This morning Kanye West appeared on The Breakfast Club and spoke with DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God about the themes we've been hearing in many of his recent interviews—product, design, and being boxed in creatively. While he came under fire from the radio show for his contentious public persona, he also talked about the difficulties he’s faced in establishing credibility as an artist and designer.
"It took me three years to work with Nick Knight," he says. He also asserts that people who invest in him will be like the Medici family supporting Michelangelo.
Speaking about "Bound 2," Kanye explains, "I wanted it to look as phony as possible. I wanted the cloud to go in one direction, the mountains to go in one direction, the horses to go over there. 'Cause I want to show you that this is the Hunger Games. I want to show you that this is the type of imagery that has been presented to all of us, and the only difference is a black dude in the middle of it."
Charlamagne suggests that Kanye should have used Nasim Pedrad and Jay Pharaoh, the Saturday Night Live cast members who play him and Kim Kardashian on the show, so the video looked more like a comedy sketch.
Kanye responds, "Yeah that could be cool, but I'm like Marina Abramovic. This is like performance art."
This comparison may not be as much as a leap as it seems. Yesterday, art critic Jerry Saltz wrote about the performative aspect of Kanye's "Bound 2" video for Vulture, calling it "The New Uncanny," a phenomenon where artists and celebrities try so hard to be sincere that they appear even more alien. "These are not just famous performers; they are performers of fame," he writes. Under this paradigm, the harder Kanye tries to appear just like you and me, the stranger his performance (including these types of interviews) becomes.