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Kanye West is many things: a father, a rapper, a fashion designer, but sometimes he is also a seagull or a woman’s brooch. We here at Nerve operate under the assumption that every batshit, overreaching thing Kanye says about himself is true. The following list compiles every rapper, artist, entrepreneur, flora, fauna, or brand Kanye has confirmed that he is or is like, so far. We look forward to continuing to follow Kanye on his journey to expand this list to encompass every great person, animal, or mineral that has ever existed.  

A 5-Year Old

Yeah. I love the fact that I’m bad at [things], you know what I’m saying? I’m forever the 35-year-old 5-year-old. I’m forever the 5-year-old of something.”

The New York Times, June 2013

A god

“I made that song because I am a god,” he says finally. He laughs for a second, then stops. “I don’t think there’s much more explanation. I’m not going to sit here and defend shit. That shit is rock ’n’ roll, man. That shit is rap music. I am a god. Now what?”

– W Magazine, June 2013

A tree

“I’m like a tree. I feed the branches of the people.”

The Daily Mirror, 2010

Andy Warhol

In a special message to Nike’s CEO, he is the polarizing King of Pop Art: “Mark Parker … I will still accept an investment in DONDA. I’ve got some more ideas that don’t involve shoes [so] if you guys are investing in the arts I am standing up and I’m telling you. I. Am. Warhol. I am the number one most impactful artist of our generation, in the flesh.”

The Wake Up Show, SiriusXM Radio


Anna Wintour, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, Nicolas Ghesquière, David Stern

“I’ve been connected to the most culturally important albums of the past four years, the most influential artists of the past ten years. You have like, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, Nicolas Ghesquière, Anna Wintour, David Stern.”

– The New York Times, June 2013


Axl Rose, Jim Morrison, and Jimi Hendrix

“Cause it’s like, ‘Yo! Nobody can tell me where I can and can’t go. Man, I’m the No. 1 living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose … I am Jimi Hendrix.’ You can’t say that you love music and then say that Kanye West can’t come to your show! To even think they could tell me where I could and couldn’t go is just ludicrous. It’s blasphemous—to rock ’n’ roll, and to music.”

W Magazine, June 2013

Barry Bonds

“Here’s another hit, Barry Bonds.”

– from “Barry Bonds


“I am flawed as a human being… but my music is perfect,” he declared, adding: ‘You could go back to Beethoven and s***, but as far as this lifetime, though, this is all you got.”

– concert in New Jersey, 2012


Big Pun, Big L, Notorious BIG

“After I live, I wanna be compared to Big, any one: Big Pun, Big L, or Notorious,”

– from “The Glory

Bobby Boucher

“I’m ‘bout to wild the fuck out, I’m goin’ Bobby Boucher,”

– from “New Slaves

Bruce Springsteen

“Bruce Springsteen dropped this album called Nebraska and right after that he did Born in the U.S.A. This next one, I have a feeling, because of what we did right now, has to be Born in the U.S.A.

Power 105.1 interview, 2013


“You know you can’t roam without Caesar,”

– from “Flashing Lights

Christopher Columbus

“I’m Christopher Columbus, y’all just the Pilgrims”

– from “Swagga Like Us

Dave Chappelle

My niche is that I’m the funny version of Dead Prez,” West says. “I’m the rap version of Dave Chappelle. I’m not sayin’ I’m nearly as talented as Chappelle when it comes to political and social commentary, but like him, I’m laughing to keep from crying.”

Rolling Stone, 2004

Deepak Chopra

“Pussy had me floatin’, feel like Deepak Chopra,”

– from “Hold My Liquor

Donald Trump

“Balding, Donald Trump taking dollars from y’all,”

– from “So Appalled

Elon Musk

“I ain’t going after no one on the radio. I’m going after Shakespeare. I’m going after Walt Disney. I’m going after Howard Hughes. I’m going after David Stern. I’m going after Henry Ford. I’m going after Elon Musk,”

– Bonnaroo, 2014

Emmet Till

“Yeah, I got beat up. It was like a modern day Internet version of Emmett Till.”

Hot 97 radio interview, 2010

Francis Ford Coppola

“Francis Foreign Car Coppola,”

– from “To the World


Gil Scott-Heron and Miles Davis

“I am in the lineage of Gil Scott-Heron, great activist-type artists. But I’m also in the lineage of a Miles Davis — you know, that liked nice things also.”

– The New York Times, June 2013


“Luxury rap, the Hermes of verses,”

– from “Otis


“I walk through the hotel and I walk down the street and people look at me like I’m fu**ing insane, like I’m Hitler. One day the light will shine through and one day people will understand everything I ever did.”

– Big Chill Music Festival, 2011

Hype Williams 

“Feelin’ like Hype Williams shootin’ a nigga,”

– from “Illest Motherfucker Alive

Ice Cube 

“I am the day Ice Cube met Michael Jackson”

– from “Chain Heavy

Jim Morrison

“Like my idol Jim Morrison, like his approach to shit — When I see, like, a documentary; I’ve seen the movie — I’m like, ‘Yo, that’s really who I am. I am this guy in real life.’“

– W Magazine, June 2013

Katniss Everdeen

“The reason I thought [my life] was like The Hunger Games as this idea all these contestants over the years that have won, and they’ve all been quiet, and there’s this one that won that wanted to turn up, and that’s what I felt like.”

– Madison Square Garden concert, 2013

Kobe Bryant

West promised to “bring you the best I have to offer with the same dedication that Kobe has on the court”

– from his now defunct blog

Kurt Cobain

“You like Piña Coladas, gettin’ caught in the rain/ Or rockin’ flannels all summer, like Kurt Cobain”

– from “White Dress

LeBron James

“Hood phenomenon, the LeBron of rhyme,”

– from “Devil In A New Dress

Louis Vuitton

“I’m Kan, the Louis Vuitton Don. Bought my mom a purse, now she Louis Vuitton Mom”

– from “Last Call

Lyor Cohen

“The Lyor Cohen of Dior Homme,”

– from “Devil In A New Dress

Malcolm X

“I’m fly like the Malcolm X, buy any jeans necessary, Detroit Red cleaned up,”

– from “Good Morning

Marina Abramovic

“I want to show you that this is the type of imagery that has been presented to all of us, and the only difference is a black dude in the middle of it … I’m like Marina Abramović. This is like performance art.”

– On Jay Z’s favorite dancing partner/performance artist, in defense of the “Bound 2″ video.

Marv Albert

 “Got a little freaky like Marvin Albert, YES!”

– from “Who Gon Stop Me?”

Maya Angelou


– from his now defunct blog

Michael Jackson

“I would not be Kanye West if it wasn’t for Michael Jackson…I was able to ascend to massive heights. And I’ve got to a point that Michael Jackson did not break down. I have reached the glass ceiling, as a creative person, as a celebrity and I’ve been at it for ten years.”

– BBC Radio Interview

Michael Douglas

“Time to take it too far now, Michael Douglas out the car now,”

– from “I’m In It

Michael Jordan

“If Michael Jordan can scream at the refs, me as Kanye West, as the Michael Jordan of music, can go and say, ‘This is wrong’”

– The New York Times, June 2013


Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, The Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison

“I had a dream that I was The Wright Brothers. I had a dream that I was Thomas Edison. I had a dream that I was Mandela. I had a dream that I was Martin Luther King. I had a dream, I had a dream, I had a dream. I had a dream, I had a dream. And I’m not afraid to dream out loud.”

– Tampa, 2013

Muhammad Ali

“I’m just going to give y’all the truth and you’re going to learn to love it. My grandfather loved Ali until he died, and my grandmother hated Ali till she passed. You are going to love me, or you’re going to hate me, but I’m going to be me.”

Jimmy Kimmel Live, 2013


“I’m just a Chi-town nigga with a Nas flow,”

– from “Dark Fantasy


Nikola Tesla and Alejandro Jodorowsky

“I don’t know if y’all have heard of Nikola Tesla, and I’m not talking about the car, I’m talking about the inventor. Or if y’all ever heard about Alejandro Jodorowsky, the director who made Holy Mountain. But there’s so many amazing creative inventors who weren’t recognized in their time.”

– Barclay’s Center, 2013


“I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.”

– The New York Times, June 2013

Pablo Picasso

“No matter how they try to control you, or the motherfucker next to you tries to peer pressure you, you can do what you motherfucking want. I am Picasso.”

– concert in Paris, February 2013

Pastor Troy

“I will cut your girl like Pastor Tro’,”

-from “Get ‘Em High


“They always say, ‘Kanye keeps it real, boy,’ Pinocchio’s story is ‘I just wanna be a real boy’,”

– from “Pinocchio Story

President Barack Obama

“No one is looking at what [Barack Obama] is wearing. Michelle Obama cannot Instagram a pic like what my girl Instagrammed the other day.”On Air With Ryan Seacrest, 2013


“Cleaned up my act like Prince would do,”

– from “Champion

Prince William

“Prince William’s ain’t do it right if you ask me. Cause I was him I would have married Kate & Ashley”

– from “Niggas In Paris

Ralph Lauren

“When you think of Polo, you got the story that Ralph Lauren is giving you … you think about the pictures of him and his wife [and] all the ads he puts up. You think about an urban line and it might just be a picture of someone standing in front of a car. It’s not a good story. The greatest story is Christianity, the Bible. That’s a deep story that can last forever. Ralph Lauren tried to create his own Bible, and the reason … I’m going to be the next Ralph Lauren is that everyone is looking at my story now. I can hate the paparazzi all I want, but they’re telling people the story.”

– Art Basel, 2013

Rick Owens

Even a Rick Owens has compromised. You know, even a Kanye West has compromised. Sometimes you don’t even know when you’re being compromised till after the fact, and that’s what you regret.”

– The New York Times, June 2013


“I’m Socrates, but my skin more chocolatey,”

– from “See Me Now

A Soldier in War

“I’m just giving of my body on stage… I’m putting my life at risk. This is like being a police officer or war or something. You’re literally going out to do your job every day knowing that something could happen to you… verbally, from the press bashing you, something could happen to you from people not liking you anymore… [or] you could actually slip on that stage.”, 2013

Stephen King

“Who knew she was a drama queen that would turn my life to Stephen King’s?”

– from “RoboCop

Vanellope von Schweetz

‘Have y’all ever seen Wreck-It Ralph? You remember how that girl in there—the people that was racing? She was the glitch. You’re telling me they don’t look at me like the motherf***ing glitch? You’re telling me people don’t look at Kanye West like the glitch? Right now. She was on the side of the video game, the whole time!’ 

BBC Radio 1 interview, 2013

Will Smith

“We were sort of like Will Smith and his son, in the movie – I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout the rich ones,”

– from “Champion


William Shakespeare, Walt Disney, Nike, Google

“I am Shakespeare in the flesh. Walt Disney. Nike. Google. Now, who’s going to be the Medici family and stand up and let me create more? Or do you want to marginalize me till I’m out of my moment?”

Sway in the Morning radio interview, 2013

Willy Wonka

“I want to be as unrealistic as possible. The worst thing about me comparing myself to Steve Jobs in that it’s too realistic of an idea. What I need to say is I’m more like Willy Wonka.”

– 92.3 NOW radio interview, 2013