Kanye West received a standing ovation from students at Oxford University on Monday, where he delivered a lecture to a 350-strong audience.
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During his address, Kanye behaved as modestly as we’ve come to expect, bouncing from a range of topics including the cuddly toys he gives to his daughter, North West, his relationship with President Obama and racism in modern society.
As reported by student newspaper The Tab, who live-blogged the whole event, Kanye told the crowd: “People say I have a bad reputation. I think I’ve got the best reputation in the building.”
However, during a more serious part of the discussion, he addressed the subject of racism, insisting that while the current generation is “far less racist”, there are “remnants” of prejudice in society still.
“That idea [racism], has passed. We’ve had The Cosby Show, Obama’s president, Beyonce’s great…that’s passed. But there’s still something you’re taught every day, especially in the UK, and that’s division by class.
“You guys have been taught, without you knowing, ways to separate yourselves from each other. If you’re separated, you can be easily controlled. If you’re too busy pointing fingers at each other, rather than holding hands, you can’t get anything done.”
Kanye later discussed how he felt materialism was taking over, and didn’t want his daughter playing with toys that were made to earn money rather than ones to inspire.
He continued: “I’d see toys that some people would buy for my daughter and I’d say this toy isn’t quality. I don’t want my daughter playing with this. There’s not enough love put into this, this is just manufactured with the will to sell, and not the will of inspiration.
“[Artist Vanessa Beecroft] bought my daughter these three wolves… and when my daughter saw these wolves, I’ve never seen her so happy. She was going so crazy, she was grabbing one, she was riding on top of one…I’ve never seen her happier than this moment.
“That level of happiness seems to be the thing that we’re fighting for every day, that we’re trying to buy back, trying to work for, especially in America.”
And, of course, it wouldn’t be Kanye without a cheeky namedrop, bragging: “President Obama calls the home phone by the way.”
Luckily Kanye managed to stay on his feet for the entire session, which is more than can be said for his recent performance on ‘The Jonathan Ross Show’, ending in him lying down on the floor of the stage and refusing to answer questions from the British talk show host.