kanye west interview steve mcqueen Kanye West leans on his 'astronaut family,' used 'god, sex and alcohol' to get past the Taylor Swift incidentFor the latest issue of Interview, Kanye West sat down with Steve McQueen, the Oscar-nominated director of “12 Years a Slave.” They talk about everything from Kanye’s music to fiance Kim Kardashian and baby North to race and what it means to “be black.”

It’s a fascinating (and lengthy) interview, but here are some highlights:

McQueen: “With what happened after the Taylor Swift incident [at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards] and all the negativity that came your way as the result of that. How did you deal with it all mentally, physically, and spiritually?

West: “It’s funny that you would say ‘mentally, physically, spiritually’ because my answer before you even said that was going to be “god, sex, and alcohol.”

McQueen: “Now you’ve got a situation in your life where you’ve got a daughter,
which is a different kind of love–an unconditional love that maybe you
only get to have in another way with your parents. What has that
experience been like so far?”

West: “I think I have to experience it for another few years to be able to give you an opinion. It’s all brand new, how it feels to be a father. There are some things that I understand, certain things that I don’t understand, certain things that I like to get off my chest in interviews, certain things that I want to talk about. But when we talk about love, I don’t have an answer. All I can say is that I’m happy I have it.”

McQueen: “I hate to put a stereotype on any profession, but there seems to be a certain loneliness associated with being a musician. Do you ever feel lonely?”

West: “Well, I’ve got my astronaut family. You know, becoming famous is like being catapulted into space — sometimes without a space suit. We’ve seen so many people combust, suffocate, get lost in all these different things. But to have an anchor of other astronauts and to make a little space family … I mean, it’s not like I’m the guy in ‘The Hunger Games’ [2012] begging for people to like me. I’m almost the guy with the least amount of ‘likes.’ I wanted a family. So god gives you opportunities, and you make sacrifices for something that’s greater.”

McQueen: “I wanted to talk to you about the video for ‘Bound 2’ … call me silly, but when I
saw that video for ‘Bound 2,’ I just thought to myself, ‘It’s just a
video. It’s obviously a sort of romantic video of him and his partner,
and it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek.’

West: “I think people are afraid of dreams, and that video is one of the closest things to the way that dreams look and feel, or the way joy looks and feels, with the colors. … It’s a dream, and I think the controversy comes from the fact that I don’t think most people are comfortable with their own dreams, so it’s hard for them to be comfortable with other people’s dreams. I mean, look, it took some time for us to be comfortable with a walking, talking mouse, but that became an icon. So this stuff, what I’m doing now, is the beginning of me throwing out what it means to be a rapper.”

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."