Watch Kanye West's 40-minute lecture on art and society at Oxford University.
Back in March, Kanye West delivered a lecture/inspirational speech at Oxford University's Oxford Guild Society, Europe's oldest professional society. Yesterday, the Guild published footage of the entire speech to their YouTube channel.
This speech lacks the pomp and circumstance of his presidential candidacy speech at the 2015 VMAs. It is a more thoughtful, less cognac-influenced reflection on aesthetics, his artistic journey since childhood, and racial and economic divides. If nothing else, watch the way he exits the stage after the conclusion of the speech. Vintage Kanye.
Some choice quotes:
"My goal, if I was gonna do fine art, I would have become Picasso. When you think about someone who's done that much, in your life you're not allowed to think you could do that much. That idea suppresses humanity."
"Now I understand that I'm just serving, and with my voice and my ability to build relationships, and call Elon Musk or Obama out of the blue - Obama calls the home phone, by the way - with that I have a responsibility to serve."
"They need to do an awards show for the Nobel Peace Prize. I guess that wouldn't be so good for MasterCard. But you know, at the Brits, that MasterCard logo - it was a big logo."
"One of my biggest problems has been my ego. And if I, Kanye West, can remove my ego, I think there's hope for everyone."
"When you've lost the ideal of holding on to that concept [of being number one], you can leave the mountaintop finally, and walk down and readjust and see what your position on earth can be."
Watch the entire lecture above and read the full transcript here.