Whenever Kanye West ends up saying or doing something controversial, which seems to be more often than not, people often wonder, “What was Kanye thinking?”
Trying to get into the mind of Mr. West is one of hip-hop's favorite pastimes, but according to 'Ye, he may not have been thinking at all. Seriously.
“Here’s something that’s contrary to popular belief: I actually don’t like thinking,” Kanye told Harpers Bazaar in a cover story interview with his wife Kim Kardashian West. “I think people think I like to think a lot. And I don’t. I do not like to think at all.”
“I think about things to put them in a place where I don’t have to think about them anymore,” he continued.
We’ve heard a lot about Kanye West being a perfectionist who will burn the midnight oil while obsessively tinkering with songs. So on a surface level, Kanye saying that he doesn’t like to think may sound odd.
But it really makes perfect sense: Kanye speaks off the cuff in his interviews, changed his last album title daily on Twitter and he has stream of consciousness segments in all of his concerts. He likely doesn’t see all of these things as him “thinking,” but rather him letting ideas be expressed as naturally and fluidly as possible. To him, “thinking” probably interferes with the flow of that process because it slows it down.
Kanye also said he would like to be remembered for his determination.
“I would say my determination is way higher than my smartness." - Kanye West, Harpers Bazaar
That also makes sense: whether it’s persevering detractors who said he should stick to producing, continuing to record while his mouth was wired shut after his car accident, or pushing his fashion ideas forward after the Nike deal didn’t work out, it’s clear that Kanye’s determination is what has made his career so successful.
These comments serve as a minor insight into the mind of Mr. West, but if we ever have any hopes of truly understanding what it's like to live inside his head, we're going to need another thousand more interview just like this. Or maybe we should try not thinking at all.
By William E. Ketchum III, following him on Twitter at @WEKetchum