Kanye West is doing interviews all over the place to promote the Nov. 24 release of his new album “808’s and Heartbreak,” but the conversations have strayed off topic to also include his love life and the death of his mother, Donda West.
Speaking to People.com exactly one year after his mom died of complications following plastic surgery, the 31-year-old said he is just now at a point where he can discuss the subject openly.
“I didn’t do any interviews after my mom passed, I wasn’t ready to speak about [it],” he said. “Now I’d rather talk it through than commit suicide. I’m super devastated.”
The rapper says he blames himself – or more specifically, his fame – for her death. “I feel like I moved to California, then my mom moved to California, and she did stuff she wouldn’t have done if we’d stayed in Chicago,” he said. “If I’d never made it in the music business, it never would’ve happened.”
Speaking to reporters Tuesday at a London listening party for the new album, West said the recording studio helped him deal with his sense of isolation. (In addition to losing his mother, he also split with his fiancée, Alexis Phifer.)
“It’s lonely at the top,” he said. “Losing my mom, having no woman in my life to support me – I feel like I’m on my own and can only express it through my music.”
And while admitting he was “depressed, down,” West said several celebrities have helped him get through the pain.
“I ran into Beyoncé Knowles , Paul McCartney, [at the MTV Europe Music Awards and] I felt comfortable,” he said. “Rejuvenated.”
As for starting a family one day, Kanye said, “I want to have kids. But I want to have the right girl too – someone who really cares about me. When I’m in a club, girls are super-calculating, planning every step.”
Regarding his place in pop culture, West told the Associated Press that he is to music what Michael Jordan was to basketball.
“I realize that my place and position in history is that I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. “It’s me settling into that position of just really accepting that it’s one thing to say you want to do it and it’s another thing to really end up being like Michael Jordan.”
The Grammy-winning rapper-producer said Justin Timberlake had a chance to be music’s MVP, but hasn’t release enough material. (Timberlake’s last album was in 2006, while West released a CD last year in addition to the Nov. 24th release of “808’s & Heartbreak.”
“There were people who had the potential to do it but they went on vacation, so when Justin went on vacation I made albums,” he said. “And it just came out to be that.”
And finally, West vented frustration with the choice of winners at the recent MTV Europe Music Awards, calling the ceremony fixed.
“Britney Spears over Rihanna? Are you serious?” he told WENN before his show at London’s 02 Arena. “I mean f***ing Jared Leto? He’s my boy but he shouldn’t have won over some of those other artists.” (Leto’s band 30 Seconds to Mars picked up the Rock Out and Video Star awards in Liverpool.)
“I won nothing last year and I’d brought out ‘Stronger’,” West continued. “Then this year, just because I was there, I won best urban act. This was Lil Wayne’s year.”
MTV say the award West won was voted for entirely by their viewers. Most of the other categories, however, including all the top awards, are chosen by MTV’s Academy of music movers and shakers.