked about how, you know, people would come up to her in the grocery store and really just bring it up, and she would defend me at the grocery store — I’m sorry, defend me in an interview, she said at her grocery store, she was actually defending me. It’s an amazing, compelling situation. The situation is bigger to me than the Bush moment.” — Hot 97, November 2010

On relationships:
“I will tell you mad shit about porn, I don’t go into depth about me and my fiancée’s relationship. ‘Fuck you, this is my life.’ I dedicate a lot of my time to make music and provide something for the fans that they’ll enjoy, but my relationship isn’t for the fans to like and enjoy. It’s for me to like and enjoy.” — Rolling Stone, September, 2007

“What I feel like — ‘cause I wanna be married, of course — I feel like the type of girl I would be with is a fellow superhero. So we get that ‘already flying and now we’re just flying together’ thing.” — Details, February, 2009

[On whether he was dating Kim] “Pardon me, I’m coughing on the chardonnay I’m drinking out of a plastic cup right now. For those that don’t have visuals.” Hot 97, November 2010

On learning:
“There’s nothing I really wanted to do in life that I wasn’t able to get good at. That’s my skill. I’m not really specifically talented at anything except for the ability to learn. That’s what I do. That’s what I’m here for.” — Guardian, August, 2005

“If you read books — which I don’t, none at all — about how to become a billionaire, they always say, ‘You learn more from your mistakes.’ So if you learn from your mistakes, then I’m a fucking genius.” — Rolling Stone, September, 2007

On the competition:
“When I think of competition it’s like I try to create against the past. I think about Michelangelo and Picasso, you know, the pyramids.” — Slate, August, 2010

[On being insulted by Cam’ron and Jim Jones] “People are not going to agree with everything I do. I look back and look at stuff I do and don’t agree with it. Man, if I made a dis record of myself, I would kill me. I would be extremely good at it.” — Hot 97, November 2010

On fashion:
“[On his Jesus ring] I love the way it looks with the blue eyes, but I’ll get too much flak for it. I can’t explain that blue-eyed shit. I need to do another one. A black one. Because I have socially conscious lyrics and I’m-a get flak.” — Rolling Stone, April, 2004

On porn:
[On telling Radio 1’s Tim Westwood the three words that sum up his life were “Louis [Vuitton], porn, and church”] “Well, I spend more time watching porn and praying about it afterwards. Then I’ll put on some Louis Vuitton and leave.” — Guardian, August, 2005

On the Grammys:
“Kanye is always opinionated and outspoken, and now that it’s Grammy time he turns into a house nigga? Come on. That’s not even realistic.” — Rolling Stone, February, 2006

On aging:
“Fuck the thirties! I hate my thirties. It’s going to take me a while to get used to it. I envy people who like getting older, because I don’t.” — Rolling Stone, September, 2007

“My parents taught me that AIDS was a man-made disease designed to get rid of the undesirable people.” — Rolling Stone, February, 2006

On his sex drive:
“I got into doing beats for the video games I used to try to make. My game was very sexual. The main character was, like, a giant penis. It was like Mario Brothers, but the ghosts were, like, vaginas. Mind you, I’m 12 years old, and this is stuff 30-year-olds are programming. You’d have to draw in and program every little step — it literally took me all night to do a step, ‘cause the penis, y’know, had little feet and eyes.” — Details, February, 2009

“People ask me a lot about my drive. I think it comes from, like, having a sexual addiction at a really young age. Look at the drive that people have to get sex — to dress like this and get a haircut and be in the club in the freezing cold at 3 A.M., the places they go to pick up a girl. If you can focus the energy into something valuable, put that into work ethic … ” — Details, February, 2009

 On home décor:
[In regard to a life-size poster of himself] “I put me on the wall because I was the only person that had me on the wall at that time. And now that a lot of people have me on their wall, I don’t really need to do that anymore.” — Rolling Stone, April, 2004

Kanye West’s Best Quotes of All Time