On the 2nd of march 2015 kanye west went to Oxford
University’s Museum of Natural
History in London where he gave a 20 minutes lecture and if you are wondering what it was about we have the full script of the lecture right here for you to find out… but according to us it was an inspiring and mind enriching lecture.
(Beware of explicit content)
“I’ll take one question. I wanted to vibe off
an idea, and then I can riff off of that…
they said I’ve got 20 minutes or so, I might
“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
“Today was the first time I realised, If I
could have done it again I would have gone
to the Art Institute over the American
Academy of Art, I would have researched
where I could have got the best and the
“And I’m sure this will end up online, so I
don’t want to diss anyone at the American
Academy, I’m sure it’s equal to the Art
Institute of Chicago by now, but at the
time I was going I would look around at the
work of the class and not feel inspired by
the teachers, and I kinda, the idea of being
a fine artist, that’s a really difficult
profession to get into, to be respected in,
to make money at. Maybe the goal for
some of the people was just to work at an
advertising agency or at a record label.
“My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art,
would have been to become Picasso or
“That always sounds so funny to people,
comparing yourself to someone in the past
that has done so much, and in your life
you’re not even allowed to think that you
can do as much. That’s a mentality that
“Some of you here probably remember the
night when the Donda tweets came through
me and I started talking about professions
that you guys are going into, that seemed
they had nothing to do with a rapper. I was
talking about a band of thinkers that could
remove religion, race, gender, and
somehow come together to find solutions
for a broken planet.
“We have the resources as a civilisation to
find a utopia, but we’re led by the most
greedy and the least noble.
“What I notice about creatives is that, and
one of the reasons why I get into trouble,
is, not only do I want to design video
games, or make music, or ride bikes, I think
one of the most important things to my
ability to create so much in the past 30
years is my desire to play sports. I
approach creativity like a sport, where if I
have a drawing I react just like a jock:
LOOK AT THE FUCKING DRAWING RIGHT
“We’re all creatives here, we’re all born
artists. Some people are artists of business,
some people are artists of composition.
“We were taught to hide our black
fingernail polish and put our head down in
the back of the class and not notice out of
fear that someone might laugh at one of
our ideas – that our idea could become a
mockery or a failure in some way.
“There’s a Bible saying, ‘No weapon formed
against me shall prosper’. Recently I’ve
been doing interviews and I’ve had to go
back to this verse because I don’t think
there’s a living celebrity with more weapons
formed against them, but I also don’t think
there’s one more prosperous. So what
weapons have prospered? The smoke and
mirrors of other opinions.
“I was sitting with Steve McQueen, he shot
the visuals for All Day 2 days ago, it’s
completely different to the Brit awards.
“So it doesn’t get taken out of context, I’m
going to use the word ‘like’. I’m not saying
it is, I’m using it as a comparison. So
people that want to say ‘Kanye goes to
Oxford and tells everyone blah blah blah’.
And I’m not telling you this. I’m telling you
what I told Steve McQueen in private.
“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.
“It’s still February, right? (security guard
shakes his head, everyone laughs).
“By the way, I don’t know the days of the
week. I just go to exactly when my
“We’d just look at each other and say, it’s
still February. For the sheer mount of work
that we were able to put into the world.
Some of the stuff had been worked on for
years coming, months coming. But
nonetheless they came back to back to
back to back. Answering every crazy
interview question, blocking every shot,
catching every rebound. Aside from the
right I don’t have to give my opinion
publicly about artists, I probably would
have been batting 2000. I know that’s
“This humanity that I talk about, this
civilisation that I talk about, this future
utopia I talk about…it can only happen
“I love Steve Jobs, he’s my favourite
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
“I think that progression of mind with the
advent of a human being named Drake
(laughs, smirks, crowd laughs) 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
“I understand that I’m a servant. And with
my voice, with my ability to build
relationships with amazing people, speak to
amazing people. Call Elon Musk out of the
blue, or call Obama out of the blue…he
calls the home phone, by the way.
“With that, I have a responsibility to serve.
Why do I say the Matrix is like the Bible?
What is my definition of the Matrix? [he
never answered this].
“I work with an artist called Vanessa
Beecroft, and she bought my daughter
“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.
“Vanessa is very focused, she’s like my eyes,
she’s a piece of my brain. She bought my
daughter these three wolves, knowing the
whole collection, that it’d play with the
song Wolves, and based on this concept.
And when my daughter saw these wolves,
I’ve never seen her so happy. She was
going so crazy, she was grabbing one, she
was riding on top of one…I’ve never seen
her happier than this moment. That level of
happiness seems to be the thing that we’re
fighting for every day, that we’re trying to
buy back, trying to work for, especially in
“In America people really do wear $3000
shirts. For real. Here and in Stockholm
people will be like ‘oh dude, it’s a $3000
“I’m assuming I’m probably wearing a
$2000 shirt but I got it for free from the
“We’ve been sold a concept of joy through
advertising, through car advertising,
through fashion branding. It’s not the
concept of time, time with your family,
time with your friends, the little time that
we do have on earth and what we do with
that. It was somehow sold to us through a
Gucci bag or something.
“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.
“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!
“And you’re looking for this moment where
you sit in your BMW after all the work
you’ve done and all the accolades you get,
and you somehow think you’re gonna get
that level of joy that my daughter had when
she received those wolves. And when you’re
sitting in traffic in your BMW, it’s
something that feels empty. To everyone
who reaches that point. This concept of the
selfish human, this idea of separation by
race, or gender, or religion, or age, or my
favourite thing to hate, class.
“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
“We have the ability to approach our race
like ants, or we have the ability to approach
our race like crabs.
“This is a generation that is far less racist –
yes, small remnants remain of even thinking
of calling something of a racial slur.
“White people that listen to rap say
‘nigger’…in the privacy of their own home.
“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.
“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! [looks disappointed]…I had two
things…I was trying to get a flawless
victory on my speech! No offence to
MasterCard…but that was a big fucking
logo in the middle!
“You guys have been taught, without you
knowing, ways to separate yourselves from
each other. If you’re separated, you can be
easily controlled. If you’re too busy
pointing fingers at each other, rather than
holding hands, you can’t get anything
“You know, Chris Rock called my album My
Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy…well, Chris
Rock and everyone else at every single
media publication called My Beautiful Dark
Twisted Fantasy the best album of the last
25 years. This only came through
“One of the most memorable things about
MBDTF 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.
“This was necessary. I think it was one of
the most important points of working on
that album, was to not stop her from her
moment because of how good she is. Just
think of a comparison, if you think about
why did it take so long for the new Yeezys
to come out? Why did I have to leave one
group and go to another group? Why did
that group not want to speak to me? I
think the Yeezys I was doing over there
were comparable to that Nicki Minaj verse.
Because these guys were like ‘we’re
worrying about this shoe, we’re gonna put
it on this celebrity’. And the head’s son
would come and say ‘my favourite shoe is
the Yeezy’. And it’s like ‘ahhh, I can’t hear
about these YEEZYS anymore!’. Like
everyone talking about Nicki’s verse, ‘I
can’t hear about this verse anymore!’. It
was gonna work for her anyway, but let’s
just say that in some way in helped give her
exposure. She was able to go on and
become a successful, and fly, and run, and
dream, and provide. And it was not locked
because of my career.
“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.
“When I talk about collaboration and the
creative process, the best idea wins.
“I’m proud of the consistency of the
performances I’ve done since I’ve been out
here. And it comes from four would-be
egomaniacs coming out and being forced
to work together. The best lighting guy on
the planet, the best staging guy, the best
video guy, another staging guy, a guy with
a laptop for no reason…To be able to
deliver, back to back to back, extremely
successful, inspiring, groundbreaking,
visual, visceral, creative moments that
otherwise would have been challenged. And
the kid from Chicago screaming from the
top of the stage for 40 minutes in a row.
I’ve had to pull that card out a few times.
Not particularly screaming, but remember, I
“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 fucking 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
“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.
“That’s one of my favourite ones…to be
“I remember when I was young and saw my
dad working on computers. And the guy he
was working with ended up being a bad
guy. And the guys that helped him, that he
had the voice to find, didn’t have the same
motivation, a high enough skill set to match
up to his vision, to his dream, for it to be
considered to be a success. But the success
is that his successor will be successful in his
lifetime. You could say but you are
successful. I’m successful in learning about
the beauty that is afforded rich people. But
in learning that, being brought up, middle
class, it’s something that is beating out of
my chest. ‘Wait a second, I was middle
class, and I didn’t get to see none of this
“Let’s have an NBC telethon moment, and
say that beauty has been stolen from the
people and is being sold back to them
under the concept of luxury!
“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. All the best
talent in the world needs to work for the
people. And I am so fucking serious about
this concept that I will stand in front of
anyone and fight for it. Because I was 14
and middle class. I know what it felt like to
not get what I have.
“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.”