7 Key Takeaways From Kanye West’s Conversation With Joe Rogan

Written by on October 25, 2020

Kanye West finally followed through with his long-awaited appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, and the interview was just as wild as fans were expecting. 

West is a man who discusses multiple, unrelated topics simultaneously; at one point, he compares his thought process to Super Mario, frantically jumping from one rapidly disintegrating cloud platform to another. Seems like a pretty appropriate analogy. 

Here are 7 key takeaways from the 3-hour interview:  

Kanye doesn’t stop talking

Joe Rogan didn’t get much of a chance to speak in this one, as West took what few questions he had and ran with them, sprinting through several subjects without ever quite reaching a coherent point. Recommended For You.

West seems like the kind of guy who is always absorbing information, through conversations, business ventures, media, and memes. But he can’t quite articulate it. When West is attempting to answer a question, he seems to get lost on the way, delivering a stream-of-consciousness ramble that sometimes sounds silly, sometimes dull, and sometimes, strangely profound. 

It’s a bit like listening to an intoxicated friend, who, having ingested one too many stimulants, is articulating every single thought running through their brain, during a long taxi ride home.  

Kanye works hard 

West claims to be working on multiple different projects, some very ambitious indeed. Well-intentioned ideas like sustainable architecture and infrastructure, education and product design. 

While it seems likely that some of these ventures aren’t going to be successful, he follows through on many of them; he’s juggling a music career and successful sneaker business, somehow, along with raising a family and messing around with all of these other projects. He’s like a Silicon Valley bro on steroids, a billionaire with a messianic sense of self-importance. 

But West claims to only attend meetings that interest him, so I’m guessing some of these projects are going to languish in development hell, once they move past the cool concept art stage. 

He has strong opinions on Star Wars 

One of the most amusing moments on the podcast was when West came out as a fan of the Star Wars prequels, and seemed extremely unimpressed with Disney’s sequel trilogy. 

I must say, I’m with West on this one; give me an ambitious disaster over a calculated corporate blockbuster any day. Artistic integrity sometimes results in terrible movies, sure, but at least they tend to be terrible in an interesting way, as opposed to formulaic films. 

Whatever you think of West, the man genuinely loves art and creative expression; he certainly seems to inhabit that “alternate reality” that many creatives do, able to truly express himself through music, rather than words. 

He’s really, really into God 

If there’s one subject that West always kept in focus, it was his faith. No matter the topic, God formed the pillar of West’s thoughts, opinions and plans. When Rogan asked a political question, West tended to answer with a vague intention to follow God’s will. 

West seemed to suggest that there was a grand destiny carved out for humankind, which certain entrepreneurs and artists were slowly building a path to, and implied that he was one of these chosen people – humble stuff. 

There was one rather intense moment in which West emphasized the importance of “fearing God,” and became extremely passionate, claiming that his religious faith imbues him with a courageous attitude to life. 

There’s one political issue he’s very focused on

Along with the subject of religion, West also fixated on abortion, and his fierce opposition to it. While West didn’t express an intention to restrict reproductive rights, he dances around the subject somewhat, claiming that if he reaches office, he will concentrate on providing alternatives.

That being said, his obsession with the topic doesn’t seem particularly healthy; West makes Mike Pence seem open-minded, when it comes to that particular topic. 

His presidential run sounds strangely similar to Donald Trump’s

Toward the end of the interview, Rogan attempts to reign in the meandering conversation, and asks some serious questions about West’s intentions, in regard to his political ambitions; he even tries to tighten up West’s answers (to mixed success). 

West doesn’t doubt his suitability for the role, confidently stating: 

“I believe my calling is to be the leader of the free world.”

But he never manages to articulate why. In fact, his answers indicate that he simply believes himself deserving of an important position, because … he just does. In response to Rogan’s concerns about education and healthcare access, West rambled about his faith, and assured Rogan that once everything was laid out in front of him, he would instinctively make the best decisions for the country. Sound familiar?

The most memorable moment of the interview came after Rogan asks what West would do in the event of foreign aggression, and West completely freezes up; it’s obvious he had never even considered the question.

He believes in … something? 

The thing about Kanye West, is that he’s really quite endearing to listen to. 

He’s not coherent, well-informed, or particularly logical, but he seems to genuinely believe in what he’s saying. Plus, he just seems like a nice guy, with a quirky sense of humor. 

His rambles manage to touch on several interesting topics, without ever really engaging with them. He floats around, spitting out chunks of philosophy, giving the impression that he is saying … something. And perhaps he is. 

Whatever his point is, it isn’t being communicated through his speech. Lifting quotes from the man always sounds out of context, because the context is almost always missing. He’s forever halfway toward saying something, never quite finishing his point. But he expresses a genuine longing for a better world, along with a supreme confidence in his faith, and his own leadership to deliver results. 

That combination of confidence, ambition and emotional vulnerability will spark empathy in certain people, while others will dismiss the podcast as three hours of verbal diarrhea. I wouldn’t be surprised if West managed to build a Trump-esque personality cult during his next presidential run.

I wouldn’t call it informative, but Rogan’s podcast offered a more honest insight into the mind of Kanye West than any other interview I’ve seen.

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