Since revealing his presidential ambitions at the MTV Video Music Awards last month, Kanye West has been focused on Yeezy Season 2, the newest installment of his fashion line. But don't for a second think that this means Kanye has taken his eye off of the prize—he says he's absolutely serious about running for president, and he thinks about it even when he's at the club. "I sit in clubs and I’m like, Wow, I’ve got five years before I go and run for office and I’ve got a lot of research to do, I’ve got a lot of growing up to do."

West opened up to Vanity Fair in a long, fascinating, and at times hilarious interview in which West says something weird, profound, or weirdly profound every three sentences or so. Despite it being a fashion-heavy conversation, he also touches upon work on his new album (still titled Swish...for now), his intellectual ambitions, fatherhood, and his obsession with The Gap.

The most interesting section, besides the bit where he says he is "definitely" thinking of running for president, is his long rumination regarding the seriousness of his intellectual pursuits, as well as the idea of having to give up one's creative life to serve the public:

When you said that at the V.M.A.s, I thought the reaction was surprising. People didn’t seem to dismiss the idea. You would have thought there would be more of an outcry.

Especially from the six years of this misconception or the six years I went through of “We don’t like Kanye.” And then as soon as I said that, it was like, “Wait a second, we would really be into that, because actually if you think about it, he’s extremely thoughtful. Every time he’s ever gotten in trouble, he was really jumping in front of a bullet for someone else. He’s probably the most honest celebrity that we have.” I didn’t approach that because I thought it would be fun. It wasn’t like, Oh, let’s go rent some jet skis in Hawaii. No, the exact opposite. I sit in clubs and I’m like, Wow, I’ve got five years before I go and run for office and I’ve got a lot of research to do, I’ve got a lot of growing up to do. My dad has two masters degrees. My mom has a PhD, she used to work at Operation PUSH. Somehow the more and more creative I get, the closer and closer I get to who I was as a child. When I was a child, I was holding my mom’s hand at Operation PUSH. I think it’s time. Rap is great.

It’s fun. It’s fun to be a rock star, and I’ll never not be one I guess, but there’ll be a point where I become my mother’s child. With all the things I’ve done that people would consider to be accomplishments, what’s the point where I become the person that Donda and Raymond West raised? My parents’ child.

Will you have to give up your creative projects if you run?

I think about that. Because it’s so therapeutic for me to sit and work for seven days. We work on the collection year round, every day to the office, we have an amazing team, but then you have that seven days before the show where you just really, really don’t sleep. . . . I have to stay creative. The whole point is to have someone [in office] that’s creative, that’s around amazing creatives. This is my theory: I think the world can be helped through design, so it’s very important that I stay around creative, forward thinkers. It’s very important that I continue to design, to be in practice of trying to make the best decisions possible. I hate politics. I’m not a politician at all. I care about the truth and I just care about human beings. I just want everyone to win, that’s all I can say, and I think we can. . . . I think the words “dreamer” and “passionate” diminish my will to execute. Because to be passionate about something or to dream about something does not say that it was executed. So when we talk about second season, it was executed. When we went and had a great season with stores, with Barneys and Luisa Via Roma and all these amazing stores, that was executed. When those Yeezys came out and sold what they did, that was executed. You can have the longest intellectual artistic conversation about anything and it all means nothing without execution.

With all sincerity: this is a great interview with a surprisingly, remarkably insightful person, and it's about time people stopped associating West with his past public stumbles and bouts of youthful inarticulateness. I'm not necessarily saying he is presidential material...but then again, we live in a world in which Donald Trump is a viable candidate for one of the two major parties, so who the hell knows.

But considering his passion for fashion (and sneakers, dear god does he love sneakers), it is hard to imagine West being able to brush that aside anytime in the next decade. We should all be lucky to love something as much as Kanye loves The Gap—I only wish he would re-focus some of his energy on finishing his long-in-the-works new album (which, in case you forgot: "It’s currently called Swish. I’m forgetting even what the last name of it was now"). Discussing new track "Fade," which he revealed at Yeezy Season 2, he ominously noted, "That song I played has been a year and a half in the making and it may be still a year from being complete. But it was to let people get a glimpse at the painting."

Anyway, here are a few other highlights from the interview, which you should read in full if you like reading good things:

  • Kanye On Sweatshirts: "Sweatshirts are fucking important. That might sound like the funniest quote ever. How can you say all this stuff about running for president in 2020 and then say sweatshirts are important? But they are. Just mark my words. Mark my words like Mark Twain."
  • Kanye's Utopian Vision For Fashion: "I want the clothes to almost go away, to almost be invisible, to be one with the personality. You know when you see people’s dogs look like them? I want people’s clothes to look like them."
  • Kanye On His Work Routine: "It’s family first. And then when I work on music, I’ll sequester myself and work on it with a team of three, four, or five really focused experts for two weeks at a time. And then with apparel, the office is right across from my house, so I go to the office every day."
  • Kanye On Sportswear/Track Suits: "How did they do that? What zipper are they using? How do we make our proposition more authentic? This is a sportswear concept and sportswear is less than 100 years old. If we’re lucky, we live 100 years. Sportswear is less than 100 years old, so we are in the middle of the expression right now for what this will say for human existence. There’s something that the Romans, they presented, that the Egyptians, they presented. With us, we have a time now that’s a mix between music, the advent of rock ’n’ roll to hip-hop, the 808 drum machine, the concept of tennis shoes or the sweatshirt. Where can that go?"
  • Kanye On Data: "My vision of life is that we have all of the information to live in a better world, but we’re always holding information back...And even musicians, for so long we were held back from our data. Meaning the record labels could have the data, but the musicians couldn’t have the data. This is the new world. The Internet’s like the Wild, Wild West. If you have your data, you have everything. You know the people that are connecting with you..."
  • Kanye On Having His Own Store: "The only concrete plan is that I plan to use concrete."
  • Kanye On Elf: "A lot of times I feel like Will Ferrell in the movie Elf. You know this big guy that wants to [join in] and his hands are a little bit too big...I could just say please forgive me if I ever step on any toes, because there’s nothing that I would ever want to do or say that would take away from any designer, that would take away from anyone’s work or what they’re working so hard on."
  • Kanye On His Current State Of Mind: "It’s like if you’re swimming through the ocean for 10 years, 12 years, 13 years of your life, and now with this collection, I feel like I see sand. I can see the beach. That’s just inspiring. "