Rap icon - exclusive interview

Clash has been talking with rap icon Kanye West.

West releases his new album ‘808s & Heartbreaks’ at the end of November; Clash’s Adam Park caught up with the man in Belfast.

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Did you always intend to release something this year?
No. I didn’t even intend to finish Jay-Z’s new album, but I did Jay’s album and then I just did this album. I just had a bunch of ideas due to the tour. I mean, we went and did the tour and had to very quickly put together all the music from over three albums and make it sound like they went together. We remixed tracks like ‘Touch The Sky’ and ‘Through the Wire’ and made them sound as though they’re part of one story. The process of doing that inspired me to start making new music.

How do you find playing to UK crowds?
I can’t wait to perform. My agent was talking about not doing this tour because ticket sales are down and all this shit. And I was like, “Dude, I’m gonna sell tickets – I’m Kanye, the most important artist in the game!” (laughs) I mean, I fucking rock shows and people know what it is. And we sold out our shows. They say they don’t know whether to bring the tour to the UK because it won’t sell? We dropped two shows at the O2 and they sold out in hours and we had to add an extra show. This is what we do. People should come to the show. In fact, you would be doing a disservice to not see this show if you have any appreciation for performance, music, spectacle, light, authenticity… Everything that goes in to making a quality show. This is the moment to see me. You might never see the likes of an artist at this point in his career again.

So what’s coming up next for Kanye?
I’m definitely having some clothes come out next year, and some more singles from this album. I will be touring the next album by next summer though. You saw the show in Seattle, right? Well what you’re about to see is way better than that. It had a bunch of kinks in it… You got the jist of what was going on, but now it’s another league!

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The full interview with Kanye West will run in the January issue of Clash magazine, on shelves from December 4.

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