Kanye West: Hip-Hop's 'Creative Genius'

West "surprised" the audience by battling "The Office's" Rainn Wilson in a mock game of "Don't Forget the Lyrics."

The chosen song was "Stronger," the hit single off West's most recent album, "Graduation." In the end, when West lost the faux-competition, he smiled. "I always lose," he told the celebrity audience, to thunderous applause and laughs.

Criticism 'Gives Me Something to Write About'

But it's not always smiles and self-effacing humor for the 30-year-old. Despite West's achievements -- critical acclaim, commercial success, and six Grammys -- he is still not content.

He recently vowed to boycott MTV after walking away empty-handed at this year's Video Music Awards. And last year, when West lost the best video category at the MTV Europe Video Music Awards, he stormed onstage during the presentation and argued that he should have won. He later apologized.

He has been called a sore loser, cocky and arrogant.

"A lot of times, my arrogance comes from a person's lack of self-esteem," he said. "You know, what I do good reminds them of what they do bad."

West also points a finger at the media for portraying him in a negative light.

"People are always like, 'We like his music, but we don't like him.' And I'm like, 'Well, duh, I get to edit my music,'" he said.

"The press," he continued, "is editing me. So they'll make you think I'm one way and they're not showing you I'm a well-rounded person."

He said the criticism only feeds his music.

"It gives me something to write about," he said. "Because if my life was ... always perfect and if I never had problems, then I wouldn't have any inspiration."

From 'The College Dropout' to 'Graduation'

In a sense, West's most recent effort, "Graduation," symbolizes his maturity within the hip-hop industry.

He samples music from music legends like Elton John and Michael Jackson, and collaborates with artists ranging from the rapper Mos Def to John Mayer and Coldplay's Chris Martin.

He's also looking beyond rap. West wants to break into the fashion industry with a line of new-age clothing. He's also been taking acting classes and has even got a television show in the works -- a comedy.

But right now, Kanye's focus is on producing great music, and at this point, he said, he's on the top of his game.

"It's like, easy flowing now," he said. "Like when I go into the studio right now, I know something incredible is going to come out. I'm just in that zone right now."

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