Kanye West has gotten a lot of flak this year, mostly thanks to his ongoing on-and-off feud with internationally beloved pop princess Taylor Swift. We’re not going to rehash the entire debacle here, but suffice it to say, plenty of people were displeased with both parties’ handling of the very public, years-long tension.
Amidst all of the drama, it was still impossible to deny that Kanye is, in fact, an extremely talented artist. His latest album, The Life of Pablo, was released February 14th to near-universal acclaim. In 2015, Kanye officially expanded into the fashion industry, designing clothing for his Yeezy line.
Moreover, in a recently released sit-down interview with W Magazine from back in June, Kanye addressed his art, his educational background with a PhD in art, the public’s perception of him, and the very surprising fictional character he compares himself to – Buddy, the titular Christmas cheer-enthusiast elf from Elf.
During the interview with W’s Lynn Hirschberg, before his latest Yeezy Season 4 collection was released (to mixed reception and some actual complaints) at NYFW earlier this month, West discussed his fashion and music careers, particularly venting about his place in the fashion industry.
Throughout the interview, he makes several references to an assortment of family-friendly movies – possibly an effect of the fact that he’s a dad to two young kids now and is watching a whole bunch of kiddie films – including Wreck-It Ralph, Despicable Me, and, of course, Elf.
Specifically, Kanye feels a surprising sort of kinship with Buddy, the elf who is actually a human and whose hands are just too big to make the toys he wants to make in order to bring joy to the world.
Then, there’s also the parallel to the very literal Christmas presents Kanye is actually making for his fans (though, obviously, not literally with his own two hands).
“[T]hat’s what I do as Kanye West, 39-year-old Kanye West talking to you right now. Play this shit back in 10 years – I build things that mean things to people,” Kanye proclaimed. “I make the Christmas presents; number one requested Christmas present of 2015 Christmas, going into 2016, the fucking Yeezy.”
Kanye’s train of thought is a tad bit tough to follow, but the gist of it is that he, like Buddy, desperately wants to build (not literal) “toys” and bring joy to the world. It’s an admirable goal, for sure, and we’re totally here for Buddy-the-Elf Kanye. No harm at all in wanting to bring joy to people through your art!