In an address to the Oxford University Guild Society on Monday, West took questions from the audience of around 350, explaining that "I’ll take one question. I wanted to vibe off an idea, and then I can riff off of that," before revealing that if he could have his time again, he "would have gone to the Art Institute over the American Academy of Art," expressing high hopes for the road less traveled: "if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater."
The hip-hop star attended college for one semester before dropping out to pursue a career in music, later naming his debut album 'The College Dropout.' Continuing the educational trope, his next two albums were called 'Late Registration' and 'Graduation' respectively.
"That always sounds so funny to people, comparing yourself to someone in the past that has done so much, and in your life you’re not even allowed to think that you can do as much," observed West, adding, "that’s a mentality that suppresses humanity."
The rapper gave his audience more observations on the state of humanity, declaring that "this humanity that I talk about, this civilization that I talk about, this future utopia I talk about…it can only happen through collaboration," explaining that "We have the ability to approach our race like ants, or we have the ability to approach our race like crabs."
Turning to his own self-analysis, he admitted that "one of my biggest Achilles heels has been my ego. And if I, Kanye West, the very person, can remove my ego, I think there’s hope for everyone."
The Oxford University newspaper Cherwell reported that Oxford Guild committee Chairman Abbas Kazmi is hopeful of more star speakers to come, telling the paper that "This is the first in a series of incredibly high profile speakers the Guild has lined up. We have been working industriously behind the scenes and would recommend you watch this space!"
"When the first e-mail came in I thought it was some kind of joke," Oxford Guild committee Oliver Johnston-Watt told Cherwell, "but with Kanye being in the UK at the moment for the Brits it all started to make sense."
On Wednesday West performed at the Brit Awards, where he gave the first live performance of the track 'All Day,' from his forthcoming seventh album, which on Saturday he tweeted is to be named 'So Help Me God.'