Apart from being a 21-time Grammy-Award winner, a fashion mogul, and married to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West also boasts some of the strangest and most controversial sound bites in the history of speaking. In honor of his birthday today, Savoir Flair has rounded up his ten most memorable quotes for your enjoyment, below.
“I’m my favorite rapper.”
In an iconic 2007 interview, West explains his stance saying, “Jay is [Talib] Kweli’s favorite rapper, 50 Cent is Eminem’s favorite rapper, and I’m my favorite rapper, because I’m able to visualize everything at once.
“My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.”
From the suspended stage for his ‘Saint Pablo Tour’ and his Sunday Service to his Yeezy events at Fashion Week, West has put on some of the most impressive performances of any rapper alive today. But while he’s the main event, he admitted something that many artists think but few ever say: that he craves the ability to see himself perform live. Most call it egotistical, but we call it understandable.
“I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud nonreader of books.”
West famously said this to Reuters, but after he was called out by the public by baseless remarks about race made to TMZ in 2018 (for which he later apologized), some fans suggested that picking up a book might be the very thing he needs to do most.
“For me to say I wasn’t a genius, I would just be lying to you and to myself.”
In 2013 on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, West said perhaps his most controversial statement yet. He unapologetically declared himself a genius. Some say he was self-aware, because his body of work speaks to his brilliance, but others retaliated with the fact that “genius” is a label others give you, you don’t give to yourself.
“I hate when I’m on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle next to me. Like 'oh great. now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle'.”
West has been known to let Twitter fingers fly, and in October 2010, he unleashed one of his most hilarious and relatable tweets ever.
“Started from my mama, now I’m here.”
On the famous radio show Sway in the Morning, West parodied Drake’s line “started from the bottom, now I’m here.” He goes on to credit his mother Donda West with educating him from an early age, which informed the intelligence and quick wit of his rap lyrics.
“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.”
In 2013, in an interview with Jon Caramanica of The New York Times, West was at his most controversial, as he laid claim to his genius and put himself in the same league as some of the biggest names in culture. But after witnessing the staying power of his influence, and the continued success and innovation of his brand, it’s hard to dispute him. He concluded the interview saying, “I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth a billion dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture, I am the nucleus.”
“I don’t even listen to rap. My apartment is too nice to listen to rap in.”
He now lives with his wife Kim Kardashian and four children at a mansion in Calabasas and his ranch in Wyoming. However, in 2008, West wasn’t the billion-dollar designer or husband of a reality star that he is today. Still living the apartment life, he made this statement to DJ Semtex, although we find it hard to believe.
“I jog in Lanvin.”
Another famous tweet came in 2010, when West shouted out his Lanvin jogging attire. The best moment came after, however, when he followed it up with, “oh sh**! Lanvin’s a trending topic now hahahaaaaa.”
"Yeah. I'm rich and I'm famous, but I try not to be extra with it."
West made this tongue-in-cheek statement to Complex‘s ‘Westworld’ in 2008, but as we all know, he is two out of three of those things.