Kanye West Talks Architecture, Faith and Sustainability in New Interview (UPDATE)

“I’m trying out a different cure than medication. Fresh air. Fun. Inspiration. Space.”

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UPDATE (April 16, 2020): Kanye West and GQ have returned with a new video interview filmed on Kanye’s Cody, Wyoming ranch, the future headquarters of Yeezy Campus. West joined writer Will Welch while laying atop his matte black tank that he rides around on the property for an updated segment that spans multiple topics over five minutes. The duo talked about how Kanye first found the ranch, the work his architectural team is currently drafting and the flow of the Yeezy way of life. The video also shows off never-before-seen renderings of what the Yeezy Campus could look like with heavy inspiration from James Turrell. Kanye detailed the different types of farming that is underway on both of his Wyoming properties and spoke briefly about future Sunday Service plans.


ORIGINAL STORY (April 15, 2020): Kanye West joined GQ for a new cover story spanning over five weeks and three countries. Writer Will Welch visited Kanye at his 12,000 acre ranch in Cody, Wyoming, on his private jet en route to Los Angeles for Kid Cudi‘s birthday party and at the Hotel Ritz Paris. The two talked about Kanye’s plan to change the language of design in the architectural world, new blueprints for sustainability in his Yeezy line which nets $1.5 billion in revenue annually, and his revitalized faith well beyond his Sunday Service performances.

Kanye first opened up about how the death of Kobe Bryant, who West considered one of his best friends, had deeply impacted him. Kobe’s tragic passing had occurred just 72-hours earlier at the time of the interview. “There’s one street that I drive to go from either my office or my home to the property where the domes were built [the site of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others.] So now there’s no way for me not to be as determined as Kobe every time I drive down that street. It’s game time. There’s no move that we can’t make, or that we’ll wait to make. Everyone in our life is now a member of the Lakers on one of Kobe’s championship teams… He was the basketball version of me, and I was the rap version of him.”

Kanye considers himself a born-again Christian after his “psychiatric emergency” that resulted in a 2016 hospitalization at UCLA Medical Center. Much like his infamous car crash earlier in his career as a rapper, West has used this to fuel his next chapter. “I feel that the church that most people grew up on as kids had a negative environment. The greatest thing for me, as someone who’s given their life to Christ, is knowing that other people have that as an anchor and a form of healing, because you’re talking to a person that went to the hospital and back.”

“To have blind faith is the ultimate confidence. Sometimes it could have felt like it was arrogant. And I think that the arrogance could have come from the fact that I wasn’t working for God, but I was working for my ego, which is like working for the devil,” he said to GQ.

Other revelations in the interview include that West is producing the sheep on his 12,000 acre plot of land in Cody, Wyoming, now known as West Lake Ranch or the “Yeezy Campus” and raising them to produce the wool for Yeezy clothing. The location is what Kanye considers “a paradigm shift for humanity.” He continues to conceptualize the ever-changing blueprints for his massive single-family dome dwellings, a new version translated from the now infamous Calabasas dome concept houses that West assues, ““A big misconception is that the city made me tear down the domes.”

“We were only making them to experience the proportion and fully planned to tear them down. Like all of California, they got in front of the story. To say, ‘Oh, we took Kanye and tore down his domes.’ And you know, metaphorically, that’s what people have been trying to do since I was little. But as we can see now, they have not succeeded,” Kanye told GQ. He still wants these houses to be able to be modulated and built at any location, and his latest test was for a home that was completely skate-able with the help of set designers, who he thinks can be the new architects.

Now he’s considering input from legendary artist and architect James Turrell, Belgian interior design wizard Axel Vervoordt, and Italian architect Claudio Silvestrin for his new project. His latest collection of clothing for Yeezy Season 8 were inspired by what would eventually be worn on his Yeezy Campus by employees like cooks, the housekeeping staff, his Sunday Service members and more.

Kanye also talked about his political beliefs stating as a firm President Donald Trump supporter, “I buy real estate. It’s better now than when Obama was in office. They don’t teach you in school about buying property. They teach you how to become somebody’s property.” He continued, “I’m definitely voting this time. And we know who I’m voting on. And I’m not going to be told by the people around me and the people that have their agenda that my career is going to be over… That’s like if Obama’s campaign was “I’m with black.” What’s the point of being a celebrity if you can’t have an opinion? Everybody make their own opinion! You know?”

Other highlights include him encouraging Nike to re-release a retro version of his Air Yeezy sneakers and that he recorded over 20 percent of Jesus Is King on his iPhone. Read the full interview via GQ.

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