You’ve said that one of the reasons you did Watch the Throne was that you wanted to learn to communicate in the easy way that Jay Z communicated. Do you feel like that experience helped you at all?
Yes! It’s picking up skill sets that give you longevity. That’s what I like about Jay. He has longevity. He’s still at the top of relevancy from the way he moves, the way he interacts with people, his ability to brush things off of his shoulder and just win at life. He’s the poster child of winning. And I think I was the poster child of, like, fighting and winning. But you always saw the fight. And with Jay, you always saw the win.
What about the new record? How far away is that?
I don’t know, man. I hope I can get one of these songs out in the next couple of weeks, just to have something up and running. But I think most likely September. I go back and forth. Like, should it be September or should it be October? Should it be November? When Beyoncé was working on her last album, she took a while. I was thinking it could somehow come out in June, like Yeezus, and just kill it for the summer. But then I’m like, I have to work on Adidas and be with my child.
When you said what you said last year about the fashion industry and your frustration with it, did your phone ring after that?
It did move the needle. Only positive came from it. Maybe I’m not as good friends as I could have been with the Saint Laurent designer. And now I don’t get the red-and-black versions of the white-and-black pants that are in stores, or whatever I would have got as a musician. But other than that, that communication was real. Alexander Wang made sure that I was able to go to a Balenciaga show, and I was never allowed to do that before because I was a celebrity. Listen to what I’m saying—me, as Kanye West: I guarantee you, I’m more than 50 percent responsible for every men’s shoe that they sell. Me, the singular person. More than 50 percent responsible for every Balenciaga shoe they sell. And they would say, “You can’t come to the show, because you are a celebrity.” But all honesty, no ego, I have a level of influence, and I have a level of respect for the designers. And we move product on that Barneys floor.