Kanye West breaks down "Blood On The Leaves" and mental slavery, says he's not afraid of death.
With the announcement of Kanye West’s "Yeezus Tour," it was also revealed that Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar would be joining the G.O.O.D. Music emcee on a majority of his U.S. tour dates. While speaking on the addition of Kendrick to his tour, which kicked off in Seattle on October 19, Kanye spoke on the mentality those artists who are established in Hip Hop sometimes take when it concerns up-and-coming artists.
Kanye went on to state that at times the “idea of paying dues” as a new artist can be too much.
“That boy good,” ‘Ye said regarding Kendrick during an interview with Los Angeles radio station Power 106's Big Boy's Neighborhood show. “Ain’t nothing else to say, man. I came out to watch him a couple of nights ago, cause he’s in his hometown. And you know I like to go and see anybody that goes on tour with me cause I feel like it’s a part of the whole show…We need to be giving the people younger than us, as many resources as possible. As opposed to holding back those resources. And that’s the way the old mentality is…There’s times where I definitely got sonned as like the opening act. I just think that this idea of paying dues, it goes too far though. The way people try to not help.”
In addition to sharing his thoughts on the TDE wordsmith, Kanye also spoke briefly on his relationship with fellow rapper Jay Z, after informing listeners that he has no plans on performing any songs from Watch The Throne during his Yeezus tour.
“I don’t do any songs from Watch The Throne," Kanye West said. "I made a pact with Jay Z that we would only do those songs when we’re together…We brothers."
Kanye West Says “Blood On The Leaves” Addresses Mental Slavery
During his interview with Big Boy’s Neighborhood, Kanye offered an explanation of his Yeezus track, “Blood On The Leaves.” On the song, which samples Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit,” Kanye addresses society’s fascination with riches and other material items as he raps, “She Instagram herself like #BadBitchAlert / He Instagram his watch like #MadRichAlert / He only wanna see that ass in reverse / Two-thousand-dollar bag with no cash in your purse.”
In Kanye’s explanation of “Blood On The Leaves,” he revealed that the song tackles mental slavery and was partially inspired by his professional basketball player friends who are at times pulled in a number of directions due to friends, family, etc.
“'Cause slavery is now more mental than anything,” said ‘Ye. “But mostly I’m talking about, I’m thinking—cause I had hoop dreams back in the days. I’m picturing myself being like a ball player, right? And having like my high school girlfriend, but then making it to the league or like going down to Miami to Club Liv. And then kinda falling short and end up getting like another couple, two, three girlfriends and having to hook them up with some Celine bags and stuff like that. And just writing that kinda story that…I don’t know if that type of stuff might happen or not. But it was my account of like if I went through that type of story as a hooper. And saying that you can be enslaved to that first relationship, but then the second girl got you enslaved cause she could like blackmail you. And then you owe the city, to play good…So, I always looked at like my homies in the league and having 10, 15 points of people pulling at ‘em from all directions.”
Kanye West Shares His Thoughts On Death & The Afterlife
Aside from music and touring, Kanye’s interview today (October 28) also addressed a handful of other topics including death, which the Chicago rapper said he’s not afraid of.
“I’m not afraid of death either,” Kanye said. “I believe that I’ma see my mother again. I believe that heaven’s gonna be a beautiful place, but God has provided me with a beautiful child, a beautiful wife, some amazing friends, and some amazing challenges too. It’s kinda fun to have that challenge. It’s fun that I don’t have the infrastructure for what I want to do for certain things.”
In addition to his "Yeezus Tour" kicking off several days ago, Kanye also proposed to his girlfriend Kim Kardashian this month. And in June of this year, the two welcomed their daughter, North West. The rapper recently defended his relationship with Kardashian during an appearance on Kris Jenner’s talk show, “Kris,” on August 23.
“I could have people saying, 'This is going to damage your credibility as an artist or a designer,'" Kanye said. "And I say, 'I don't care. I love this woman.' Or someone could say, 'When the paparazzi surround you, everyone knows you don't like the paparazzi. Why would you be with this person?' And I'm saying, 'I'm being with this person because I love this person and she's worth it to me."
Kanye West’s "Yeezus Tour" is currently on a break, but is scheduled to stop in Salt Lake City November 1.