1977 may have had the legendary Frost and Nixon interview but 2020 has tried to top that with Kanye West and Joe Rogan.
As per Billboard, West appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience for an in-depth interview. It premiered on Rogan’s YouTube page on Saturday, October 24th.
Until recently, Joe Rogan was most known for being big into UFC. He launched his podcast JRE in 2009 and its exploded in popularity in the last few years, particularly with a young male audience. He got Elon Musk to smoke a joint. Donald Trump even asked for Rogan to host of one of his debates with Joe Biden. Now that would’ve been something.
West needs no introduction of course. It’s Yeezy. He’s so huge that his meeting with Rogan came about after West publicly requested an interview via Twitter earlier this month. That was it.
West may be in the midst of an unlikely – highly unlikely – presidential campaign fight but he had a spare few hours to sit down with Rogan. Unlike when previous presidential candidate Bernie Sanders appeared on the show though, there was little actual political discussion.
The pair powered through a lot of other topics. West’s aforementioned Presidential run was discussed, of course. Rogan asked about the recent Twitter outbursts. They talked about the rapper’s Sunday Service series. West talked a lot and made many wild claims.
In case you just don’t have the time or the capacity to indulge such a mammoth conversation between two of our world’s pre-eminent intellectuals, we’ve compiled a list of five takeaways. You’re welcome.
West believes God called him to be the leader of the free world in the shower
God and religion has always had an influence on West’s sound, particularly in the last few years. “I believe that my calling is to be the leader of the free world,” Kanye told Rogan.
“Even though I’m the pastor for however big my audience is in hip-hop, in music or just as an influencer or celebrity, a dad and a husband in my house—there couldn’t be a better time to put a visionary in the captain’s chair. And that’s not to say we haven’t had visionaries before. I’m not here to down Trump, to down Biden—I’m just here to express why God has called me to take this position.”
West believes he is currently losing money because of his music contracts
West unleashed a revealing barrage of tweets in September about artistic ownership in the music business. He tweeted out all 114 pages of his own record contracts, in a remarkably bold move.
“I’m willing to [reveal my contracts] because it’s the right thing to do,” Kanye explained around the 12:40 mark. “Music, at this point, loses me money. It doesn’t make me money. My $5 billion net worth and $300 million of cash that I see a year—music is like negative $4 million for me.”
He also poignantly said that he blames his mother’s death on the entertainment industry: “Always fighting to represent who you are against media, an entertainment industry that’s trying to tear down anybody that’s not going with the flow.”
West revealed he was medicated after his notorious TMZ appearance
In an interview with TMZ in 2018, West controversially said “slavery is a choice.”
Around 56 minutes in, West said to Rogan: “They told me I was bipolar. I remember going on TMZ and saying, ‘Slavery is a choice,’ and they medicated me for saying that. For having that opinion and saying it out loud. As I put those contracts up, I’m saying, ‘This is a choice.’”
He described how around the time he made those comments on TMZ, he was also medicated by doctors. That year also saw the release of his album Ye, where he seemingly confirmed a bipolar disorder diagnosis on the song “Yikes”: “That’s my third person/That’s my bipolar shit, n***a what?/That’s my superpower, n***a ain’t no disability/I’m a superhero! I’m a superhero!”
West said that the reason his presidential bid was delayed was due to COVID-19
West’s presidential campaign has always seemed ill-fated, especially as he was so late behind the other candidates to begin his run. However, he told Rogan that this was because he contracted coronavirus, meaning he couldn’t announce his bid until July.
“Why did I register so late to run for president? COVID,” West said around the 1:47:25 mark. “I had the virus and I was sitting in quarantine in my house and my cousin texts me about being prepared to run for president.
And I just completely put it off to the side ‘cause I was like shivering and having the shakes and taking hot showers and eating soup. … [Coronavirus] threw everyone off. It threw everybody’s plans off. And then it was just this calling on my heart.”
News recently surfaced that West had reportedly spent $3 million on his campaign in September despite only raising $2,782.
West wants to buy Universal
Over the years, West has transitioned more from a hip-producer into a worldwide business. Never one to make a huge claim, he hailed himself as the “new Michael Jordan of products” in the interview.
“I was thinking about buying my masters and I realized that that was too small of a thought,” he said around 1:51:20. “I’m going to buy Universal. They’re only a $33 billion organization. I’m one of the greatest product producers that ever existed—and I’m a child.
He then described how he went to Adidas and helped them make billions, and more recently, how his partnership with The Gap helped their stock prices jump without releasing product.