When you hear all those hits back-to-back it kind of boggles the mind. Instead of doing a traditional set on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” on Tuesday night, Kanye West gifted the host with a career-spanning greatest hits performance on Meyers’ second night on the air.
Starting out in silhouette, Yeezy reached back for “Jesus Walks,” before quickly shifting into “Touch The Sky,” “Stronger,” “Heartless,” “All of the Lights,” “Mercy” and “Black Skinhead.” The set ended with a strobe light blinking and West tossing the mic stand in the air before walking off stage.
Wearing black leather pants, brown boots and a white short sleeved shirt, ’Ye said before the performance that ending the Yeezus tour on Sunday night was kind of a melancholy affair. “I thought it went really good and it’s kind of sad when it’s over,” he said. “You put to much into it and so many people are excited to see it. It’s fun to express something that you created.”
Asked to describe the difference between how he approaches fashion design and music-making, Kanye said, “Everything in the world is exactly the same.” Caught off guard, Meyers joked, “Okay, great. I don’t think we’re done, but I’m going to sign off.”
The actual explanation, though, was much more complicated, touching on: Daniel Day Lewis, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, your favorite eighth grade teacher, synesthesia, architecture, “sonic paintings,” Michelangelo and the frustration of being a celebrity who just wants to use marble to create sculptures.
“No you can’t do this, you have to do this kind of [fashion] line,” West clarified, as Meyers sat intently staring with a look of concentration on his face. “I’m in the process of breaking down walls people will understand 10 years, 20 years from now.”
In a deft pivot, Meyers then shifted the focus to the recent 10-year anniversary of The College Dropout, commenting that final song “Last Call” is similar to Kanye’s current thoughts on being ahead of his time. “You sort of tell the story [on that song] of how everybody told you you couldn’t make that album,” Meyers said. “It’s like you made a movie and put the DVD commentary on the movie when it was released. The album’s not even out and you recorded a song basically saying, ’It’s a hit, it worked.'”
Kanye also said being a dad to baby North will definitely change his artistic approach. No, he won’t be the hip-hop Wiggles, but he will make, “artistic, intellectual, kid-friendly songs … If you think about the Yeezus album, cursing was definitely necessary,” West said. “It’d be like if you talked to Quentin Tarantino [and saying], ’Are you gonna make G-rated movies?’ It’s Quentin Tarantino!”