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Kanye West: Pre-Registration Part One

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Remember all that controversy when Kanye West proudly deeming himself a college dropout? Well, the Chicago resident opted to return with a Late Registration, the sophomore chapter in his ever-changing saga. But, in between albums, Kanye has seen himself the subject of scorn and worship alike. For example, his faux Gospel Rap song “Jesus Walks” was the answer to many prayers, yet vocal opponents in the Christian community shunned his message. West doesn’t want Late Registration to be tainted by the issues such as Playgirl covers, media, critics, or those around him. The MC and producer extraordinaire merely wants to craft good music that brings back that loving feeling. Join Kanye West and AllHipHop.com as they course through the maze called pre-registration.

AllHipHop.com: How’d the whole Playgirl thing start?

Kanye West: Okay, then let’s start there. It all start from me saying – at the Artist Empowerment Coalition – that I felt like a couple artist should get paid to be on the cover of magazines. Everybody gets paid except for the person actually selling the magazine. The thing about specifically me, everything I said as “we” has turned into an “I” thing. [They say], “Oh, he’s so arrogant,” because he said “we” – the artist community- need to get paid. Someone at the [New York] Daily News misquoted me. They said that I said I won’t do a magazine cover unless it was paid, which shows you how people take the liberty to [misquoted me] and it’s an injustice. It happens all the time and people run with them. They made a whole story off of a misquote. Then they went and asked every magazine, “Would they pay to put Kanye on the cover?” And every magazine said no. Playgirl said we would consider giving Kanye money to appear on the cover. Now from that, it’s changed [to] I’m supposed to be posing for Playgirl? How do you get that from that?

AllHipHop.com: Do you feel people are out to get you?

Kanye West: I never approached the whole “Jesus Walks” [rumor] on AllHipHop.com. The thing is, people at any given time are trying to discredit my talents in some way. I’ve been through too much. I been through A&R’s completely s****ing on me, when I am about to get kicked out of my apartment. I’m trying to make it in the game, but I can’t get a deal for anything, because I’m a producer and nobody will buy my album. I been through it. It’s like the mentality of somebody that just got out of jail. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, by having that prison mentality, or what people call the “Chi-town mentality.” You’re feeling like everybody is out to get you. And people make it seem like I’m coming at them, but I am talking to specific people. I had to learn how to monitor myself and get better. We’re all human beings. The problem is, I’m not fake. I will go down and talk to someone at the radio station. I make this music for me and for y’all.

That was one of my problems with critics. I still feel to this day, The Source needs to change my score to five mics. What they can do is take my remastered album and rate the remastered album – it’s a different album. Give me my five mics. I feel like the XXL completely showed how credible they were by saying, “Yes, I made a mistake.” I’ve made mistakes in the past too. We’re all human. All these magazines are ran by humans. The Daily News made a mistake. They said, “Kanye West is crazy, by saying he should be put on the cover.”

Now are we crazy to think we should get paid for our songs to get played on the radio? It does promote us. That’s something that we should pay [for], much less getting paid. That’s what ASCAP is about, that’s what publishing is about. I think there should be a form of publishing for the publisher.

AllHipHop.com: People say that it’s a reciprocal relationship.

Kanye West: And so is the radio, but do you get ASCAP?

AllHipHop.com: Uh…

Kanye West: The answer is yes; when you get played on the radio you get money for your songs when they play it on the radio. It is no better promotion than the radio because the statement and term music magazine is an oxymoron. When my album came out and they so-called “rated” was their anyway for someone to actually put black and white pages up to their ear to make the decision their self? Music magazine is an oxymoron seriously. I won’t discredit magazines all together and I do thank them for putting me on the cover. That gave me the opportunity to raise my status, and possibly get endorsement deals. But one of the main reason we should get paid is because they won’t put someone on the cover that is not already famous, so the magazine is not making the person famous. They don’t take risk anymore; I told multiple magazines to do the backpack cover that XXL finally did. It took Dave Chappelle to pull it together.

AllHipHop.com: Can you speak on how you felt about being given the key to the city and Kanye Day?

Kanye West: It was amazing, Playgirl said they would pay me to be on the cover and now, that is all over the place. I get the key to the city and a man declared February 27th, Kanye West Day, and you barely hear it. At this point, I can’t believe that Michael Jackson touches kids. You can’t believe everything you hear in the press. At the end of the day, it makes for interesting conversation and it is all entertainment. The thing is at the end of the day magazines are doing what they are suppose to do which is entertain people. So I can’t try to take them away from their jobs, my only request as an artist, is we get paid for entertaining. Why don’t we all get paid at the same time? It is supply and demand. Why would you pay me for an interview right now and I am everywhere, except for the fact that I am not a cliché bite his tongue, politically correct house n***a.

AllHipHop.com: So how did you feel on Kanye West day?

Kanye West: I felt overwhelmed. My favorite artists from [Bumpy] Johnson, to Common, Do or Die, GLC [performed]. The artists performed a song that I produced for them, and then a song from my album, College Dropout. Rappers that I love were spitting my rap, and it let me know that God put me in a position to bring change. I would be doing a disservice to not use this gift that I have. I started a foundation, The Kanye West Foundation to help bring changes in the school a lot of major cities have over 50% drop out rates among African Americans and Latinos. I started a program that puts a studio in the school. When I went to school, it was for music, basketball, gym and lunch. I weathered through the other courses and graduated.

AllHipHop.com: A lot of people criticism you for popularizing not graduating…

Kanye West: I feel that college is a choice, and anything you have to pay for is a choice. If you had a store, and somebody brings you a shirt and says, “Here take this” and the person say, “Nah, I don’t want that right now,” that is a choice. High school is a necessity and these kids need every chance they can to survive because it is hard world just to say the least.

AllHipHop.com: People only hear “drop out.”

Kanye West: I think there is a misconception about me, that I am so proud that I would not change my word. My father is a former Black Panther, and I apologize because it is in my blood like if someone was from a family of politicians, it is in their blood. I was born to educate and fight for what I feel is right and just. From what I can find out from being in and out of the studio, which is my first love and the love of trying to make this world a better place, God spared my life not only to do music but to use my powers to make things better for other people. He didn’t put me on this planet to sell a lot of records and buy a bunch of Gucci s**t.

AllHipHop.com: I can appreciate what you have done for Common’s career.

Kanye West: Even times when I didn’t have enough time to follow through, I had to go from Common to Janet, Slum Village, Brandy, Twista and Do or Die. I wasn’t always successful. But when I went in the studio, I didn’t give them the “B Team” group because the label said they were “B Team” artists, I gave them the best I can do. Ever since that accident, that day of the accident I had produced about three tracks that were mediocre. If I would have passed, it would have been the last of my work. So every time I sit down and do a track I do it like it was my last. One thing that I wanted to say before the Grammy’s when they were saying that “Jesus Walks” thing – for everyone that has a comment to say like “oh he didn’t write , he didn’t do this” and they are right I don’t write I think them. Me and rhymes just collaborate on raps all the time like Styles and Jada, like E&J, that is what we do. So for anybody that had a comment at the end of the day would you have rather the song “Jesus Walks” never came into formation and never came out with the College Dropout? If I was not able to come up with the lyrics that I needed to come up with, wouldn’t I need to gracefully bowed out or get help from those around me to make it better because I have the voice and the ear now.

AllHipHop.com: I was one of the people in your defense.

Kanye West: [People need to] be happy that Kanye met Rhymefest at 16 years old. Be happy that I am smart enough to place myself around talented people like John Legend, Common and Consequence that help improve what I have to offer you. For what we give in the videos and the album, I am in the hole with College Dropout. The money does not compare to its impact it had on the world. The reason for its impact is I made it with the intention of making a quality product.

AllHipHop.com: Hip-Hop needs that desperately right now.

Kanye West: You can’t say that I am not hip hop I came from battling; me and Common battle all the time, me and Rhyme Fest use to battle in the car, and he was one of the greatest battlers of all time. I use to go to shows and through a beat on and n***as would start wilding out. This has been so fun for me and I appreciate the opportunity to be able to talk to AllHipHop.com and have these ears open. It is my duty that I see that with the albums in the future it is not just about me anymore, it is about everybody depending on me to make sure when they pay that $15 they are happy and don’t feel like, “What else could I have bought with my $15?” I will drive myself crazy because I am a perfectionist -because my pain is you’ll pleasure; my obsessive compulsive disorder, some people say that I am anal, but at the end of the day that is the reason “Jesus Walks” has a hundred tracks of strings that play for seven seconds in a song. The eye for detail can drive a person insane.

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