Kanye West: Empower the best content creators or fuck you

Pic: Twitter

Pic: Twitter

Kanye West made an impassioned appeal to the creative community to help “raise the palate” of society, and in particular the internet, during a session on collaboration at Cannes Lions today.

The musician, actor and fashion designer, known for making outlandish statements, started the session by saying: “I don’t want to say these really big over the top statements that end up getting quoted.”

During the panel with Steve Stout, founder of ad-agency Translation and with the co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horrowitz, Ben Horrowitz, West admitted “I’m not a big fan of Samsung” and said Blackberry’s attempts to make singer Alicia Keys its artistic director as it attempted to save the company was “ridiculous”, saying only three celebrities, including himself, were capable of taking on a job like that.

He also said he and now wife Kim Kardashian spent four days working on their wedding photo after celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz pulled out as their official photographer, as part of his mission to raise the cultural tone.

Describing Apple founder Steve Jobs as his idol he said: “I dream to raise the taste level of a generation and to be involved in the production and distribution of advertising an that things everyone is calling for.

My goal in every day life is to change the idea of luxury, time is the only luxury, its not these brands which sell our esteem back to us.”

Talking about disruption West pointed to the internet and social media describing them as “noisy”, and saying there was not enough time for brands and ideas to “incubate and grow into themselves”

The panel also talked about collaboration and finding the right fit for brands, discussing the recent $3bn acquisition of the Beats brand by Apple Stout said it shows culture has “an important part to play in technology”.

He added people had been gravitating towards Beats because of poor design from Apple’s own headphones, adding: “I think we will see a lot more collaborations like that and the fact Apple did it means other brands will look at people like Kanye West and say I want you to be a piece of my company and I want you to make a difference.”

Horowitz said the deal gave Apple a big chance to gain more traction in a market beyond its traditional one, adding on Blackberry trying to get traction with Keys that the company “did not have the right values to make a deal like that”.

Stout said businesses which wanted to be seen as creative could not hide behind finance as a reason for not achieving that goal.

However, the last word was left to West, who described the world and internet as “fucking ugly”, adding: “Right here right now we have enough people with sensibilities and connections to make that a more beautiful place.

“That is the world floating above is right now, and that’s what we can achieve.

Rome wasn’t built in a  day, the internet is our new Rome, but its time for the best visual artists and content creators to be inspired. Empower the best content creators or fuck you.”

Alex Hayes in Cannes




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