Kanye West at Design Miami/ Basel: "I Just Felt That I Would Never Be One of the Great Visual Artists of the World"

He gave a passionate speech at Design Miami/ Basel last night.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Yesterday, Kanye West shared footage of himself, Mike Dean, and Rick Rubin recording "I Am a God" on his website, shortly before he hit the stage at Design Miami/ Basel during Art Basel to perform "New Slaves," give a speech, and host a listening session for his forthcoming album, Yeezus. During that speech, he talked about his background in art—attending art schools, doubting that he could become a great visual artist, and how the sampling in his music is similar to the re-appropriation techniques of Andy Warhol. According to Artsy, the performance was spontaneously planned with the founder of Design/ Miami, Craig Robins, and he also shouted out designers Jean Royère, Jean Prouve, Pierre Jeanneret, and Rick Owens before the event.

He goes further to talk about the fashion world's reluctance to accept rap, but how that's changed once people began to understand what hip-hop means in culture. He ends by expressing his admiration for the artists making functional art and design (similar to his confession in the New York Times that a Le Courbousier lamp was "his greatest inspiration" when recording Yeezus), which makes sense given the context of the event: a design fair in the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Hall 1 Sud at Basel's Messeplatz.

Look forward to the release of Yeezus on June 18.

Right now it’s a fight against the separation and constant dumbing-down of culture, and I’m standing in the middle of it.

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