Kanye West On His Ever-Evolving Career: ‘I Didn’t Come In To Make Merch. I Came In To Make Operas’

From fashion to music to Sunday Service, Kanye West has done it all and he’s about to add opera to that list.

The rapper sat down with LALA Magazine and talked all about his career’s legacy.

“When I wanted to get into fashion, everyone would bring up The Row and how they started with T-shirts. I didn’t want to start with a T-shirt,” West recalled. “I love merch, but we did merch as a punk answer to us being told we can’t work at Louis Vuitton, Versace, Nike. Merch started as one of the only things we could control. When we did our first fashion show, in crocodile and all these exotic fabrics, there was just a block, like, ‘No, you can’t get in. No, you can’t be involved with this.’ Somehow, I actually had to go back and start with a T-shirt.”

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But he broke the mould with that Yeezy T-shirt.

“I think we can break the class system,” West continued. “This sweatshirt is the blank that we used for merch. In the setting, it feels very elegant, but it’s a very simple cut design—all of the energy and ingenuity. It’s so much time that went into finding the simplest version.”

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West added, “That’s what artists do; they take everything that’s happening in life and sometimes encapsulate it into an hour and a half of Eddie Murphy on stage, or Dave Chappelle, or 16 bars inside of a verse, or the cut of a sweatshirt or a boot.”

And what’s next? Opera.

“I didn’t come in to make merch. I came in to make operas,” he said. “That’s no knock to merch and no knock to T-shirts, but now it’s time to change the architecture. It’s time to design cities.”

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