The Complete History of Kanye West's Love for Will Ferrell - DJBooth

The Complete History of Kanye West's Love for Will Ferrell

There's one man Kanye West might love as much as Kanye West, so of course Will Ferrell's been a big part of Yeezy's music.
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There are very few things I love more in this world than Kanye West.

If you’ve read an article I've penned or if you’ve hung around me for more than a day, you know how much Kanye means to me. That man has had a tremendous impact on my life. If it weren’t for Mr. West I wouldn't be into hip-hop, I wouldn't be writing about it for a living, and hell, I probably wouldn’t even know my current girlfriend (we bonded over our love for Yeezy).

One of those things people is Will Ferrell.

Much like Kanye, Will Ferrell is one of the biggest institutions in my life. I remember the first time I saw Anchorman as vividly as I remember hearing "Jesus Walks" for the first time. I have spent hours debating Zoolander vs. Anchorman like I’ve spent hours debating College Dropoutvs. MBDTF. I feel like Kicking & Screaming is just as underrated as 808’s. I quote Will Ferrell as often, if not more than I quote Kanye. In his own way Will Ferrell is a genius, too. It may not be creating the Mona Lisa or eradicating diseases, but there is really an art to what Will Ferrell does. 

We always praise rappers who don’t write their shit down, and that’s what Will Ferrell does. He stands up and rattles off some of the funniest material you will ever hear right off the top of his dome. It might look weird to read, but Will Ferrell is a genius. 

Real recognize real.

Believe it or not but those tweets actually humanize Kanye, which is quite a difficult task for a man who has called himself a God. When Kanye smiles the Internet blows up, so the thought of Kanye sitting at home watching Step Brothers as his laughter echoes throughout his minimalist, weirdly decorated house room gives me an odd sense of peace. I guess it lets me know amidst all the bullshit, the ego, the brand, at the end of the day Kanye is an actual human being who can’t help but laugh at the Step Brothers dinner scene.

Since Kanye’s music is so heavily influenced by the art he loves, it’s only natural Will Ferrell would show up in his work, but I never really put two and two together. I fucked up. I should have realized this long ago, but it wasn’t until I heard that Step Brothers reference on “Pop Style” that I fully came to realize just how deep the Kanye and Will Ferrell waters run. We're not the first to notice, but we know we can do it better. We wake up and piss excellence and that excellence is a detailed write-up about shit nobody has the time to research. This is our house. A Kanye/Will Ferrell article is our calling. So let's do it! SQUAD ASSEMBLE!!

Now, Kanye tweeting about Zoolander 2 isn't the first time he's publicly acknowledged his love for Ferrell. In an interview with GQ from 2014, Kanye pretty much explains that Step Brothers is the reason he married Kim. 

Why’d you decide to get married?

Saying "Hey, I like Kim" isn’t as inspiring to people as us getting married. And anyone that’s in a relationship knows that in order to get to the point to get married and then to be married and to then carry on, it needs that work put into it. Right now, people look at it and it’s like, "Wow, that’s inspiring." Meaning that love is infectious...Like they said in Step Brothers: Never lose your dinosaur. This is the ultimate example of a person never losing his dinosaur. Meaning that even as I grew in cultural awareness and respect and was put higher in the class system in some way for being this musician, I never lost my dinosaur.

Of course, Kanye and Ferrell have an actual relationship, Kanye had a cameo in Anchorman 2, but apparently he never wanted to leave. We know all too well that Kanye loves to surround himself with talented people when he works, records, and I don’t think this is much different; I can picture him on set just creating beats. God damn I want to hear the Anchorman sessions. This shouldn't really surprise anyone, as two A-list celebrities it's only natural they would cross paths. This relationship is much more than that, though. Kanye's music is the most important thing both to us and to him, so when his records are littered with Will Ferrell movie references we shouldn't underestimate their presence. 

There’s the Aforementioned “Pop Style”  line, “Take you to the garage and do some karate,” but there’s also “See Me Now” where he raps “First of all, we all know the beats is/ Like a mix between Fergie and Jesus,” and the “Back Like That (Remix)” where he spits, “Second I walked in, the whole room got still/I don't know how to put this, but I'm kind of a big deal.” Even though that's one of the most quoted lines from Anchorman, I never get tired of hearing it. Come to think of it isn’t the whole Kanye and Clipse collab “Kinda Like A Big Deal” one big Anchorman reference?

Shit, Kanye’s even sampled Ferrell. I’m of course talking about Yeezy using a quote from Blades Of Glory at the beginning of "N**gas In Paris.Blades Of Glory is to Will Ferrell what Graduation is to Kanye. It’s not horrible, but it just doesn’t live up to the classics: Anchorman, Old School and Step Brothers. I mean, besides that line, how many lines from that movie can you recite? If it weren't for Kanye, that line wouldn't have the reputation that it has. Part of its story is that sample; pretty amazing, no? I can’t watch that scene without thinking of Kanye.

Kanye and Will Ferrell go together like cocaine and waffles, or peanut butter and ladies. They are both geniuses, but I'm also realizing their careers are pretty similar too. At one point, both were making some absolutely amazing art (yes Anchorman is a work of art). They were untouchable and they influenced a whole generation. But now? Now they've aged and are starting to show it. There just isn't that same feeling. I miss the old Will like I miss the old Kanye. I'll always love them, and they'll always be culturally relevant, but the material they're creating today can't rival what they delivered in their prime.

There's a difference though. I'm too close to Kanye. It's been hard for me to come to grips with Kanye not being the Kanye I fell in love with, but there's something about seeing Will Ferrell in the same position that puts things into perspective. No matter how bad Anchorman 2 or Zoolander 2 are they'll never affect how I feel about any of the classics. Maybe I need to start listening to Kanye's albums the same way I watch Will Ferrell films...or maybe Kanye just needs more Will Ferrell references in his albums. 

Yes. This is actually my job.

Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth. His favorite album is College Dropout but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.

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