Last summer, after Virgil Abloh’s first rainbow-runwayed Louis Vuitton show wrapped, the designer ran out from backstage to give his bow and stopped at Kanye West. The two had long held high-fashion aspirations, ever since their gate-crashing, meme-making trip to Paris Fashion Week in 2009. The culmination of all that work was, expectedly, emotional. Abloh and Kanye embraced and started to cry—not, like, a single sparkling tear worthy of a Luca Guadagnino end-credit scene, but a full-on, convulsing ugly-cry. It freaking ruled! Whatever resentment Ye might have been holding toward his longtime friend and collaborate seemed to dissolve like harmless Alka-Seltzer in those tears.
But, today, in a wide-wide-wide ranging interview with Zane Lowe in advance of the rapper’s new project Jesus Is a King, Kanye reignited some of the early bitterness he publicly felt at being passed over for the Louis Vuitton gig. “I felt like it was supposed to be me,” West told Lowe. “I was the Louis Vuitton Don. People still call me the Louis Vuitton Don on the street.” (Kanye, of course, is referring to his self-given nickname that he first rapped on his 2004 album College Dropout. He also designed a shoe with the label that goes by the same name.)
In the conversation, Kanye doesn’t exactly come out and say that he’s unhappy that Virgil got the job, just that he’s unhappy he didn’t. He deserved it; that doesn’t necessarily make Abloh undeserving. “We all on the same court but Virgil scored the touchdown,” he said, mixing metaphors that conveys either confusion at what game is being played—or a nod to the ongoing match of 4D chess he’s playing with accepted reality.
Other fashion topics Kanye touched on include his relationship/admiration for LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, who the rapper called “one of my heroes.” And after discussing a rivalry with Drake, Kanye veered back to fashion and the executive. “I think more about Bernard than Drake,” he said.
Kanye also swiped at credit for Nike’s ongoing work with designers and rappers. “Think about when I was at Nike,” he said. “There was no Virgil, no Drake, no Travis [Scott]. You know how they have Anti Social Social Club? They made the ‘Anti Kanye Kanye Club’ at Nike.”
Lastly, Kanye didn’t totally forget to throw a bone to his new group of MAGA supporters, telling Lowe that in the next couple years he wants to bring production of Yeezys to the states—a move potentially modeled after his hero Arnault.
Originally Appeared on GQ