Kanye West likes to believe he has finger on the pulse, and in an interview with “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” radio show on Friday, June 3, West reiterated this point.
“It’s my job to innovate, and if you hear something that’s completely innovative you might not get it at first,” said West in response to the constant changing sounds of his music. “It’s certain people’s job to be the innovator, to push the envelope.”
He continued, “When you do that, you go out there, people are not always gonna understand what you’re talking about, what you’re playing.”
West’s seventh album, “The Life of Pablo” debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts when it was released last year. The once Tidal-exclusive album sold 94,000 units with 70 percent of those coming from streaming, which is an estimated 99 million streams for the week ending April 7. It is the first album in Billboard history to sit atop the charts with most of its sales from streaming.
One of the tracks off of the album, “Famous” caused quite a bit of controversy when it name dropped Taylor Swift. One of the lyrics stated: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that [expletive] famous (God [expletive]), I made that [expletive] famous.”
According to West, the pop star was aware of the lyrics since he asked her opinion of the song before its release. The Chicago rapper says he’ll continue to freely express himself.
“Music is all we’ve got to express ourselves,” he said. “It’s our only opportunity to fully express ourselves.”
The 38-year-old rapper also feels his presence is vital to the industry.
“You need a guy like me in the game! You need someone who is not watered down… I’m still Ye! They tried to beat me down!…I’m not a bad person, I’ll just tell you my truth now,” he said. “I’m a champion. I’m a winner. I came to innovate. I came to change,” he said. “This is like Michael Jackson level.”
Listen to the full interview below.