Alright, alright, we know, but it’s Kanye’s Week, or Kanye’s World, even, and we’re just living it, so forgive us if our mind is a bit preoccupied with the guy right now. (We are far from the only ones.) And, when not tearing down the Bowery Ballroom, invoking the ire of the Twittersphere, doing everything in his power to get to #1, or generally making classic records, Kanye has picked up a bit of a sideline this year as a journalist, writing his own profile in XXL and, more recently, interviewing his pal Rihanna in the new issue of Interview. Of course, we say “pal”–they’ve shared half a dozen songs at this point–but the real word might be “wary acquaintance,” if this at times comically awkward interview is any indication. Below, the five most awkward moments of a conversation between two people who seem extremely sleepy, or uncomfortable, or something:
On Peter Gabriel’s “Retarded-Ass” Studio
KANYE WEST: Whuzup?
RIHANNA: Hey. How are you?
WEST: I’m good. I’m just out here in this retarded-ass studio–Peter Gabriel’s studio.
RIHANNA: Where? In London?
WEST: Yeah, like two hours out.
On Turning Straight Women Gay
WEST: How does it feel to know that you could have any man in the world. Or woman. How does it feel to know that you can turn straight women gay?
RIHANNA: Is that a real question?
RIHANNA: Well… Thank you. I don’t know how to feel about that. [laughs] I guess that’s flattering.
WEST: But just to have that level of power. How do you deal with it? No one woman should have that much power.
RIHANNA: I try not to depend on it. It’s just a part of what’s happening right now in my life, and I appreciate it. It helps a lot. [laughs]
On Rihanna Being A Murderer
WEST: Do you have a vulnerable side? Because in a lot of the singles that come out, you’re like, “What’s my name, muthafucka?” or “I’m a murderer.”
RIHANNA: Yes, I do have a vulnerable side. I think a lot of people have a misperception of me. They only see the tough, defensive, aggressive side. But every woman is vulnerable. They have vulnerability. So of course I’m going to have that side. It’s not a major part of who I am, but it’s definitely there. I just don’t like people to see me cry–I don’t like to let them know when I’m bothered. You know? I just prefer it to be all about business, and then whatever I’m dealing with, let me deal with that alone, because I don’t want it to affect anything in my professional life.
WEST: I could probably learn something from that. [Rihanna laughs]
On Rihanna’s Relations With Famous People
WEST: How did you get signed?
RIHANNA: Well, I met Evan [Rogers] and Carl [Sturken], these two producers who live here in New York. They are both married to Barbadian women, so they go there to vacation all the time. My friend introduced me to them, and I sang for them, and we talked, and they had me and my mom come back a couple of days later. After that, we started traveling to New York, working on a demo. Within a year, it was done, and we sent it out. Def Jam was the first label to call back. We got other calls, but they were the most enthusiastic. It was so nerve-wracking, though, the whole experience.
RIHANNA: I mean, I was 16. From Barbados. Like, you would never… The chances of ever meeting somebody famous or ever being signed–that was just a deadly combination. Like, I had to meet Jay-Z and audition for him at the same time.
WEST: Do you know any famous people now?
On Why Rihanna Is Always Drinking Red Bull (?!)
WEST: Have you big in fake movies before? You said this is the first real movie [re: Peter Berg’s Battleship].
RIHANNA: I did a cameo playing myself on Bring It On: All Or Nothing , but I never really had to act. I was just basically being myself. This is the first time I’ve had a role. I actually had to do something that I had to get prepared for. I didn’t know if I was going to like it or hate it or love it. But I actually enjoy it and it’s something that I’m looking forward to in the future. But I’ll never shut off from music and just do film. I love music too much.
WEST: What do you do in between all the shots when you’re on set and you’re bored as hell? Do you just, like, chill your Skype [sic?]?
RIHANNA: No. Actually, I’m usually watching all the other actors or drinking Red Bull.
WEST: Why do you drink so much Red Bull?
RIHANNA: Usually because of the hours.