Bon Iver's Justin Vernon Recalls 'Friendly Argument' With Kanye West About The Real Meaning of 'Humble'

Billboard

Leave it to Kanye West to teach you a lesson about the real meaning of being humble. 

Speaking with the New York Times for a lengthy profile, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver recalled an instance when the hip-hop artist and him were going back and forth about the meaning of that word. 

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"I got in a friendly argument with Kanye West about the word humble once," Vernon said. "He said, 'Have you ever looked up the word humble?' I was like, 'Actually I don't know if I have.' And he showed me the definition of it, and it's far more self-demeaning, kind of the problematic Midwestern 'Sorry!' mentality, than I realized."

He continued, "I took a lot out of that conversation. Ultimately, I think it's great to serve others and everything, but I think there's a certain point where it's diminishing returns for the people around you if you're not showing up and being who you are."

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The article goes on to explore and unwind some of the many musical puzzles and lyrical riddles that fill Bon Iver's new album 22, a Million, which is out next week, all of it finding a way back to the core lesson Vernon seemed to find in West's dictionary wisdom -- showing up and being who he is. 

Read the full interview here.