EW: You have a history of speaking out, against President Bush, against the black community for what you say is a tradition of homophobia. Do you think you'll ever come out against all the ''bitches'' and the ''ho's'' in rap lyrics?
West: I'm not sure that's really my movement. I think in the daily life of a black male, we gay-bash way more than we disrespect women. We would call a gay guy a fag to his face. But if we walked up to a woman and said ''Aiight, bitch!'' we would know that was disrespectful. I remember five years ago I was in this clothing store in Greenwich Village with my old girlfriend. I said the word fag kind of loud and there were some gay dudes in the store. My girlfriend was like, ''Yo, c'mon, step into the new millennium.'' Well, my level of consciousness has since raised. And I actually think that standing up for gays was even more crazy than bad-mouthing the president. In the black community someone could label you gay and bring your career down. But that was me showing what black people are really about today, or at least what we need to be about.
EW: Did the inevitable whisperings about your own sexuality make you regret ever saying anything?
West: One of my friends said, ''Yo, I used to wear a College Dropout T-shirt and think that it was cool. But after you said that, I just stopped wearing it.'' When you stand up for any form of civil rights, you put yourself in the line of fire. But I feel like I'm here to change people's hearts and minds, to say something that's right for a change. And it goes all the way down the line, from telling people to stop being so cliché, to stop saying what you think your record label wants you to say, to stop giving drab acceptance speeches. Speaking from the heart is so much more entertaining.
We love you Kanye. Hell, I don't really like rap or own any of your albums, but I may start now! Thanks for joining the millennium.