Kanye West described himself as a creative genius, to much fanfare, on Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this month, and it’s sort of hard to argue with that — the guy is responsible for “Jesus Walks,” “Gold Digger,” “Stronger,” 808s And Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus and the overall art-ification of hip-hop. But the Kanye detractors were quick to mock his claim and reject the quote at its face. So Kanye clarified his statements in a radio interview Monday (just a few hours before his big proposal), saying that he’s a genius because he knows how to surround himself with geniuses, tapping into their brains and directing their work to reflect his vision.
“My creative genius is creating around geniuses. Using creative geniuses to express, getting out of their way,” Kanye said. “If someone is more talented than me at stage design, at art direction, at playing the guitar, at production, at rapping, at anything that it is, I will step out of their way. I’ll ask as many questions as possible. I’ll send Drake 10 tracks, and ask him to write every one of those choruses.”
Check out the interview clip below.
Myriad achievers throughout history have echoed this sentiment that surrounding oneself with smart people is integral to success. In particular, Andrew Carnegie would likely agree with West’s approach. The business titan penned his own epitaph, “A Man Who Knew How to Enlist in His Service Better Men Than Himself,” which is probably one of the first humblebrags on record.