Kanye West: When I Worked at Gap

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(Jackie Nickerson/Paper magazine)
(Jackie Nickerson/Paper magazine)

Kanye West can't stop talking about Gap.

The 37-year-old briefly worked for the chain retailer as a teen growing up in Chicago and, by his own account, did not enjoy it. In his 2004 song "Spaceship," from his debut album The College Dropout, West rapped that he made "no scratch" at the retailer, so he stole from it and eventually quit. Still, it was obviously a formative experience for him.

In an essay that he penned for the new "American Dream" issue of Paper magazine, West name checked the company twice. (The mag is the same one responsible for the photo of West's wife Kim Kardashian balancing a champagne bottle on her bottom last year, but West stayed quite covered up for his turn on the racks.)

Related: Butt Why?! Kim Kardashian Bares Oiled Up Booty on Racy Mag Cover

(Jackie Nickerson/Paper magazine)
(Jackie Nickerson/Paper magazine)

He credited the store with inspiring his passion for style in the piece, which focused on the importance of helping others in the quest to be creative. One of West's many artistic ventures was designing a line for athletic company Adidas for the fall.

"When I was working at the Gap at 15, I don't think I had any desire to actually make clothes, but I always felt like that's what I wanted to be around," he wrote. "I loved the fabrics, I loved the colors, I loved the proportions. Abercrombie [& Fitch] was too expensive for me and the Gap was too expensive for me. Even though I worked at the Gap, I didn't get enough hours to get a discount because I was a part-time employee, because I went to high school."

(Jackie Nickerson/Paper magazine)
(Jackie Nickerson/Paper magazine)

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Kanye also referenced Gap as he talked about what he feels is a responsibility to help others, particularly his fellow musicians.

"I think it's so important for me, as an artist, to give Drake as much information as I can, A$AP, Kendrick, Taylor Swift, any of these younger artists as much information as I can to make better music in the future," he shared. "We should all be trying to make something that's better. It's funny that I worked at the Gap in high school, because in my past 15 years it seems like that's the place I stood in my creative path — to be the gap, the bridge."

Ah, see how he did that?

Maybe West is serious about wanting to be the "Steve Jobs of the Gap." Yes, really.