Kanye West: Apple spent $3 billion on Beats to get back at Samsung

Photo: AdWeek

Photo: AdWeek

From telling Tim Cook not to be dumb, to proclaiming himself the next Steve Jobs, Kanye West can always be trusted to chime in with a nuanced take on Apple business. Now the newly-married creative genius has offered his two cents on the reason behind Apple’s still-unexplained $3 billion acquisition of Beats Music.

Speaking at the Cannes Lions festival, West says that last year’s collaboration between Jay Z and Samsung — in which 1 million Galaxy owners were able to pick up free copies of the rapper’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album — pushed Apple to acqui-hire Beats cofounders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. Claiming that Apple has lost touch with its culture since Jobs’ death in 2011, West thinks that the Beats deal allowed Apple to buy back some of the cultural relevance it has lost.

“There would have been no Beats deal without the Samsung deal. It showed the No. 1 company the importance of connecting with culture. The reason I said I didn’t like Samsung particularly is because throughout my entire life, because of how my parents raised me, I have to work with the No. 1. […] Samsung is not quite Apple, but it showed that Jimmy and Dre would be able to connect with the No. 1 influencers.”

Interestingly, Beats recently announced that a new remix of the Jay Z featuring song “Jungle” will be available exclusively to customers of Beats Music streaming service.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Kanye West interview talking Apple if he didn’t also take the opportunity to liken himself to Apple’s late co-founder and CEO:

“Steve Jobs, as everyone knows, was my biggest influence. Just seeing the way he fought to make things easier for people. After he passed, I made it my life’s mission to do what he did inside of that company. I dream to help raise the palate and raise the taste level of a generation and also be involved with the production and distribution and advertising of that thing everyone’s begging for.”

  • Dirk Lenz

    He who pays the piper, calls the tune.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    Kanye is a legend in his own mind.

  • Quentin Jersey

    Kanye West is just a troll. Generating web hits on his name gets him off.

  • sigzero

    Unlink Kanye who still hasn’t regained any cultural relevance.

  • John Brown

    What a clueless glory seeker. Does anyone take this guy seriously?

    • Chuck McGinley

      Oh yes. Now that he is a member of the Kardashian family how can you not take everything he says seriously. ;-)

  • Lawrence Howard

    “creative genius” …your *are* kidding me?

  • rossmunch

    Who cares what this megalomaniac thinks or says.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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