Kanye West, in an interview with Jon Caramanica for the New York Times:
There are people who have figured out the exact, you know, Kanye West formula, the mix between “Graduation” and “808s,” and were able to become more successful at it. “Stronger” was the first, like, dance-rap song that resonated to that level, and then “808s” was the first album of that kind, you know? It was the first, like, black new wave album. I didn’t realize I was new wave until this project. Thus my connection with [the graphic designer] Peter Saville, with Raf Simons, with high-end fashion, with minor chords. I hadn’t heard new wave! But I am a black new wave artist.
Everyone has been talking about and reporting on the easy stuff in this article (which, if you’re a Kanye hater, was exactly what he knew you’d do, FYI), but this piece is all over the place and hits on some real truths. Love him or hate him, Kanye West has been responsible for several trends in popular music over the past decade. Did he create those trends? Not always. But he refined them and put them forward and popularized them like no one else had before him.
Sounds a little more like Steve Jobs than some would like to think, I’d say.