In an in-depth interview with iHeartRadio’s Charlamagne tha God, Kanye West opens up about his 8-day hospitalization back in 2016, which he has labeled as a breakdown. In November 2016, Kanye was taken to UCLA Medical Center for psychiatric evaluation following Kim Kardashian‘s Paris robbery incident.
In the interview which lasts for 105 minutes, Kanye West also talks about identifying with President Donald Trump as a non-conformist, his relationship with JAY-Z and Beyonce, why Barack Obama owes him an apology and more.
Read excerpts below.
On relationship with Jay-Z: “I think me and Jay’s issues—my issue—it just came down to information. I’m super hungry for information. I need information more than I need validation. More than I need finance. If I learn how to fish, then I can feed my family forever…That concept that he gave me the money, that’s what frustrated me because actually, the money, he got from Live Nation. That’s normal that somebody gives somebody a touring deal. But the fact that it was worded that it came from him—I’m a very loyal, emotional artist person. That made me feel like I owed more than just the money itself for the fact that it came from him. It put me under a bit more of a kind of controlled situation.”
On Barack Obama calling him a jackass: You know, he never called me to apologize. The same person that sat down with me and my mom, I think should’ve communicated to me directly and been like, ‘Yo, Ye, you, you know what it is. I’m in the room and it was just a joke.’ I just think that we were in a period where he had so much stuff to deal with, he couldn’t deal with a wildcard like me,” he says. “I think that’s too unpredictable. Someone that wasn’t being controlled by strategy and thoughts, but someone who’s acting on feelings. I’m your favorite artist. You play “Touch the Sky” at your inauguration, and now, all a sudden, Kendrick and JAY and all the people you invite to the White House, like, now these your favorite rappers? I ain’t got no problem with these rappers, but you know I’m your favorite but I’m not safe. But that’s why you love me! So just tell me you love me. And tell the world you love me! Don’t tell the world I’m a jackass. I’m fightin’ hard enough. Something about me going on stage was similar to what you was doing. ’Cause I’m fighting to break the simulation, break the setup. That didn’t make no sense.
On his infamous 2009 Taylor Swift interruption: It’s not that I’m particularly fighting for Beyoncé’s video. It’s every time award show has ever done that. Just f*ckin’ with artists. We are H.S.P., highly sensitive people. Artists! That’s what you love about us. So you gon’ line up a whole bunch of artists and put us in some bum-ass suits and sh*t—idea from, like, 200 years ago. We dressed like we 200 years ago, lined up trying to wait for a gold statue. And you gon’ make us feel like sh*t? There’s five of us, and four of us gotta go to our restaurant with our friends and be like, “Man, we ain’t win nothin’.” F*ck that. Man, f*ck that.
On relating with Donald Trump: I don’t have all the answers that a celebrity’s supposed to have. But I can tell you that, when he was running, it’s like I felt something. The fact that he won, it proves something. It proves that anything is possible in America. Donald Trump can be president of America. I’m not talking about what he’s done since he’s in office. But the fact that he was able to do it – remember when I said I was gonna run for President? I had people that was close to me, friends of mine, makin’ memes, talkin’ shit, now it’s like, oh, that was proven that that could have happened … from what we’ve been doing in fashion to me wearing the pink polos, to me being out-spoken, to me being ostracized because of the Taylor Swift thing, or the George Bush thing, who I’m dating, who I’m marrying, who I’m talking about, all of this is an outsider thing. When I see an outsider infiltrate, I connect with that.
On slavery: When I saw Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, that’s when I wanted to use Bitcoin. It’s like all the slave movies. Why you gotta keep reminding us about slavery? Why don’t you put Michael Jordan on the $20 bill?
On losing his confidence: One of the things that was incredible when I got out of the hospital was, I had lost my confidence. I never had the empathy for people who lacked confidence – I had so much of it, I didn’t know what it was like to be without it. I didn’t have that Black Panther, Superman-level confidence … I wouldn’t speak up … I didn’t have me.
Watch the interview below.