Kanye breaks his own rules at conference (+pics, video)

01:43, Jan 31 2009
SPEAKING OUT: Kanye West speaks to journalists at a press conference in Auckland.

Journalists were warned hip-hop star Kanye West would walk out on his New Zealand press conference if anyone asked questions about two particular topics - his mother's death, and anything to do with gossip. 

But the American rap star - who is peforming tonight at Auckland's Vector Arena with fellow rap stars Nas and Scribe, and again in Wellington tomorrow - discussed both issues of his own free will.

Arriving fashionably late for the mid-afternoon conference at the Late Club in Auckland's Westin Hotel, a perky West told around 40 journalists he was looking forward to sleeping during his third visit to New Zealand.

TOO BRIGHT: Kanye West adjusts his sunglasses during a press conference in Auckland.

"I'm planning on seeing the back of my eyelids," West said.

"I'd rather just sleep, perform real great, and then sleep."

Decked out in dark sunglasses and an outfit designed by himself, West addressed the issue of his mother Donda's death by saying his new album - 808s & Heartbreak - was "about loss".


PUT YOUR HANDS UP: Kanye West attends a press conference in Auckland.

"It was like losing an arm and a leg and trying to walk through that," he said.

In a reference to his break-up with his fiancee Alexis Phifer, West said the album was also an expression of what men go through after a relationship split.

"There is no album that expresses what guys go through after the break-up."

ASK AWAY: Kanye West attends a press conference in Auckland.

West, who has been involved in two high-proile incidents with photographers in recent months, accused paparazzi of targeting him.

"(I am part) of a new regime of living legends and the paparazzi's job is to take away your iconic status.

"Paparazzi should have a warning written on them: 'Warning - might take a piece of your soul'."

ALL SMILES: Kanye West speaks to journalists at a press conference in Auckland.

He said the recent election of Barack Obama in the US presidential elections was "amazing".

"I think it was the most amazing thing that has happened in American history. The pride of America has been restored."

He compared the reign of George W Bush to a fashion designer: "America is the Louis Vuitton of countries but it just had a really bad designer."

Did he want to be the first black James Bond?

"I don't want to be James Bond ... I want to be the best me."

Kanye West, Nas, Scribe
December 1: Vector Arena, Auckland
December 2: TSB Arena, Wellington
Tickets: www.ticketmaster.co.nz and www.ticketek.co.nz