Thursday was hip-hop artist Kanye West's 39th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, I've compiled (in no particular order) eight of the craziest, most arrogant, Yeeziest quotes from the man who designed and sold a $120 plain white tee shirt.
1. "We are all self-conscious. I'm just the first to admit it."
Kanye was never one for hiding his world-class pride, and he made that crystal clear on one of his first singles, 2004's "All Falls Down." While accepting your vulnerabilities should be seen as admirable, I highly doubt West is in fact the first person ever to do so.
2. "I feel like I'm too busy writing history to read it."
This was Kanye's reply when an Entertainment Weekly reporter asked him in 2007, "Do you ever allow yourself to just be dull and quiet? Just zone out with a good book?" West has expressed his disdain for the written word on several occasions, telling Reuters in 2009, "I am not a fan of books" while promoting a book he co-authored.
3. "I'm the number one living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix."
Kanye really enjoys comparing himself to other famous celebrities (or even deities; we'll get to that), and after being snubbed from attending some fashion shows in Paris, hee blurted this out to fellow musician Daft Punk. Having listened to some of West's work, I wouldn't call him a rock star, let alone the number one rock star. I think "good rapper" would be more appropriate.
4. "I think I do myself a disservice by comparing myself to Steve Jobs and Walt Disney and human beings that we've seen before. It should be more like Willy Wonka, and welcome to my chocolate factory."
Kanye said some incredibly outrageous things while promoting his 2013 Yeezus tour, but this might just take the cake...or chocolate bar rather. I think Willy Wonka and his Oompa Loompas would have some things to say about West's bombastic, selfish comments.
5. "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
Kanye of course blurted this out at the most inappropriate time, calling the former President a racist during a televised benefit concert to raise awarness for the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Bush later called it "an all-time low," and thankfully West was humble enough to express his regret over the outburst.
6. "I am God's vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live."
Kanye said this on VH1's "Storytellers" in 2009, and it wouldn't be the last time he reckoned himself a messenger of the Creator. In fact, he went one step further, declaring in a 2013 hit of the same name, "I am a God." However, the bearers' of God's word in the Bible seemed far less concerned about watching themselves deliver His message than Kanye seems to be.
7. "I am Warhol. I am the number one most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh."
As an avid reader of Shakespeare, this is probably my favorite Kanye quote of them all. Another from his 2013 Yeezus promotion tour, West showed his true colors in a radio interview on SiriusXM, repeatedly shouting over the host and delivering this golden soundbite.
8. "I have decided, in 2020, to run for president."
The quote speaks for itself. This surprising announcement served as the climax to his unbelievably long acceptance speech for the 2015 Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 VMAs. Check out video of the entire speech below:
Happy Birthday, Kanye. If only we could have a sliver of your unending wisom.