This Kanye West interview shows he is as outspoken as ever.
Talking about his musical evolution in advance of June 18's release of his sixth solo album, Yeezus, the brash rapper gives an unrepentant interview to The New York Times in which he not only likens himself to Michael Jordan and Steve Jobs, but also has no regrets about interrupting Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards.
West also predicts that one day he'll run a billion-dollar company because he's the "nucleus" of culture, among other gems. Here's a sampling of some of his choicest bites:
• Kanye suggests his infamous outbursts were all about making his "case," not unlike the way Jordan clashed with referees in basketball:
"Anytime I've had a big thing that's ever pierced and cut across the Internet, it was a fight for justice," Kanye tells the paper. "You know, if Michael Jordan can scream at the refs, me as Kanye West, as the Michael Jordan of music, can go and say, 'This is wrong.'"
• On the hip-hopster's desire to fight for his and others' place in history:
"I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things. So when the next little girl that wants to be, you know, a musician and give up her anonymity and her voice to express her talent and bring something special to the world, and it's time for us to roll out and say, 'Did this person have the biggest thing of the year?'—that thing is more fair because I was there."
• On cutting Swift's acceptance speech off at the 2009 VMAs:
"I don't have one regret…If anyone's reading this waiting for some type of full-on, flat apology for anything, they should just stop reading right now."
• West added that his response to the tragedy was to put out 2010's critically hailed My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which he called his "long, backhanded apology."
"You know how people give a backhanded compliment? It was a backhanded apology. It was like, all these raps, all these sonic acrobatics. I was like: 'Let me show you guys what I can do, and please accept me back. You want to have me on your shelves.'"
• On calling out President George W. Bush in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:
"Yeah, it was pretty bugged out. When you think about it, I was wearing like, a Juicy Couture men's polo shirt. We weren't there, like, ready for war."
"Any woman that you're in love with or that loves you is going to command a certain amount of, you know, energy. It's actually easier to focus, in some ways."
• On his future place in pop culture:
"I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it's like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z. "
• On growing his business empire:
"I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus."