The 39-year-old rapper -- who's been making headlines again for bizarre rants and abruptly cutting his most recent concert short -- recently sat down for an intense interview with Surface magazine, in which he expresses his thoughts on communication, design, and culture. In a rambling, free form conversation, West predicts that wordless communication will be the future, and says he actually prefers to express himself in that way.
"I don't think people are going to talk in the future," he says when asked what his version of utopia is. "They're going to communicate through eye contact, body language, emojis, signs. Imagine that. If everyone was forced to learn sign language. ... It's funny because I've made a living off of words, but words get in the way of what you really want to say."
"Yeah, sign language, eye contact," he stresses about his preferred method of communication. "Or thank God for emojis. So often one emoji goes a long way and lets me get on with my whole day."
The "Fade" rapper definitely prefers a simpler method of talking.
"I think business has to be stupider," he says. "I want to do really straightforward, stupid business -- just talk to me like a 4-year-old. And I refuse to negotiate. I do not negotiate. I can collaborate. But I'm an artist, so as soon as you negotiate, you're being compromised."
West compares himself to Dustin Hoffman's character in 1988's Rain Man, and is clearly bothered by sometimes being ridiculed.
"I've been struggling with the word taste. Who's to say having good taste is a good thing?" he asks. "Some people say everyone was born an artist, and society and their parents beat it out of them. After I said I was going to run for president, I saw a video of someone making fun of me about it. I was thinking, 'Wow, if this person had been doing this to me from the age of 3, I would have never been me.' People say geniuses are kids with good parents. How do you nurture the things that people will call weird into something that could be considered exceptional?"
"Maybe this will be an eloquent interview," he muses. "It’s a 50/50 chance every time I open my mouth. At the end of the day, words get in the way. Regardless, whether you understand this or that, you know it's Rain Man sitting here. You just f**king know it's Rain Man. No matter what Rain Man's doing, you know, if you take him to that f**king table, he's going to pick the right cards."
West continually comes back to the concept of "taste," and how he says he and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, are sometimes treated in the design and art worlds.
"There have been decorators who have tried to diss my wife and me and position us in a lower-class way -- not class as far as the idea of finance, but class as -- cultural class," he shares.
"I care about people's time; it wasn't on purpose," he shares. "The fact that they can outright Lebron-James-went-to-the-Heat-level burn my jersey after all I'd contributed to art, fashion, and culture just in 2016 alone …"
"They said, 'Ye's a genius. But in fashion, he doesn’t innovate.' Not having a bunch of colors was an innovation!" he further explains. "They undermined a color palette that I worked on and studied. There’s a picture I painted in 1995, and it was basically a Pantone chart before I knew what Pantones were. Color is so important, and T-shirts are so important, and colored T-shirts are even more important!"
West has been raising even more eyebrows than usual lately, after getting booed by audience members in San Jose, California, for saying he would have voted for Donald Trump, and abruptly ending his subsequent Sacramento show after 30 minutes -- but not before a 17-minute rant both praising Trump, and calling out Beyonce.