Wether you like him or not, the man is a character that can’t go unnoticed wherever he goes. Kanye West is a provocative subject with a more provocative idiom, though his mouth has gotten him into controversy in the past, it has also gained him notoriety and copious amount of financial income. Most recently his album, “My Dark Twisted Fantasy” just sold over 495,000 copies (and counting) earning him the throne, once again, as the hottest mc in hip-hop. Elsewhere, there is no denying that Mr. West is a fashion enthusiast, the self titled, “The Louis Vuitton Don” appears on the 2010 winter edition of i-D magazine. The cover (seen on homepage) shot by Fabien Montique shows Kanye emitting a stern facial expression, tigh-lipped, covering one eye (as i-D covers usually are) while a golden medallion is seemingly protruding from his fingers, with the tittle “impress” in neo-green printed in the middle of it. Along with the article, there are a couple of accompanying photographs, in of of them (right), Kanye –wearing a sharp black blazer and crisp loafers–looks pensive sitting in a stool, while his hand is covering his chin, the inconspicuous golden ring steals the shot. In others (below) donning a Tom Ford steel blue dinner jacket and a clutch of Erickson Beamon gold chains around his neck, Mr. West looks more fragile and sensible, as the jacket is delicately cuffed revealing his wrist.
In the interview, one of the few things he touches on, was the inspiration behind My Dark Twisted Fantasy, “Album number five is a real 70’s project, I really wanted to go back to my soul roots. You could see that I was trying to push into the digital category – or the white music category – but this was an instrumentation of what Q-Tip and Wu-Tang connect with people in a more visceral fashion. I’m trying to find emotion, and deliver ideas where it’s blurred, almost abstracted”, he says. Kanye also talks briefly about one source of inspiration, “Star Wars, Back To The Future, Total Recall, etc…all these films affected me and I try to re-conceptualize them and bring them back to life.” And what he looks for in a woman, “integrity”, he adds, “I’m a hopeless romantic, and I’m looking and trying to decide who the mother of my child would be. She has to bring a certain level to the table; she has to be super-fresh, super smart, and not overwhelmed, because being with me is going to be a job.”
One of his most polemical moments was his flagrantly display of debauchery at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards, where he unexpectedly stepped on stage, unceremoniously cut off Taylor Swift’s speech, and gave his now infamous harangue in national television. After the incident, Kanye was easily the most hated man in the world, so that Mr. Obama called him a “jackass”. Consequently, disappearing from the spotlight, leaving the world in suspense as to what his departure was, “After the MTV thing, I moved to Japan for three weeks…stayed in a hotel and worked on designs just to stay out of the way of paparazzi. Then I moved to Rome and interned at Fendi for five months. At weekends, I’d take time off to go to Stockholm and meet up with Jonny from Acne or go see Giuseppe Zanotti in Italy and work in factories with him.”
All of that is now in the past and Kanye, along with his fans, have seemingly forgave him and moved on from such dark moments. Now, he’s applying those opinionated, boisterous ideas on culture and society into his lyrics, evident on several tracks on his just-released album. Somewhere in the world, Taylor is resting assured, as I’m sure Kanye is as well.