I Miss The Old Kanye & Other Things I Agree On With Kanye

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Kanye West gets a lot of flack from everyone. They say he's too arrogant. He's too unfiltered. He's too rude. He's too crazy. He's just too damn much in general.

From his Twitter rants to his IRL outbursts, he's always been a loose canon in the music industry. Only now, he has successfully stationed himself as a permanent fixture in not only the world of hip-hop and gospel (!) music, but also in the worlds of fashion, television, and even technology (he hopes).

He considers himself a Michael Jordan-type, a Pablo Picasso-esque, Steve Jobs kinda guy. He's extremely self-motivated and he's deeply in love with himself. And Kim Kardashian. He's confusing as hell.

But remember the old Kanye?

I'm talking about the one fresh on the scene in 2004, releasing his debut album College Dropout. He started recording songs for the album in 1999, when he was 22, and has come a long way since then. But he's been confident since day one, rapping on one of his first tracks, "Last Call," "And I was almost famous, now everybody loves Kanye / I'm almost Raymond."

He's turning 39 on June 8, and it got me thinking about all of the times he actually made sense. When his nonsensical statements were suddenly, piercingly accurate. So far, it appears that most of his best points and incisive lyrics come from his "old Kanye" days, as he would say.

It's not really fair to judge someone at their worst, it's better to judge them at their Kanye best. Who knows, you just might have a thing or two in common with the old Ye.

And now, here are the most important points to remember when you're trying to be your own Kanye best, better than all the Kanye rest.

Haters are motivators.
"People always say that you can't please everybody. I think that's a cop-out. Why not attempt it? 'Cause think of all the people you will please if you try." — The Telegraph

"But then it was like, ‘Fuck what people say, fuck what people think.’ " — SHOWStudio

"I look at everything as a glass half full, not half empty." — MTV

“Now, I just do exactly what I want, whenever I want, how the fuck I want. ‘Fuck you’ is my message.” — W magazine

Humor is a major key.
"I'll say things that are serious and put them in a joke form so people can enjoy them. We laugh to keep from crying." — The Telegraph
Never forget your original goals.
"The only thing really arrogant about me are my goals. I want to make an album that's better than Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, I want to make something better than Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. Now I don't think I succeed every time, but if you shoot for the stars, you'll land on a cloud." — The Telegraph
Respect vibes.
“A mood board, that’s my style of speeches. It’s very unorthodox. It’s vibes. You guys are designers, so you know how to put it all together at the end of the night. Or feel free to talk shit. It’s good to have someone to talk shit about. I don’t give a fuck.” — Shoe of the Year Acceptance Speech
Remember to stay humble.
“I wanna do what’s right, but I’m just a human.” — MTV

“Yeah, I think that I have like, faltered, you know, as a human. My message isn’t perfectly defined. I have, as a human being, fallen to peer pressure.” — The New York Times

“Nothing in life is given to you.” — MTV

"But at the end of the day, I’m just simply an artist trying to express myself, trying to finish my sentences just like my daughter can.” — Vanity Fair
Don't be afraid to go on tangents.
“I feel like I’m just going off in tangents.” — MTV

Stay true to yourself.
“Thoughts and feelings can disagree sometimes." — W magazine
“At a certain point, or always, love is more important than any branding, or any set of cool people, or attempting to impress anyone. Because true love is just the way you feel.” — W magazine

"I hate the color blue." — SHOWStudio
Sweatshirts are important.
“I think people just wear yoga pants and sweatshirts, and I wanted to make the most beautiful version of that possible.” — Vanity Fair

“Sweatshirts are fucking important. That might sound like the funniest quote ever. How can you say all this stuff about running for president in 2020 and then say sweatshirts are important? But they are. Just mark my words. Mark my words like Mark Twain.” — Vanity Fair

Shoes are also important.
“I don’t go a day without shoes.” — Vanity Fair
Unlike L.C., always go to Paris.
“In Paris, you’re as far as possible from the land of pleasant smiles. You can just trip on inspiration — there are so many people here who dedicate their lives to excellence.” — W magazine

You don't always have to smile.
"not smiling makes me smile" — Twitter


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