On his creative process:
…That’s all I do while I work on music in the studio, I just look at all these photographs, look at movies, I watch Avatar, like we got this 72-inch screen at the studio, and I watch Children of Men, There Will Be Blood, and just create music and I look at the visuals and I’ll turn the track up… And we’ll be in Hawaii and just completely zone out.
On whether or not he is a racist
I actually don’t know a rapper before me that liked white people more than me. I don’t know a rapper that wore tighter jeans. I don’t know a rapper that collaborated with more white people than me.
On the way he makes decisions
…I don’t know, feeling random, you know, my moves are a little bit random sometimes. I am not really that calculated it’s just like hey this is what I felt like doing, hah.
On the “Power” music video
… So we, you know, vibe’d out at my house and we just kept bouncing ideas and we had all these references of these like renaissance paintings and baroque paintings, and I always had the dream of, like, re-creating the Sistine Chapel in a way so you, you know, when people say that this is not the full re-creation cause I still might want to do that, like re-create the Sistine Chapel. But, um, just emotionally and image-wise all that’s it it was really easy on set to, you know, to create the characters because it just feels things I dream and I see and that I felt since I was child from reading comics to being in love with paintings to going to art school and just always wanting to apply that.
On his ambition
When I make music I am not really thinking about other rapper’s albums I am trying to make my music compete with that McQueen collection. Which is, and I am not saying that it does, I am just saying that is the goal, that is how I set the bar of creation. You know, I rather compete with, umm, you know, when I think of competition it’s like I try to create against the past I think about Michelangelo, Picasso, you know, the pyramids. That’s the reason I put, like, 5,000 years in a song like “power.”
On how a philosophy course he took at SUNY Stony Brook on Gilles Deleuze inspired him:
… It’s funny I like want to find more of an abstraction in my work when things are, like, completely literal and you have to take it one way it’s just too commercial for me. But when it’s a bit more abstract and people can take it a lot of different ways so whatever people think about it it’s good, if people think hundred different things and have hundred different opinions about it that’s, that’s much better than giving or demanding that person or someone thinks one way about it…The fact that there is such a vast opinion makes it so great.
On his mission as an artist
I just feel like things on, um, the radio they just almost seem just too clear to me. It’s like when I listen to Thom Yorke or Trent Reznor I don’t understand everything they are saying the first time, but I feel it, I feel the emotion of it, I feel the artistery in it, and to take what I feel is that level and bring it to the radio is an extremely important task and I don’t take that lightly.