In an interview with Variety, Def Jam CEO Bartels talks about his loose working relationship with Kanye.
I don’t know if [word that Kanye is recording in Utah] that’s real or not, I read the same things you do. When we talk we don’t really get down to the granular of where he’s going and how he’s flying there, we keep it much more on a broader level. Kanye is working, that’s been widely reported. He’s always very focused, and our relationship with him is that we always have great respect for him and when he’s ready to do something or talk about something, we’re there for him, we totally support his vision and his focus, and that’s where we leave it. I check in with him from time to time just to see how he’s doing. What’s great about our relationship is that I always know when it’s go time—because he wakes me up. [Laughter]. You never know [if new music will arrive this year]. He’s always working, so maybe so. It’s never something we’re pushing—it’s always led by the creative side.
Toffler, who headed up MTV at the time, says his favorite VMA moment was being at the center of Kanye’s interruption of Swift at the 2009 VMAs. West interrupted Swift’s speech saying:
Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you — I’mma let you finish — but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!
When Kanye walked up onstage with Taylor [Swift] that year, it turned out that Taylor had to go onstage to do her song five minutes later. I ran out of the truck to see that everything was all right, and Taylor and her mom were crying hysterically. I’m not always wonderful with emotions. I didn’t know what to say. Then I went backstage, and Beyonce was crying, too.
After intense media speculation, Calabasas High school administrators say that Kanye will not be making over the school’s uniform. The owner of the Yeezy fashion line purportedly hoped to replace the 42-year-old high school’s signature black-and-gold uniforms — and rename its teams from Coyotes to Wolves. School spokesperson:
All we know is that a representative of Kanye West spoke with the principal last week — a low-level beginning meeting. There’s no proposal on the wall. Nothing was signed. No numbers were quoted. Basically, what we’re hearing — and what’s been all over the Internet — are rumors.
The superintendent for Las Virgenes schools also denied a weekend rumor that West had planned to sink $20 million into remaking Calabasas High.
The $20 million, I don’t know where that’s from. There was no discussion of funding or financing. There was certainly no discussion of any amount. So the $20 million is categorically not accurate. [Changing the name from Coyotes to Wolves], That’s a tough pill to swallow.No, the alumni base would lose their mind. No, that’s not on the table.
Ian Halperin, author of Kardashian Dynasty: The Controversial Rise Of America’s Royal Family, says the Wests have worked through their issues with the help of a spiritual counselor. The therapy wasn’t religious but focused on being a “neutral place for structured healing conversations”.
Before Kim and Kanye started seeing a spiritual counsellor, she was seriously debating whether the relationship could work. Some members of Kim’s family knew about the counselor and encouraged it. But Kim really had to convince Kanye to go.
Rory Farrell, who co-hosts The Joe Budden Podcast along with Budden himself, says that MBDTF was originally called titled Donda’s Boy. Donda was Kanye’s late mother who died as a result of complications from surgery in the fall of 2007. Farrell, who was interning for Def Jam at the time, says he learned of the project’s original title when attending a label meeting for the release of Kanye’s then-upcoming album. Kanye arrived to the meeting accompanied by a small boy, who was wearing the same suit. However, Kanye said he wouldn’t have the meeting until everyone was dressed better. The next day, staff members showed up wearing suits. Farrell:
Everyone comes into the office looking like a terrible funeral. I went to H&M, I had no money. I looked a mess, a lot of execs I won’t name looked worse than me. He comes in, the child opens up his Louis Vuitton bag, throws a blanket over the conference table. Takes out two goblets—the medieval wine glasses. Pours him either white wine or water, it was in one of those unmarked bottles. And Kanye says, ‘I’m parched. We can begin now.’ He then takes out his laptop and starts playing My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. At this time, it was called Donda’s Boy, I don’t know if that ever went out but it was called Donda’s Boy and the idea was [that] he was going to do 10 tracks, and each track was going to be 10 minutes [long]. ‘Runaway’ was 20 minutes at the time, Pusha wasn’t on it.
An insider tells HollywoodLife.com that West is stressed about his return to the world after his November 2016 meltdown.
Kanye is stressed over new music and how he is going to make his return to the rap and pop culture world…He has obviously stayed lowkey since his meltdown. But now he’s stressed on what to do to get back in the limelight without making it look like he has lost a step…It’s looking like it will be a little bit before we see the return of Yeezy on our radios and award shows.
Foxx says he was convinced Slow Jamz, his 2003 Kanye West and Twista collaboration, would bomb. Foxx was attempting to relaunch his singing career by throwing house parties in LA when he first met Kanye, then an up-and-coming rapper who had just survived a car crash.
I would throw parties just so I could get into music. I had a studio in my house, and when I had music people over, I said, ‘Leave some music in my studio,’ ’cause I was trying to get on. In walks this kid with a backpack on, jaw’s a little busted; it’s Kanye West. I asked Kanye to perform, so he did this freestyle and I said, ‘Oh my God, you’re about to be bigger than life!’.
However, Foxx wasn’t so sure about Kanye’s ability to make hits after West told him to sing the song with less of an R&B feel.
He said, ‘Don’t do that. Things have changed, just sing it simple. So when I sing the song, I’m thinking in my mind, ‘This song ain’t gonna work’. I do the song begrudgingly, leave and do a bad movie for six weeks, come back, [and] when I get back, my homie said, ‘You know that song you said was bad? It’s number one in the country!’
At his Saint Pablo Tour show in San Jose, West, as part of a 40 minute speech, says he would have voted for Trump, if he had voted. The crowd responds with boos, stunned silence. Some fans throw projectiles, including a Yeezy shoe, which West signs and returns to the thrower. West also reiterates his desire to run for president in 2020, saying his focus would be on education and that his campaign would use a different political model.
I would have voted on Trump. This is my platform and I’m going to talk about the paradigm shift that’s happening right now. Whether you voted for Hillary or Trump, this is a safe space for both of you…People who voted for either side come out to the show, I know media is more liberal, what I’m saying is I’m not judging Trump voters…There are Hillary supporters that may be louder, but MY fact is that there are people who who voted for Trump here at the show…The dumbest thing about politics is that politics separate, not one side or the other side is bad, it’s not Democratic or Republican…Stop focusing on racism. We are in a racist country – period.
West and Kardashian name their newborn son Saint West.
West and Kardashian meet with Jenner for the first time following her transition on E!’s I Am Cait. West:
One of the strongest things that have happened in our existence as human beings that are controlled by perception. You couldn’t have been up against more: Like, your daughter is a supermodel, you’re a celebrity, you have every type of thing, and it was still like, ‘f— everybody, this is who I am.’
When asked if he still believed his previous Tweet that West was “an idiot and a poser” Cosby says:
Yes, I said that! It all stands on what you produce, what you actually put down. Kanye West can’t write, sing, or play. So I have trouble with him as anything but a poser. Produce? That means he sits in a chair while the engineer does the work. He’s a poser! And I’m not backing off it.
Blake confirms forthcoming third album, Radio Silence, to feature Vernon and West. Blake:
I can confirm they’re on it. Kanye — I’m with him today. We’d already started on something but it’s not in full swing. Today we should nail something down. If it doesn’t end up on the album you know it hasn’t worked.
During the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, West interrupts Swift’s speech. Swift, who wins the award for Best Female Video (You Belong With Me), is beginning her acceptance speech when West storms the stage and takes the microphone from her.
Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!
West is referring to Beyonce’s video for Single Ladies. Swift:
I was standing onstage, and I was really excited because I’d just won the award, and then I was really excited because Kanye West was onstage. And then I wasn’t excited anymore after that.