OK, so my friends know I'm a longtime Kanye fan. I've met the guy once, and seen him perform a dozen or so times, but I don't have any special inside knowledge on the guy. That said, here's my take on the moment he's having right now - from Yeezus and the Zane Lowe interview to last night's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel. 1. Kanye West is a genius. Hip-hop music has a number of people who should be considered brilliant (e.g. ?uestlove, Q-Tip) but considering these individuals existed within the confines of a group vs. Kanye doing it as an individual contributor, I'd definitely place him above almost everyone in the genre. Add the fact that he executive produced John Legend's and Pusha T's really strong albums this year while working on his own album and upcoming tour with Kendrick Lamar at the opener (imagine that, the hottest guy in rap music as Kanye's opener). [I check the definition of genius, too, and it's a person who is exceptionally intelligent or creative, either generally or in some particular respect.] 2. Yes, Kanye has a HUGE ego. Deal with it. There are guys in every industry, from sports and politics to film and fashion, with mega egos. Have you heard of Ari Emanuel (the guy Ari Gold is based on in Entourage?) or Tom Ford? It's not like he's trying to run for President (like Donald Trump) or make you think he's a financial mastermind while running a Ponzi scheme or is using a fake name. The worst crime he's committed is destroying a paparazi's camera, I believe, which is nothing compared to the cocaine Jay-Z sold to people in Marcy Projects or the men Aaron Hernandez and Ray Lewis may or may not have killed. He owns who he is largely because he understands his genius will always be a few notches above his ego (so far this remains true). 3. I have a suggestion for how he should go about getting the fashion-industry backing (and funding) he so badly desires. He should end his deal with Def Jam or figure out a way to bring his music money (particularly his tour) to a fashion company like Zara or LVMH or the like and have them back his fashion company as a marketing expense attached to monetizing his album. What Jay-Z did with Samsung shows that there is engagement and data that brands want and know musicians (particularly famous rappers) have, and Kanye should take note. There is a way to do a play-to-pay (flip of the words, intentional) scenario where a big fashion brand owns the licenses to a couple of his songs (maybe even old songs like Gone, which reappeared on the Billboard charts recently) so that he can proceed more directly into fashion. Some people may think it's unfair to have to fork over music he's made to get that kind of backing, but Kanye is a guy who clearly believes in himself and his level of talent so I think it's a deal he'd be willing to do...or should be willing to do if - to his point on Kimmel - he has so much more to do as just a 36-year-old man with lots of ambition and creativity.