Kanye West asked 'people to not have premarital sex while they were working on the album'


Kanye West gave his first in-depth interview in months to promote his new album, Jesus Is King, and the rapper didn't hold back. From President Donald Trump to mental health to his addictions, West tackled a variety of topics in his usual candid fashion. West invited Zane Lowe to his ranch in Wyoming and their two-hour chat was released on Apple Music’s Beats 1 on Thursday.

"Now that I’m in service to Christ, my job is to spread the gospel, to let people know what Jesus has done for me. I’ve spread a lot of things," he shared. "There was a time I was letting you know what high fashion had done for me. I was letting you know what the Hennessey had done for me. I was letting you know all these things, but now I’m letting you know what Jesus has done for me, and in that I’m no longer a slave; I’m a son now, a son of God. I’m free."

Kanye West gave his first lengthy interview in months while promoting his new album. (Photo: Timothy Norris/Getty Images)
Kanye West gave his first lengthy interview in months while promoting his new album. (Photo: Timothy Norris/Getty Images)

Kim Kardashian's husband wanted people working on the album to feel close to God, too. "I was asking people to fast during the album," he explained. "There's times I was asking people to not have premarital sex while they were working on the album. ... I thought if we could all focus and fast ... the power is increased."

The topic shifted to West's own relationship with temptation.

"I think when people have been addicted to something... with God, I've been able to beat things that had full control of me," he said. "Some people drown themselves in drugs, and I drowned myself in my addiction."

"Which was what?" Lowe asked.

"Sex," West replied.

At one point during the interview West said, "Playboy was my gateway into full-on pornography addiction. My dad had a Playboy left out at age five, and it’s affected almost every choice I made for the rest of my life, from age five to now, having to kick the habit."

Sex also "fed" his ego. "Money, clothes, cars, accolades, the advent of social media, a Twitter account, paparazzi photos, going to Paris Fashion Week — all of that," he noted. West called social media "modern day cigarettes" and said even he can be triggered by posts.

"I suffer — and I appreciate the suffering because we can just feel a little bit of what Jesus felt when we suffer, but social media makes me suffer," he continued. "I suffer from that and by me saying this out loud, I'm sure there's other married men that suffer in a similar way that are happy to hear me say, 'Oh ya, I'm suffering.'"

"Why just married men?" Lowe asked.

"Because social media prompts women in particular to put out content that they wouldn't have put out — "

"So, you're referring to your sex addiction?" Lowe clarified.

"Yeah, it definitely... I deal with my addiction. When I was younger and I wanted to see something like that I had to pay someone that was older to go to 7/11 and buy it," he replied.

West and Lowe's conversation veered in and out of politics throughout their time together.

"I told my wife, 'Jesus Is King is coming. There's going to be a lot of attacks... spiritual warfare," he shared.

"Give me some other examples where someone is saying something that isn’t what you're culturally supposed to say? ... Give me an example where someone is saying what you're not supposed to say. I bet there's only one name you can think of," West asked Lowe, laughing, "You don’t want to say it, do you liberal?"

The "Christian innovator," as West calls himself now, was referring to President Trump.

"I owe nobody nothing. My forefathers have already fought the fight, so it's not a fight when I put the [MAGA] hat on. It's simply my opinion, and it's next subject," he told Lowe. But the subject went back to the MAGA hat a couple more times.

"Now, liberals love art, right?" West said. "And now I am unquestionably, undoubtedly, the greatest human artist of all time. It’s not even a question at this point. It’s just a fact. So for the greatest artist in human existence to put a red hat on was like God’s practical joke to all liberals. Like, 'Nooo, not Kanye!'"

He later added, "I feel another thing related to me wearing the hat that liberals love to do is say, 'Oh this relates to mental health. His story is mental health.' My wife would go places and people would be like, 'Is Ye okay? Is he okay?' Like, Kobe Bryant has won five championships and he's got a lot of injuries. His story isn't pulling an achilles and every story after that how he pulled an achilles."

West said the press always "wants to make the conversation about mental health."

"I do love the fact I can show the world that I'm sitting here and have been diagnosed, been put on medication to make me fat on purpose... they are trying to kill the superhero," he continued. "I'm here to show that someone that's diagnosed can still... be the founder of a multibillion dollar organization [like Yeezy], can still be in service to Christ, can still be a good husband and a good dad. My life does not end with this diagnosis, and I will not be stigmatized and discriminated against."

After his 2016 hospitalization, West was diagnosed as bipolar and has been on and off medication in recent years. The rapper said the place he's "had the most space to think" was at the hospital.

"That's where I had the most space to think," he shared. "One of the things that happened when I went to the hospital is I started reading the bible and I started writing out, copying and writing out bible verses and a person came to my house that wasn’t a Christian and told me come over, and then 30 minutes later I was in handcuffs headed to the hospital. Now this person very well may have saved my life because when you’re in an episode you could jump off the side of a balcony, you can stab your eye out... you can do a lot of things when you’re ramped up like that, but one of the things that people do now is they try to discriminate against my mind and my thoughts because of that moment. ... I still have radical thoughts, visions, future ideas and sometimes when I say them out loud people just denounce it and say, 'Oh, you're crazy.'"

It's something he thinks happens to him in the media often.

"When the media says, 'Kanye defends his support of Trump.' I didn't know I was in a courtroom? I don't gotta defend nothing," he added. "I ain't trying to say the right answer. I'm just doing what I feel."

West said, "I am a liberal."

"I 100 percent feel and understand why people have their position that are on the left. I 100 percent understand the people on the right, and the issue is communication. That people are not communicating," West explained, saying he won't be muted because of his race. "'If you're black, don't talk to this person.' No, I'm gonna talk to everybody as long as I got air in my lungs. I'm gonna pull up and say, 'Hey [Vladimir] Putin, how you doing? Hey Kim Jong Un, how you doing?' I will have a conversation with anyone with respect and love. I have love and respect for everyone. I don't have admiration for everyone, but I have love and respect."

During the interview, West confirmed he still plans to run for president one day. "We're working on some things right now," he declared.

You can listen to the full interview here.

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle’s newsletter.