Kevin Mazur / WireImage 1 / 28
Kevin Mazur / WireImage 1 / 28

Kanye West is a lot of things, but insecure is not one of them. Sitting down with BBC Radio 1 personality Zane Lowe for an hour-long interview airing Monday, Sept. 23, the rapper, 36, called himself "the No. 1 rock star on the planet" and said he's here to push the boundaries of everything we think we know about art, music, fashion and culture.

In fact, the hip-hop star and new dad (to daughter North, 3 months, with Kim Kardashian) considers himself to be something of a revolutionary. Though he conceded that "there would be no Kanye West if it wasn't for Michael Jackson," he also said he'd reached a point that even the King of Pop hadn't seen in his lifetime.

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"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 10 years," he told Lowe. "I look around and I say, 'Wait a minute. There's no one around here that looks like me. And if they are, they're quiet as [expletive].' So that means, wait a second -- now we're seriously like, in a civil rights movement."

West went on to say that he's had a hard time getting people to see his potential. "I shouldn't be limited to only one place of creativity," he lamented. "You guys don't understand -- I did the Air Yeezys and they eBayed for $90,000 ... but I didn't get a call from Nike the next day."

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In that way, he envies the empire his pal Jay Z has built. "Jay Z is more realized than me. More of his dreams and aspirations have come true," West said. "You don't realize -- I am so frustrated. Like, I've got so much I want to give ... And I've got a million people telling me why I can't do it."

The aspiring fashion designer thinks he can do it -- and he's determined to prove it. "I'm not trying to regurgitate myself," he said. "I showed people that I understand how to make perfect. You know, '[My Beautiful Dark Twisted] Fantasy' could be considered to be perfect. I know how to make perfect, but that's not what I'm here to do. I'm here to crack the pavement and make new grounds sonically ... and culturally."

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He added: "We culture. Rap is the new rock 'n' roll. We the rock stars ... We the new rock stars and I'm the biggest of all of them. I'm the No. 1 rock star on the planet."

The "Black Skinhead" rapper also talked a little about Kardashian and their daughter. Asked whether he gets any time for himself, West said, "Yeah, it's like family time. That's what Kim gave me. She gave me everything, she gave me family, she gave me a support system. She was in a powerful enough situation where she could love me without asking me for money, which is really hard for me to find."


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