Radio host and former bodyguard Big Boy hosts several shows on Los Angeles radio station REAL923, tapping guests that include 50 Cent, Doja Cat and YBN Cordae. Big Boy’s latest guest is the awfully-busy Kanye West, who’s in the middle of launching Jesus Is King, complete with accompanying film and merch. Over the course of nearly 50 minutes, Big Boy and West discuss a wide array of subjects, notably touching on West’s faith and recent musical output.
Much of the discussion bounds from topic to topic, even drawing from past controversies like West’s controversial opinions on slavery. However, this interview sees West taking a slightly different tact: “We are African Americans and we are still dealing with modern day slavery,” West exclaims, particularly in reference to music contracts and publishing deals. “Until we make Wakanda, for real, this [freedom] gonna take more than the Jesus chain.” Later, West reiterates, “Being a slave to the system and people’s perceptions and what people have chosen for our culture … is not in service to God.” Explaining his frustrations with the minutiae of business dealing, West declares, “I’d rather some who called me an n-word to my face than someone who signed me to a lifetime deal on the 255th page of my contract. I wanna know what I’m dealing with.”
Following the topic of West’s controversial Trump support, Big Boy asks if the rapper considers himself free. “I’m a human being,” West explains. “Even though I can channel art, I work for Christ. … I’m Ye.” In response, Big Boy asks, “Are you still our voice?” West pauses momentarily before smiling and answering, “Absolutely! Absolutely! … I’m not telling nobody to not vote Democrat! I love Obama, I love lemonade, I love Wingstop, I love polos, I love Jordans.” Sparking more controversy, West touches on the Angry Birds phone games, describing the “certain dopamine specifically for the female mind” that the vertical swiping motion sparks, turning his focus to the destructive power of other swipe-heavy apps like Instagram and Tinder.
Later, West talks the Turtle Dove YEEZY BOOST 350, calling it “the new Shelltoe. It’s the most impactful design in shoes — Do you remember in interviews when I was telling people that I was ‘the Tupac of fashion?’ Like I might not be the biggest musician … but with apparel I knew it. This is the number-one Googled brand on Earth and … now I’m saying how do I do this all for Christ?” These talking points on design are more asides in the greater conversation, as West discussed the fashion industry more in his recent Zane Lowe interview.
Much of Big Boy’s interview sees West postulating about his focus on religion and rebuttals to societal expectations, though the G.O.O.D. Music founder does touch on his new record at times referencing his love for gospel music and the controversy over its title. “It’s Christians that told me the title Jesus Is King is too heavy-handed,” West began. “But there’s the opportunity where people are coming for the music but they may leave with salvation.” At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about for West. “Even when I do ‘Jesus Walks,’ considers West. “I go, ‘We are turning atheists into believers!’” In relation to his Sunday Service series, West reflects on the way he’s altering perceptions of religion, comparing his childhood to that of his daughter. “What 6-year-old [has a] positive thought association to church? … Now it’s a place where [my band and I] pull up to Jamaica and people are receiving it.”
Behold Big Boy’s full Kanye West interview above.
In case you haven’t, stream Jesus Is King now.