*”Rap is the new rock ‘n’ roll,” Kanye West informs BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe during a recent interview.
The rapper sat down for an hourlong conversation with the outlet, but it was his declaration in a 15-minute chunk posted to YouTube that is making headlines.
“We the new rock stars, and I’m the biggest of all of them,” he said, adding: “I’m the No. 1 rock star on the planet.”
He previously made the same complaints about not being taken seriously as an innovator, comparing himself to crossover celebrities such as Michael Jordan and Steve Jobs in a New York Times interview in June.
Now, West says the only other entertainer on his level was Michael Jackson.
“I would not be Kanye West if it wasn’t for Michael Jackson,” he said. But the compliment to the King of Pop was slightly backhanded.
“I was able to ascend to massive heights,” he said. “And I’ve got to a point that Michael Jackson did not break down. I have reached the glass ceiling, as a creative person, as a celebrity and I’ve been at it for 10 years.”
“I look around and I say, ‘Wait a minute,’” he continues. “‘There’s no one around here in that looks like me. And if they are, they’re quiet as f–k.’ So that means, wait a second now, we’re seriously in a civil rights movement.”
The one-man musical march didn’t stop there.
West went on to express his frustrations about not being able to achieve the same level of success as pal Jay Z.
“Jay Z is more realized than me,” he said. “More of his dreams and aspirations have come true. You don’t realize I am so frustrated. Like, I’ve got so much I want to give. … And I’ve got a million people telling me why I can’t do it.”
“I know how to make perfect, but that’s not what I’m here to do,” he added. “I’m here to crack the pavement and make new grounds sonically … and culturally.”