The Best Quotes From Kanye West's Oxford Lecture That We Don't Completely Understand
Want to know what Kanye West was doing on Monday (Mar. 2)? Well, he was giving a lecture at Oxford University.
And if you've ever listened to a Kanye interview, you know that he's going to drop quotables for days -- but somehow this lecture seemed to have even more quotables than usual. Maybe it's because he was able to unleash his stream of consciousness without someone interrupting.
Full disclosure: I don't fully understand. Here are some of the best, funniest, most enlightening and most ridiculous things that came out of Kanye's Oxford lecture, in no particular order, or context, for that matter.
“OK, everyone please be completely quiet, because I can literally hear a whisper, and it’ll throw off my stream of consciousness, and when I get my stream of consciousness going that’s when I give the best, illest quotes. Literally, a whisper can throw it off."
“We have the resources as a civilization to find a utopia, but we’re led by the most greedy and the least noble."
Nicki Minaj outrapped him
“One of the most memorable things about My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was Nicki Minaj, and the fact that she kicked my ass, on my own song, on one of the best albums…the best album – I’m just saying what the critics said – of the last 25 years. The best album of the past 25 years that I spent a year and a half making, out there. I was exiled from my country, it was a personal exile, but exile. To come back and deliver my magnum opus of a work, and to be outshined…to be beat by a girl, basically."
“One of my biggest Achilles heels has been my ego. And if I, Kanye West, the very person, can remove my ego, I think there’s hope for everyone."
“My momma taught me that if I was in a grocery store and I’m by myself and a stranger grabbed my hand, scream at the top of your f--king lungs. If I’m at an awards show and a stranger grabs my hand and they say so we’re going to use these moving lights, or we’re gonna play the music right now before we define the look, or we’re gonna cut the TV cameras in a traditional way. I’ll scream at the top of my f--king lungs."
“People say I have a bad reputation. I think I’ve got the best reputation in the building. They want you to have a reputation of tucking your black nail polish into your pockets and sitting in the corner of the class, and not fighting for your ideas out of fear of being ridiculed."
“I think that progression of mind [came] with the advent of a human being named Drake. You know, this idea of holding onto a number 1 spot. And then you get this guy that comes and blows out the water every number 1 of any band ever. Be it me, or Paul McCartney."
“We have the ability to approach our race like ants, or we have the ability to approach our race like crabs."
The Matrix and The Bible
“What I said was 'The Matrix' is like the Bible of the post-information age. I compared it like, when the hundred guys come at Neo, those are opinions, that’s perception, that’s tradition. Attacking people from every which angle possible. If you have a focus wide and master senseis like Laurence Fishburne and you have a squad behind you, you literally can put the world in slow motion."
“I love Steve Jobs, he’s my favorite person, but there’s one thing that disappoints me. When Steve passed he didn’t give the ideas up. That’s kinda selfish. You know that Elon’s like ‘yeah, take these ideas.' Maybe there are companies outside of Apple that could work on them and push humanity forward. Maybe the stock brokers won’t like that, the stock holders wouldn’t like that idea, but ideas are free and you can’t be selfish with them."
Dont' Wear Clothes?
“It’s illegal to not wear clothes, and also possibly too cold. That means someone is imposing an idea on you that should legally have to do! Clothing should be like food. There should never be a $5000 sweater. You know what should cost $5000? A car should be $5000. And you know who should work on the car? The people that work on the $500,000 cars."
“In America people really do wear $3000 shirts. For real. Here and in Stockholm people will be like ‘oh dude, it’s a $3000 shirt. I’m assuming I’m probably wearing a $2000 shirt but I got it for free from the designer so..."
“That idea [racism], has passed. We’ve had 'The Cosby Show,' Obama’s president, Beyonce’s great… that’s passed. But there’s still something you’re taught every day, especially in the UK, and that’s division by class. Our main focus, in my opinion…Imagine a world with no war, and imagine if everyone’s main focus, more so than going out to a club, their main focus was to help someone else.
“Time is the only luxury. It’s the only thing you can’t get back. If you lose your luggage – I’m not gonna say the obvious brand of luggage that I’d normally say because I’ve got a meeting with them soon – if you lose your expensive luggage at the airport, you can get that back. You can’t get the time back.
Slave to Money
“It feels like people do everything in life to get this BMW, this Benz, to get this townhome, to get 2.5 kids exactly. One of them has to be small, y’know!"
Raising a Child
“People say it takes a village to raise a child. People ask me how my daughter is doing. She’s only doing good if your daughter’s doing good. We’re all one family."
“I’d see toys that some people would buy for my daughter and I’d say this toy isn’t quality. I don’t want my daughter playing with this. There’s not enough love put into this, this is just manufactured with the will to sell, and not the will of inspiration."
“I was joking with an interviewer earlier today…people talk about the number of viewers the Brits get, or the number of viewers the Grammys get. They need to do award shows for the Nobel Peace Prize, but I guess that doesn’t sell as many MasterCard commercials. Oh, I mentioned a brand! [He was disappointed here]. I had two things, I was trying to get a flawless victory on my speech! No offense to MasterCard…but that was a big f--king logo in the middle!"
“People say to me ‘You’re successful, what are you crying about?’ I’m crying about the people. I’m crying about their daughters. Our daughters, as one family. What good is it. What good is anything that everyone can’t have. Every ism. They think we’re done with racism. What about elitism, what about separatism, what about classism? That’s all.”