Kanye West talked for nearly three hours straight — circling around topics like his relationships with God and the music industry, his presidential run, and his takes on abortion, medication and racism — on the latest episode of Joe Rogan’s podcast.
The broad conversation on The Joe Rogan Experience premiered on Saturday (Oct. 24), a week after he expressed interest in making an appearance on the show, and it offered a glimpse into what exactly is on West’s mind.
As he explained, “I think very three-dimensionally. I don’t think in the black-and-white lines that I’ve been programmed to think in. And I think in full color. So when I talk, I have to describe a thought in five ways. We enjoy food that has multiple seasonings in it. We enjoy music that has multiple instruments. So when I talk, it’s not a rant, it’s a symphony of ideas.”
See several excerpts from his three-hour symphony with Rogan below.
He’s prioritizing his relationship with God over the music industry: “When I made Sunday Service, I completely stopped rapping, because I don’t know how to rap for God. All my raps always had nasty jokes. When I went to the hospital in 2016, I wrote, ‘Started church in Calabasas.’ As we left from 2018 going into 2019, I said, ;I’m not going to let one Sunday go by without starting this church.; To start a ministry, I’m like the little drummer boy, where I’m saying, ‘This is all I got to bring, my drum.’ I might not be well versed in the Word, but I know how to make music and I know how to put this choir together. And all things can be made good for God. It quickly became the best choir of all time, because all the best singers moved to California. … I was four months in before I gave my life to God. I wasn’t saved, I just had a calling, saying, ‘Just go make this church.’”
“God knocked me off my horse, literally called me and said, ‘Now I need you.’ Not that God needs me, but we need God. He called me to serve him. I was tired of serving the music industry, tired of serving filling up stadiums.”
He “feels bad” listening to his own discography: “There’s only a billion people on the internet. You never think about that. There’s 7 to 8 billion people on earth, but then there’s only a billion people that are influenced and on the internet. It feels like the internet is everything. It’s only like 15, 16, 18 percent of human beings. But … for us to survive, we have to make more human beings. We have family, we have to have food, we have to have shelter. We don’t have to have the internet. We don’t have to have music. That’s a conversation. I mean, it enhances the quality of life — it’s better. But look at the music. Look at the information we’re putting [in] it. I feel bad when I hear rap songs. I feel bad, even the stuff that I just recently put out.”
He reflected on being medicated to treat bipolar disorder — and says we’re all being medicated: “[It] blocked my ability to channel what God wanted me to do. But we’re all on medication right now. Did you use toothpaste with fluoride today? It blocks your penial gland. And they put children on it. We put our kids on it. It’s inside the deodorants we use. It’s all these things to create a disconnect to God, to serve that. Are you serving man, or are you serving the one and only master?”
“The main thing that it did is it destroyed my confidence. It made me this shell of who I really am. It grayed over my eyes. It made the mustang not buck anymore. They told me I was bipolar. I remember going on TMZ and saying, ‘Slavery is a choice.’ They medicated me for saying that, for having that opinion and saying it out loud.”
He aired his thoughts on racism in America: “Most Black people, we don’t know where we came from. We think we came from slaves. We don’t know our bloodline. We’re given Black History Month and we take that like it’s some gift to us. No, it’s programming to us. Racism doesn’t end until we get to a point where we stop having to put the word ‘Black’ in front of it, because it’s like we’re putting the rim a little bit lower for ourselves … We shouldn’t have to have a special box, a special month. What they show during Black History Month is us getting hosed down, reminding us that we were slaves. What if we had, Remember When I Cheated on You Month? How does that make you feel? It makes you feel depleted and defeated.”
He implied abortion is a bigger societal issue than the pandemic: “People saw this clip of me crying. Some people didn’t know what I was crying about. I was crying about that there is a possible chance that Kim and I didn’t make the family that we have today. That’s my most family-friendly way to word that. The idea of it just tears me up inside, that I was a part of a culture that promotes this kind of thing. One of the major statistics on the subject of life is that the greatest advocates for the A-word [abortion] are men from ages 31-37. That’s how old I was. I felt like I was too busy. My dad felt like he was too busy for me. We have a culture of that … In our culture, we’re doped up, and psyched out, and made to kill our children. We have to decouple the conversation of Planned Parenthood and women’s choice. I’m Christian, so I’m pro-life. When I go into office, I’m not changing laws because I realize we live in an imperfect world and an imperfect society. What I will be presenting is a Plan A. We’ve already started working on a Plan A to change the connotation of orphanages, to change the connotation of foster care.”
“There were 210,000 deaths due to COVID in America. Everywhere you go, you see someone with a mask on. With A, the A word, A culture — I’ll say it one time, with abortion culture — there are 1,000 Black children aborted a day. Daily. We are in genocide. More Black children since February than people have died of COVID. And everyone wears a mask. So it’s a matter of where are we turning a blind eye to?”
He said the coronavirus is the reason for the delayed start to his presidential campaign: “Why did I register so late to run for president? COVID. I had the virus, and I was sitting, quarantined in my house, and my cousin texted me about being prepared to run for president. I just completely put it off to the side ’cause I was like shivering, having the shakes, taking hot showers, eating soup. I don’t think it was that bad — I think it was a mild case. [But] it threw everybody’s plans off.”
He explained why he’s running for president: “It was something that God put in my heart back in 2015. A few days before the MTV awards it hit me in the shower. When I first thought of it, I just started laughing to myself and all this joy came over my body, through my soul. I felt that energy and spirit. Two days later, I accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Awards. Instead of performing my array of hit songs, I gave just my perspective on awards shows. I knew at the end, I was going to tell people I’m running for president in 2020. It even took heart to say it in that context and people’s minds were blown.”
“I had different friends — some people in the music industry, some tech elites — and they took it as a joke. They were telling me all these millions of reasons why I couldn’t run for president. I remember running into Oprah two days or one day after that, and she [said], ‘You don’t want to be president.’ One of my responses to the naysayers was, ‘I’ll definitely be a billionaire by that time.’ Not that that’s a reason why someone should be president… At that time, I was $50 million in debt and I knew I had the confidence that I would be able to turn that around.”
He called out critics of his decision to run for president in 2020: “One of the most racist things that liberals who pride themselves on not being racist have said to me is, ‘You’re gonna split the Black vote. And that makes it seem like Black people can’t make decisions ourselves and that don’t no white people know me. [They’re saying] that only Black people will vote for me. Think about that statement. The nuance of institutionalized racisim … No one has really been able to embrace the idea of Blacks not being in a block, and staying in one place.”
He believes his taste is the answer to many of America’s problems: “I’m completely confident that I will figure out how to get America out of debt, that I have the ability, once I see everything. I never make the wrong decision when I’m given all the information. That’s my skill set. Anything I go into — producing, rap, homes, clothing, anything — once I’m given the right information, I apply my taste. And I have the best taste on the planet. Could you imagine Quincy Jones as a president? Walt Disney? Steve Jobs? For America to be as warming and inviting as Disney World. There used to be this dream. People still have this dream of coming to America.”
“I know that me as president would be the best thing that would ever happen for America’s foreign policy. I’ve traveled more than any president already, and I bring people together. I put rivals on songs together to create masterpieces.”
Whatever happens, he’ll run for president again in 2024: “I’m definitely 100% winning in 2024 … I got the Birthday Party, but I was thinking maybe there’s a possibility I would be… eh, they said that wouldn’t happen. [But] I was thinking I would possibly be the Democrat.”