Walt Disney, Michael Jordan and Jesus Christ are but a few of the historical icons to whom rapper Kanye West has compared himself. Now, the outspoken artist has taken things a step further, measuring his public prominence against the president of the United States.
West stopped by "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" Tuesday with a stunning case on the syndicated radio program for why he and fiancée Kim Kardashian are more influential than the first couple.
During the interview, West was frank in his assessment of his influence on popular culture. "People get really hung up in the way I word things, but I'm the best," he told Seacrest. "That's the bottom line."
Despite the self-confidence, the 36-year-old rapper expressed frustration with being held back by "classism." Such bias is not only stalling his career, he said, but is holding back his fiancée, reality star Kim Kardashian.
"Now for me, what I want to create isn't about black and white, but the reason why I'm not able to create what I want to create is about being black and is about classism," he explained. "And that's that wall when I took my girl to the Met Ball and they put it up on Vogue.com and tried to say she wasn't there because they didn't want a reality show girl there.
"It's no way Kim Kardashian shouldn't be on the cover of Vogue," West continued. "She's like the most intriguing woman right now. Barbara Walters is calling every day. Of course, we're the most interesting and collectively we're the most influential, especially in clothing."
With a steady stream of superlatives, West makes his point clear: He believes he and Kardashian are tops, better even than the first couple of the United States.
"No one is looking at what [President] Obama is wearing," he said. "Michelle Obama cannot Instagram a pic like what my girl Instagrammed the other day."
West was referring to the revealing swimsuit selfie that Kardashian, 33, posted to Instagram Oct. 17. Following a flattering comparison to the first lady, West went on to praise his "girl" for being "one of the most beautiful people of all time."
President Obama has recognized West as smart and "very talented," despite calling his fellow Chicagoan a "jackass" for interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at an awards ceremony in 2009.
West, although frustrated with his perceived inability to follow through with some of his goals, appeared hopeful for the future in the radio interview Tuesday, saying, "There's a wall of classism that we are breaking through because we will be the most influential in clothing because it's true to us."