Kanye West's 'Jimmy Kimmel' Interview: Standing Up To Chicago Gangsters

By Maurice Bobb

No matter what people may think of Kanye West, they’d all have to agree on one thing: he’s passionate. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" viewers got an up close and personal look at ‘Ye’s passion Wednesday night (October 9) when he appeared on the show to make peace with Kimmel after their Twitter feud and get a few things off his chest, namely, how he stood up to drug dealers in Chicago for to keep his publishing rights.

“Creatives have gotten beat up my entire life,” Kanye said adamantly in his odd new voice. “And there’s moments where I stood up to drug dealers in Chicago and said ‘You can’t have my publishing. Come and kill me. Do whatever you gonna do but you’re not going to bully me, you’re not gonna stop me cuz my mother made me believe in myself’.”

Most viewers likely skipped past Yeezy’s brief mention of his brush with the darker side of music, but to those that did key in on the shocking revelation, the scenario likely brings to mind the infamous scene in the “Five Heartbeats” movie where Big Red hangs disgruntled singer Bird by his feet over the balcony after questioning the mogul about his shady bookkeeping.

Outside of describing what it took for him to become the celebrity he is today, Yeezus also made it clear that he wasn’t going to tone down his grandiose view that he is the biggest rock star on the planet.

“For me to say I wasn’t a genius I’d be lying to you and myself,” he added. “No matter how many people tell me ‘Stop believing in yourself, stop saying what you can do, stop affirming what you’re gonna do and then completing that in real life.’ That’s the improper way to do it. I refuse to follow these rules that society has set up and the way they control people with low self-esteem.”

Hate him or love him, Kanye remains steadfast in his quest to have the same impact that luminaries such as Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Howard Hughes, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Jesus made on the world. Laugh, joke and make skits about the man, but whatever you do, don’t cross the line or he’ll take things back to his Chitown roots.

"When people hear my music, they have a good time. And I should be respected as such when I walk down the street," Kanye said. "Don't ask me a question about something you saw in the tabloids. Don't try to antagonize me. Because you know what — it's not safe for you in this zoo. Never think that I'm not from Chicago for one second!"