Kanye West is already one of the most successful rapper/producers of all time with five number one albums and 30 million digital song sales to his name. His name also carries some weight in the fashion world, with his DW Kanye West womenswear collections showing at this year’s Paris Fashion Week.
That, apparently, is not enough for ol’ Yeezy. Speaking with BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe yesterday evening, West claimed he wanted to focus on product design and even venture into architecture.
“I want to do product, I am a product person,” said West. “Not just clothing, but water bottle design, architecture… I make music but I shouldn’t be limited to once place of creativity.”
He went on to describe architects as “people that wanna makes things as dope as possible.” High praise!
So does Kanye West have the credentials to make it in the world of architecture? Let’s take a look at his CV and decide…
In the recent BBC interview, Kanye says he hangs out with mostly architects.
Photo: Ethan Bloch/Flickr
His most recent album, Yeezus, was inspired by modern architecture pioneer, Le Corbusier.
Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris (aka Le Corbusier) was a Swiss-born, French citizen who designed buildings throughout America, India and Europe. His Five Points of Architecture manifesto and his forays into urbanism made him incredibly influential in the world of modern high design. Pictured above is the Unite d’Habitation in Marseille, completed in 1952. If you can’t see this exercise in architectural minimalism in the sonic soundscape of Blood on the Leaves, you need to buy better headphones. Another point for Kanye! He’s clearly an architecture history buff.
Kanye’s line of Air Yeezy trainers are… interesting
Kanye’s first line of Air Yeezy’s hit the market in April 2009, with a second line arriving on shelves in 2012. Since a limited number are produced in every run, the shoes are often sold at auction for ridiculous prices. One pair reportedly fetched $90,000 in an online auction. Kanye can clearly design something that generates a ton of buzz. The aesthetic is a little out there for some discerning design enthusiasts, but plenty of architects define their careers with adventurous designs. This one goes to Yeezy again.
Does Kanye handle criticism well?
The first strike against Mr. West. We probably don’t need to tell you that he’s not congratulating Taylor Swift on her big win. A career in architecture requires you to respond well to criticism, especially when your career is still in its infancy.
His set designs are absolutely insane… but oddly tasteful
A mellow red emanating from a sharply cut cube — we’d take one for our office. While his performances can verge on ostentatious, Kanye consistently manages to surprise audiences with tasteful, on trend visuals. We’ll give him this one too.
Photo: Rick Chung/Flickr
His apartment was designed by minimalist architect Claudio Silvestrin
Back in 2007, Kanye hired Italian minimalist Claudio Silvestrin to design his New York pad (above is one of the renderings). Clearly, Yeezus has great taste in architects. Silvestrin is internationally acclaimed and has been awarded numerous prizes for his work. Does good taste equal skill? Not necessarily, but odds are West is more architecturally adept than others.
Verdict: We’re going to hand this one to Kanye. We just convinced ourselves that his credentials will go a long way in the world of architecture. Are we expecting Frank Lloyd Wright? No, but we’re definitely looking forward to seeing what kind of potentially outrageous designs come from West’s DONDA design firm.