Kanye West broke during his interview with BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe when discussing one of his mentors, late fashion professor Louise Wilson
“Last time I saw her,” West recalled, taking a deep breath, “we had dinner at Hakkasan, which is my favorite restaurant in London. And I think she knew that she was going to pass, and she just wanted to give me some words of advice moving forward, and she was asking me about my daughter, asked me about my wife…and she said, you know, ‘So many students, they don’t give it their all, and the problem is, soon as they do anything halfway good when they’re 2 years old, 3 years old, their parents clap.’”
At that moment, Zane began to clap.
“Exactly,” said Kanye. “They clap. And she just looked at me and she said, ‘Kanye, don’t clap.‘”
‘Ye continued, “I didn’t know we were going to lose her…and she told me, she said, you know, ‘Thank you for the times where I came to performances and this has like really meant a lot to me, with…’”
And that’s when he lost it. He covered his eyes with both hands before eventually leaving the studio. “We’ll take a minute,” he said as he tried to overcome his emotion.
“That’s never happened to me in an interview before. I think I’m good.”
In addition to the emotional moment, Kanye spoke about Drake, fashion, his new album & more — check out a few excerpts.
On working with Adidas: “Everyone I talked to would try to level me, and there was this guy named Hermann Deininger, who was the head of Adidas — I say was because he passed away recently. I showed him what I shot in Qatar […] He believed I had something more than what my rap record was. He could tell. He knew. He made sure that Adidas deal got done.”
On exclusivity: “I want to apologize to everyone right now because I believe Season 1 [of his Adidas line] might still be in that upper price point and there’s still the word ‘exclusivity’ being thrown around. Exclusivity is the new n-word. Nothing should be exclusive. Everyone should have the opportunity to drink from the same fountain.”
On his new album: “I’m just working hard on it. It’s fun to work hard, and we’re being inventive and I’ve still got a lot of opinions and perspectives that I think are important and can be inspiring to people. ‘The College Dropout’ came out of a fight to want to rap. This new album’s coming out of a fight to want to design. […] It’s a joyful noise unto the lord. It’s still the struggle, but the beauty from the struggle. The song ‘Amazing Grace,’ coming out of the worst pain possible and making the most beautiful song possible. I want to perform ‘Only One’ as many times as possible. I can be vilified or misunderstood and I didn’t come here to be liked. I came here to make a difference. I’m not talking about this interview, I’m talking about life.”
On working with Paul McCartney: “We just make song after song after song after song after song. […] People think our first two singles don’t have drums but both of those are percussion instruments […] Meeting Paul McCartney is like meeting Ralph Lauren. The greatest of their field, period, of all time. […] The whole cadence was trap, as soon as Paul starts playing I start singing in trap. Fusion is the future. The mixing of ideas, the two lunch tables working together. Humanity, period, we’re one people.”
On classism: “The juxtaposition of the the front and second rows [of his fashion show] is fusion, is the glass shattering of the class system, which is the new racism. Class is the new way to discriminate against people, to hold people down, to hold people in their place based on where their kids go to school, how much money they make, what they drive, where they live and what type of clothes they have and how much they have in their account for retirement. To somehow say this person right here means more than this person. I know I tweeted, ‘Black lives matter,’ but all lives matter. My doorman is more important to me than any head of any company. He keeps us safe. My driver keeps us safe.”
On the Grammys: “The Grammys are definitely like an ex-girlfriend. As soon as you get in the car with them you wanna go right back home.”
On having more kids: “I’m practicing really hard. I try as many times a day as I can. Nori, this one is for you. You need a sibling.”
On Drake: “He’s delivering a level of product to humanity that is of high quality. I don’t have any advice for this young man, but what I can say is, ‘Run. Fly. Go as fast as you can. Don’t stop. Anytime I can be of any service, advice, beats, whatever you need, confidential design advice on the shoes you’re doing at the other company — anything we can collectively do to deliver more awesomeness to the world as a team.’ Not just me and him, us all.”
Watch the full interview below!