TIME Magazine‘s annual list of The 100 Most Influential People has arrived and Kanye West has been deemed an Icon. He is one of five people who are covering the mag, joining a list that includes his wife Kim Kardashian, Apple CEO Tim Cook, DreamWorks chairman Mellody Hobson, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, and actor Lee Daniels.
CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors Elon Musk had a few words to say about ‘Ye, and they were of the utmost respect for him.
Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list. The dude doesn’t believe in false modesty, and he shouldn’t. Kanye’s belief in himself and his incredible tenacity—he performed his first single with his jaw wired shut—got him to where he is today. And he fought for his place in the cultural pantheon with a purpose. In his debut album, over a decade ago, Kanye issued what amounted to a social critique and a call to arms (with a beat): “We rappers is role models: we rap, we don’t think.” But Kanye does think. Constantly. About everything. And he wants everybody else to do the same: to engage, question, push boundaries. Now that he’s a pop-culture juggernaut, he has the platform to achieve just that. He’s not afraid of being judged or ridiculed in the process. Kanye’s been playing the long game all along, and we’re only just beginning to see why.
In the accompanying video with the rapper and fashion designer, Kanye speaks on how much his mother influenced him in the early days by getting him a computer, and how he learned how to make beats on there even though he wanted to make video games growing up. He also made a bold statement claiming, “every time I say something that’s extremely truthful out loud, it breaks the internet. So what are we getting the rest of the time?” (Testify to them, Yeezus!)
He also spoke on how he doesn’t care about having a legacy. He just wants to use his voice for good while he’s out living life and enjoying time being in love and a father.
Check out the video above to hear more from Kanye and see the full list of influencers over at TIME.