Kanye West

Watch Kanye West Joke About Kim’s Exes, Repudiate Racism In His BET Visionary Award Acceptance Speech

“For one of the first times in my life, I understand how it is to feel humbled.”

During a busy few weeks in which he debuted a new clothing line, new music, had dinner with Taylor Swift, and finally got around to listening to Beck’s album, Kanye West appeared at the 2015 BET Honors to accept this year’s Visionary Award.

BET.

The ceremony, taped weeks ago, was broadcast last night. Kanye accepted the award with a 9-minute speech that followed a tribute featuring statements by close friends and associates, including Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Common.

BET

 

In his speech, Kanye opened up about his marriage to Kim Kardashian and the stereotypes surrounding interracial marriage. He joked that Kim wasn’t a stereotypical woman after a rich black guy because she’s dated unnamed “broke” black guys.

Kanye also spoke out against racism and consumerism, saying that all of humanity is one “macro” race.

Don’t think that because we can afford this custom Balmain suit that we’re free. And don’t think that because we can buy a $300,000 car that we’re free. And don’t think that because 3% of a gated community has colored people in it that we’re free. It’s the mentality, the slave mentality, where we all eventually become slaves to that car, slaves to the perception, slaves to the idea of being cool.

Watch the full, unedited speech below.

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Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/moniquemelendez/kanye-west-accepts-bet-visionary-award


Kanye Broke Down Into Tears In Emotional Zane Lowe Interview

In Kanye’s follow-up to his infamous 2013 interview with Zane Lowe, the larger-than-life rapper opens up about the fashion world and his personal life.

Kanye West sat down with BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe today to speak openly about his struggles in the fashion industry — and not-so-openly about his upcoming album and feature spots. Here are things we learned from Kanye’s interview.

1. Kanye was deeply moved by the passing of fashion professor Louise Wilson.

Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images

Kanye, pictured above leaving a memorial for the late Wilson, choked up in the midst of his interview when discussing his relationship with the fashion professor. In Kanye’s words, Wilson was “the baddest professor of all time of any fashion school ever. Notorious for not letting people stop at a 7 or 8, pushing people to a 12.” Before her passing, the two met in London for dinner, where she gave Kanye sage parenting advice: “She said, ‘So many students, they don’t give it their all. And the problem is, soon as they do anything halfway good, when they’re two years old, three years old, their parents clap.’ She just looked at me and said ‘Kanye, don’t clap.’”

“I didn’t know we were gonna lose her,” Kanye said shortly before bursting into tears.

2. Kanye believes our future depends on design.

Craig Barritt / Getty Images

“I believe that the world can only be saved through design,” Kanye said. “And when I say through design, I know it’s some snarky classist editor that’s gonna take that and say ‘Kanye said the world will be saved through the couture dress.’ [It’s] the mentality behind design … Art is to be free. Design is to fix.”

3. Kanye is a hypocrite.

Timothy A. Clary / Getty Images

During the interview, Kanye posed the question of his hypocrisy and answered it himself: “Yes. I am. 100%. I’m a human being. I’m super hypocritical. I can feel something one time and completely a different way another time. I do it in the design office, I do it in the studio.”

4. Kanye loves talking about the future.

Francois Guillot / Getty Images

Kanye devoted at least a fourth of the interview to his visions for the future, and what it holds in terms of music, fashion, and design. He even brings his large visions into everyday conversations with Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX: “What does Kanye West and Elon Musk talk about? The fewtch.”

5. Kanye is, uh, trying to give Nori a sibling.

Anthony Harvey / Getty Images

“I try as many times a day as I can,” Kanye candidly revealed. “‘Nori, this one is for you. You need a sibling.’”

6. On average, Kanye takes only three minutes to get ready.

Anthony Harvey / Getty Images

“Three minutes,” Kanye answered when asked about his daily routine. “Two minutes. Bars.” As for wife Kim, she takes a bit longer: “Sometimes five minutes, sometimes longer.”

7. Kanye regrets his past approach to interviews.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

“Think about the wild shit I used to say in interviews, and imagine if someone said this very thing to a girl at a bar. ‘Yo, what up baby, I’m a genius.’ That’s who I was, and that was that frustration that I had.” On addressing the fashion industry, Kanye said he was “the 40 year old virgin of dealing with corporations.” “I did not know how to communicate at all,” he conceded.

8. Kanye wants to sell his designs at a lower price point.

Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

Kanye understands the Average Joe’s resistance to his label: “It was a futile argument for me to say, ‘Hey everyone, get behind me so I can make another $5000 jacket that you can’t afford. But now I feel people rallying because they know that I wanna fight for an H&M, Zara type concept.” According to Kanye, Adidas seems to be willing to move in that direction in the future.

“Exclusivity is the new n word,” Kanye said. “Nothing should be exclusive. Everyone should have an opportunity to drink from the same fountain.”

9. Kanye is all about synergy these days.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Though Kanye can’t reveal too much about his upcoming projects, he does have an upcoming music video for “Blessings,” his collaboration with Big Sean and Drake, who are “two of the hottest rappers in the game.” Kanye’s also pumped about his work with Paul McCartney, who, like Ralph Lauren, is “the greatest of their field, the greatest of all time.”

Watch the entire 45 minute long interview below.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/moniquemelendez/kanye-says-kim-only-takes-five-minutes-to-get-ready


Lou Reed Thought The Beatles “Were Garbage”

“I mean, they were just painfully stupid and pretentious.”

1. Imagine: Lou Reed of Velvet Underground calling someone else pretentious. He did! In a 1987 interview with Joe Smith that is just now seeing the light of day due to PBS’s Blank on Blank series, wherein old interviews are animated and made new again.

Getty Images Hannelore Foerster

2. The latest edition features Reed talking about bad press, wielding a shotgun on unsuspecting visitors to his New Jersey home, and — almost as an aside — this (somewhat unsurprising) gem: He never liked The Beatles.

Reed was, of course, always cantankerous and unafraid to speak his mind. And in the interview he goes full Kanye (quite a feat, considering the rapper was just 9 or 10 at the time of this interview) about his band’s abilities and purpose.

3. As far as he was concerned, his contemporaries — The Beatles, The Doors — “couldn’t come up to our ankles, not up to my kneecap, not up to my ankles, the level we were on, compared to everyone else.”

5. Reed says the purpose of the Velvet Underground was to elevate music and write about “adult stuff. That is what I wanted to do — write rock ‘n’ roll that you could listen to as you got older and it didn’t lose anything, it would be timeless.”

6. In summation: The Velvet Underground = Timeless. The Beatles =

7. You can watch the interview clip below.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/brianmcmanus/lou-reed-thought-the-beatles-were-garbage


50 Surprising Facts In Black Music History

James Brown’s dance moves don’t mean what you think they mean.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1. Prince reportedly sent Weird Al Yankovic a telegram back in 1986, commanding the comedian to avoid eye contact with him during the entirety of the American Music Awards show.

2. Though little was known about eating disorders in his heyday, Louis Armstrong showed signs of bulimia. He binged and purged with the help of laxatives; he was often pictured with his laxative of choice, Swiss Kriss, and recommended it to his friends with the catchphrase “Satch says: Leave it all behind ya!

3. As a teen, Gil Scott-Heron wrote a number of short detective stories in the vein of Agatha Christie.

4. Snoop Dogg reportedly sold weed to Cameron Diaz back when the two attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School.

5. Lil Wayne‘s debut album The Block Is Hot, released when the rapper was only 17 years old, is nearly profanity-free because of his mother’s wishes.

6. Nas almost had Jesus in a headlock on the cover for his 1994 album Illmatic.

7. B.B. King named every guitar he owned Lucille after an incident at one of his performances. Two men had a physical altercation over a woman named Lucille; during the scuffle, they knocked over a barrel of kerosene that heated the venue and subsequently set the venue on fire. All persons inside were evacuated, but King ran back into the burning building to rescue his $30 Gibson guitar. The guitar thus became known as Lucille, as a reminder to King never to run into burning buildings or fight over women.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

8. At the height of McCarthyism in the ’50s, Lena Horne was blacklisted as a Communist over her participation in the Civil Rights Movement and her friendships with fellow activists Paul Robeson and W.E.B. DuBois.

9. Getting fired from Office Depot inspired Janelle Monae to write “Letting Go,” the song that would reach the ears of OutKast‘s Big Boi and launch her career.

10. When a drunken emcee announced The Sledge Sisters as “Sister Sledge” on stage, the quartet rolled with it and went on to use the error professionally.

11. James Brown‘s famous dance moves were coded directions for his stage band; every hand movement meant Brown had noticed a bum note or had seen a pair of unshined shoes.

12. Jimi Hendrix often switched up the frequently misheard lyrics to “Purple Haze” in his live performances; he swapped out “kiss the sky” for “fuck the sky” during a Seattle rainstorm, and for “kiss this guy” during another performance as he pointed to drummer Mitch Mitchell.

13. Using a modified board with elevated squares, Ray Charles frequently played chess with friends and band members. In 2002, Charles faced off against (and lost to) chess grandmaster Larry Evans.

14. Chuck Berry supplemented his musician’s income by working as a trained beautician.

LaFace

LaFace

 

15. Billie Holiday was inspired to write “God Bless the Child” after she and her mother had an argument over money.

16. Marvin Gaye once shaved his head in protest of boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter’s wrongful murder conviction.

17. In The Last Days of Left Eye, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of TLC voiced her objection to the glorification of revenge-cheating in the group’s hit single “Creep.” Left Eye threatened to wear pieces of black tape over her mouth during the filming of the music video, but she let her resentment creep away.

18. Stevie Wonder led the campaign to have Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday designated as a national holiday.

19. Mary J. Blige‘s debut album title What’s the 411? was a shout-out to her former job as a directory assistance operator.

20. Despite his lyrics to “In Da Club” and “P.I.M.P.,” 50 Cent abstains from alcohol and drugs, citing a “bad experience” with alcohol and an outsider’s view of what drugs can do to a person.

21. Remember that video of a fresh-faced Nicki Minaj acting out a monologue? Before her rap career blew up, Nicki Minaj pursued acting and was cast in the off-Broadway play In Case You Forget.

Sal Idriss / Redferns

Sal Idriss / Redferns

 

22. Gloria Gaynor won the first and only Grammy for Best Disco Recording with “I Will Survive”; the recording academy discontinued the category after disco fell out of public favor.

23. UPenn graduate John Legend turned down admission offers from Harvard and Georgetown at the tender age of 16.

24. Aretha Franklin‘s fear of flying kept her from attending her Rock And Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

25. In spite of his fame and wealth, Ludacris drove his ‘93 Acura Legend for over a decade, racking up over 244,000 miles on the vehicle.

26. Biggie Smalls learned that another rapper had trademarked the name “Biggy Smalls” years earlier, so he changed his moniker to The Notorious B.I.G.

27. When presented with the instrumentals for eventual hits “Are You That Somebody?” and “Try Again,” Aaliyah initially didn’t like them, but recorded the songs.

28. Ol’ Dirty Bastard once saved a 4-year-old girl who was trapped under a car that hit her; Dirty and his friends lifted the car off the girl, who was then rushed to the hospital for her injuries.

Sebastien Bozon / AFP / Getty Images

29. Smokey Robinson got his stage name from his childhood nickname Smokey Joe, a “cowboy” nickname bestowed upon him by his uncle.

30. Miles Davis performed with his back to the audience; it made it easier for him to give his band signals.

31. Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav can play 15 instruments, from French horn to oboe to xylophone.

32. Kanye West was ~internationally famous~ before The College Dropout hit store shelves. He lived in China for a year as a child — his mother Donda was a visiting professor.

33. Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton recorded “Hound Dog” and “Ball ‘n Chain” long before Elvis or Janis Joplin did.

34. Frank Ocean credited his Bernese mountain dog Everest as the executive producer of his critically acclaimed album Channel Orange.

35. Missy Elliott accidentally filmed “Work It” while drunk; director Dave Meyers forgot to replace the wine glass in the restaurant scene with water. After the shot had been filmed seven times, Missy was thoroughly inebriated.

AFP / Getty Images

36. As a student at the Baltimore School of Arts, Tupac Shakur took ballet classes.

37. Jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, and Illinois Jacquet were all arrested for gambling in a racially motivated sting set up by the vice squad of Houston’s police department.

38. Salt-N-Pepa‘s “Push It” began as a joke. Producer Hurby Azor came up with the synth line: Salt-N-Pepa’s Cheryl James and Sandra Denton found it “corny” and added the now iconic “Ooh, baby, baby” to mock it.

39. Michael Jackson‘s groundbreaking music video for “Billie Jean” was the first music video by a black artist to appear on MTV.

40. Janet Jackson initially balked at the idea of collaborating with brother Michael, citing a desire for her own fame separate from the Jackson name, but eventually caved in. Thankfully she changed her mind; the siblings went on to give us “Scream.”

41. Dizzy Gillespie‘s signature cheek pouches, caused by his blowing techniques, are now considered a medical condition.

42. Beyoncé, who is now recognized as a style icon for her red carpet looks, was a staunch tomboy who refused to wear dresses as a child.

RB / Redferns

RB / Redferns

 

43. As a high school sophomore, Lauryn Hill appeared on daytime soap As the World Turns as Kira, a troubled teen.

44. Erykah Badu was fined $500 and charged with a misdemeanor for public nudity during the filming of her music video for “Window Seat.” Badu intended her nudity to be a statement of liberation against groupthink.

45. At the height of its popularity, Chubby Checker‘s “The Twist” was explicitly forbidden in New York City Catholic schools because of the song’s “un-Christian” nature.

46. Mariah Carey‘s high school nickname was “Mirage,” thanks to her many absences.

47. Nat King Cole was the first black American to have his own television show. The Nat King Cole Show ran without national sponsors on a network-supported basis, and was eventually done in by a lack of financial support.

48. Contrary to popular belief, Jay Z‘s stage name does not come from the J and Z lines that run by his childhood home in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects. Jay Z had been known as Jazzy, but he adopted his current moniker after Jazzy became too “glittery.”

49. The phone number in Alicia Keys’ “Diary” was her old phone number, which led to a number of headaches for Georgia resident J.D. Turner, who had Keys’ old number (albeit a different area code.)

50. Whitney Houston nearly became a member of the Huxtable clan. She auditioned for the role of Sondra Huxtable, the eldest daughter on The Cosby Show, but lost the role to Sabrina LeBeauf.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/moniquemelendez/50-surprising-facts-in-black-music-history