“I heard a comment — a joke — about the Tidal press conference being an Illuminati moment. If there was actually an Illuminati, it would be more like the energy companies. Not celebrities that gave their life to music and who are pinpointed as decoys for people who really run the world. I’m tired of people pinpointing musicians as the Illuminati. That’s ridiculous. We don’t run anything; we’re celebrities. We’re the face of brands. We have to compromise what we say in lyrics so we don’t lose money on a contract. Madonna is in her 50s and gave everything she had to go up on an award show and get choked by her cape. She’s judged for who she adopts. F**k all of this sensationalism. We gave you our lives. We gave you our hearts. We gave you our opinions!”
Let’s just tap back into the real world for a second — we can have children. Let’s be thankful. We can raise our kids, let’s be thankful. But how about we raise our kids in a truthful world, not a world based on brands and concepts of perception? Perception is not reality. When I look in North’s eyes, I’m happy about every mistake I’ve ever made. I’m happy that I fought to bring some type of reality to this world we choose to stay in right now, driven by brands and corporations.
I also love people being inspired to follow their dreams, because I think people are oppressed by smoke and mirrors, by perception. There isn’t an example of a living celebrity that has more words formed against him, but just a little self-belief can go a long way. I think the scariest thing about me is the fact that I just believe. I believe awesome is possible and I believe that beauty is important. When I say “beauty,” what’s your current definition of beauty? When I think beauty, I think of an untouched forest, only created by God’s hand. I think of a gray sky that separates the architecture from the background and creates these amazing photographs because you don’t have to block the sun above you when you’re taking the photograph. I think beauty is important and it’s undermined by our current corporate culture. When you think about the corporate office, you don’t see the importance of beauty. I think all colors are beautiful and in a corporate world only one color is. But another thing is that I believe money is important. I think that artists have been brainwashed to look at money as a bad thing, and it’s not. I think they’re equally important in our current civilization.
When I was 10 years old I lived in China, and at the time they used to come up to me and rub my face to see if the color would rub off. It was really fucked up, but I feel like it was preparing me for a world perspective that a lot of my friends who never got a chance to travel didn’t get. Now my perspective, a lot of times, is so much wider than someone who’s limited to the concept of any particular so-called world that’s not the real world. I take into account all of what’s happening, from the boom of business in San Francisco to the poverty in Africa — and that is wide perspective. When I was in fifth grade in China, when kids would come up to me and touch my face, it was like they had never seen a black person before, but that was a while ago. That was 20 years ago and of course we’ve come a long way now. That’s not the current state of mind. On “Never Let Me Down” I rapped, “Racism’s still alive, they just be concealing it,” but for the next generation that’s not necessarily true. Racism is something that’s taught, but for the new post-Internet, post-iPad kids that have been taught to swipe before they read, it’s just not going to affect them as much. They realize that we are one race. We’re different colors — my cousins and I are different shapes and we’re all from one family. We’re all from one family called the human race. It’s simple as that. This race is up against some interesting things — poverty, war, global warming, classism — and we have to come together to beat this. It’ll only be as a collective that we can beat this, and we can. We can create a better world for ourselves.
People have asked why I don’t speak out — on social media, for example — about events in this country. The way I see it, it’s not about a post on social media from me when there are people dying. There’s people in Chicago dying. There’s people all across the globe dying for no reason! There’s people who’ll never have the opportunity to live their lives for terrible, nonsensical reasons. I care about people. I care about society. I care about people being inspired. I care about people believing in themselves, because that’s the scariest thing. The modern population cannot be controlled by the system — they break the system.
Read the full write up here – Papermag.com