Kanye West on Steve Jobs' influence and how Beats will help Apple
Bono wasn't the only recording artist making waves and talking about Apple at this year's Cannes Lions event. Kayne West, arguably the most influential rapper in the world today, stopped by to talk about the Internet and his major influences. Some readers will be surprised to learn his biggest influence isn't Jay-Z or any other musical act: it's late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs.
"Steve Jobs, as everyone knows, was my biggest influence. Just seeing the way he fought to make things easier for people. After he passed, I made it my life's mission to do what he did inside of that company. I dream to help raise the palette and raise the taste level of a generation and also be involved with the production and distribution and advertising of that thing everyone's begging for."
He also spoke about on the importance of Apple's current Beats deal from a perspective that hasn't been majorly covered yet. We've all read about the gains Apple would make from purchasing Beats' music platform and headphones. West, on the other hand, thinks the move improves Apple's image with the important urban and youth markets. To make his point he draws parallels between Apple buying Beats and the boost in popularity that rival Samsung got when it teamed up with Jay-Z. His argument is that along with the technical aspects of the merger, Apple is gaining Beats music credibility.
"There would have been no Beats deal without the Samsung deal [with Jay Z]. It showed the No. 1 company the importance of connecting with culture. The reason I said I didn't like Samsung particularly is because throughout my entire life, because of how my parents raised me, I have to work with the No. 1. I can't work with anyone but Jay Z, because he's No. 1. I can't be with any girl but Kim, because that's the girl whose pictures I look at the most and get turned on by. I'm not going to represent any company but Louis Vuitton, because that's No. 1. ... Samsung is not quite Apple, but it showed that Jimmy [Iovine] and Dre would be able to connect with the No. 1 influencers."
Despite his Apple fandom, there's one area where Kanye has issues with the company -- the colors on the iPhone 5c, a move he sees as a lazy cash grab. West laughingly exclaims, "Steve would never have done this!" This a sweet human moment of nerd rage from a sometimes difficult artist.
You can watch the entire hour-long discussion, which also features Steve Stoute and Ben Horowitz, below thanks to The STASHED. It's a fascinating look at the future of tech and how popular culture will influence it.
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