Kanye West: Author

Feel the world is beating you down? Kanye West, a man frequently at battle—with, say, the president, or with Grammy voters—has written a short volume of aphorisms titled Thank You and You're Welcome. He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Seth Colter Walls:

You've said you were inspired to write this book by reading J. Sakiya Sandifer's, which was also a short, spiral-bound volume. What about that appealed to you?
Well, because I was sitting at dinner tables—or in my car service, or traveling the world—and random thoughts would come to me. These quotes, these very poignant quotes, were just similar to having really good punch lines in a rap song. The punch lines of your life.

One of the lines in the book is "If everybody thinks it's right, you're doing something wrong." Does that explain why you can be controversial?
I don't think about that. But I have to admit, coming from all the adversity of backlash [in response to] just having my own opinion, this is an emancipating idea of mine. Sometimes people beat you down for having a different opinion. I want to stand up and say, no, this is how I really feel.

Has it ever been the case that, looking back, the people who said you were wrong turned out to be right?
I can't think of a particular example like that. But that is something about being a trailblazer: you won't always take the right track. I'm not a psychic.

Kanye West: Author | Culture