“Kanye’s been playing the long game all along, and we’re only just beginning to see why,” writes Elon Musk in TIME’s annual “The 100 Most Influential People“ feature. Musk himself figuratively topped the list last year, and his write-up about Ye is the first thing you’ll see on this year’s list, a hint at the scope of West’s current cultural clout.
Kanye leads the pack of “Titans” on this year’s list, an internal to the Time 100 shortlist of the biggest influencers in any field, that also includes world leaders, his wife, Kim Kardashian, and Empire creator Lee Daniels. In the interview that accompanies his profile, Ye offers up the type of inspirational gems he’s become known for. Touching on everything from his legacy—”I don’t care about being remembered,” he says—to finding his knack for music in a passion for video games as a kid.
Check out the best quotes from the sitdown below, and a list of some of our other favorite Time 100 recipients.
“Every time I crash the Internet it’s like this little drop of truth. Every time I say something that’s extremely truthful outloud it literally breaks the Internet. So what are we getting all of the rest of the time?”
“I don’t care about having a legacy. I don’t care about being remembered. The most important thing to me is while I’m here, while we’re having fun and while we’re going to sleep and breathing oxygen and living life and falling in love and having pain and having joy, what can I do with my voice? What can we do for each other to make life easier? To make life kids doper for our kids as they grow. We were born into a broken world and we’re like the clean-up crew.”
“When I was growing up I wanted to make videogames. My mom got this Amiga computer when I was in seventh grade. It had 4,096 colors. I found myself running home to use this sound program that allowed me to place a note, it would stay, place another note, it would stay, place another note. That’s how I learned how to produced in seventh grade. I was just really making the music to make videogames.”
“What’s the main thing that makes magic magic? The fact that no one believes it’s possible.”
“When I entered the fashion world and I encountered a lot of elitism and all that it just made me happy. It was something fun. We had the entire world against us. It was like absolutely no allies whatsoever. The world was against us. The pressure of that was like crazy. It was like a Super Bowl.”
“I take things that people look at as a negative as an inspiration to do something better.”
“I think there’s school teachers that [are on] the exact same mission as me. I think there’s police officers with the exact same mission as me: just help. Just do everything you got. Give everything you got. And our focus needs to be less about what our legacy is gonna be or how we’re gonna control each other but more about how we can give to each other.”
Other Time 100 2015 Winners
Kim Kardashian: “Where does Kim go from here? There seem to be very few barriers to further explosive success.” – Martha Stewart
Lee Daniels: “His eyes and ears are attuned to nuance. He knows how to rattle the nerves of the zeitgeist. He is an undeniable, singular voice, the likes of which we’ve rarely seen.” – Oprah Winfrey
Kevin Hart: “In Kevin’s comedy, there’s the minute observations of Jerry Seinfeld, the family-oriented storytelling of Bill Cosby and the open-wound honesty of Richard Pryor. But mostly there’s a lot of Kevin Hart.” – Chris Rock
Laverne Cox: “Not all trans kids are so lucky. And for them, having someone as visible and strong as Laverne Cox to look up to is inspiring. She’s done so many amazing things—not just acting on Orange Is the New Black but also loving herself enough to share her story with the world. She’s a pioneer for our community.” – Jazz Jennings
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