The sentiment "artists are people who have embraced themselves as a superhero" appears in a new (and increasingly rare) interview with Kanye West, out Wednesday, and it's far from the only highly quotable element contained therein.
West is on the cover of the May edition of GQ, complete with a must-read chat with editor-in-chief Will Welch.
There's too much to condense down to mere aggregation here, but among the highlights are West's reflection on the late Kobe Bryant, who died shortly before the interviews used for the feature were conducted.
"He was the basketball version of me, and I was the rap version of him, and that's facts!" Ye said. "We got the commercials that prove it. No one else can say this. We came up at the same time, together. And now it's like, yeah, I might have had a reputation for screaming about things—but I'm not taking any mess for an answer now. We're about to build a paradigm shift for humanity. We ain't playing with 'em. We bringing home the trophies."
Later, West addressed his previous support for Trump, which has remained a source of division among some longtime fans. Without dropping the President's name, he also confirmed that, unlike in previous years, he'll be voting in the 2020 election.
"No, I'm definitely voting this time," he said. "And we know who I'm voting on. And I'm not going to be told by the people around me and the people that have their agenda that my career is going to be over. Because guess what: I'm still here!"
Even Kanye's 2005 comment about then-POTUS George W. Bush was brought up, presenting a moment for West to explain how he now sees that sentiment differently.
"'George Bush doesn't care about black people' is a victim statement," he said. "'This white person didn't do something for us.' That is stemmed in victim mentality. Every day I have to look in the mirror like I'm Robert De Niro and tell myself, 'You are not a slave.' As outspoken as I am, and the position that I am in, I need to tell myself."
West also describes himself as a "functioning alcoholic" and recalls a recent moment in which he overcame a desire to have a drink while creating.
"One day I was in my office working on the couture collection, and there was some Grey Goose in the fridge and I was just going to get a daytime drink, and I looked and thought, 'Devil, you're not going to beat me today,'" he recalled. "That one statement is like a tattoo. I haven't had a drink since I realized I needed to take it day by day, but I never owned up, or was even told, 'Hey, you're a functioning alcoholic.' People have called me a crazy person, people have called me everything—but not a functioning alcoholic. And I would be drinking orange juice and Grey Goose in the morning."
On the topic of new music, West told Welch he "was thinking of not rapping again" but had a change of heart brought on by something the son of a pastor told him.
"I was thinking of not rapping again, because I rapped for the devil so long that I didn't even know how to rap for God," he said. "Then one of my pastors told me, 'My son just said that he would want a rap album about Jesus from Kanye West.' He didn't say, 'Kanye West, you should do this,' or 'you need to do this.' He just told me something that a child said. And that one thing made the difference."
Welch notes in the text that he was played a song tentatively titled "Washed in the Blood" that, while still Christian in nature lyrically, possessed Yeezus-esque sonic elements.
West also talked about how his Wyoming residence (described by Welch as a "test site" for the ideas at the center of West's next chapter of design in architecture) represents both a "Yeezy campus" and a potential "paradigm shift for humanity," as well as addressed multiple fan-favorite discography moments from the legacy perspective. Elsewhere, he speaks at length about his belief that he is "definitely born again" and reveals that 20 percent of Jesus Is King was recorded via iPhone.