Despite many people’s perception of him, Kanye West insists he has put his ego aside in order to be more creative.
The Glastonbury headliner speaks exclusively to Q in our new issue, on sale from Tuesday (30 June), and he tells Dorian Lynskey that following wide-spread criticism of his interruption of Taylor Swift’s speech at the 2009 MTV Awards, and the impact of his mother’s death on him – Donda West died following surgery in 2007 – he went through a long period of self-reflection and self-evaluation.
“I had to get beat up, I had to lose, I had to be humbled, and I had to realise my position,” he says. “I made a mountain for myself, I went to the mountain top, and I never touched God. You have to recalibrate and understand that you’re not a god in any way other than the fact that God is inside us. I am here to serve God.”
He argues this understanding has made him a better artist, declaring that all his records have lived-up to the creative ideals he set for them.
“That’s what makes me a good artist, because I can portray what’s in my head,” he argues. “I challenge commercialism all the time. I challenge people with sonic beauty. For a society that’s been greyed out by mediocrity, it’s like eating a whole bunch of McDonald’s and then you get some real food. What’s actually good is challenging when you’ve been served bullshit so much. The ultimate win is when a lot of people want that new good as opposed to the mediocre thing they were getting before.”
Get the new issue of Q, in print or on digital, for the full, extensive, exclusive interview with West.