SPILLVILLE, IA—Following the widespread acclaim and media adulation over his latest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, multimillion-selling recording artist Kanye West announced Wednesday that he had finally received the exact amount of approval he needed to attain and had therefore retired from the entertainment industry to live on a small farm in Iowa.
Though known for his outsized ego and grandstanding lyrics, West said "all of that is over now," telling reporters outside his remote two-bedroom farmhouse that after years of nonstop public attention, he was now completely secure in his sense of self and required no further affirmation.
"My goal all along was to be praised and talked about until I reached a level of total contentment with who I am and where I belong in the world, and on Friday night of last week, I reached that level," said West, standing outside the screen door of his home in a pair of khaki slacks and a plain gray work shirt. "I finally feel satisfied and whole as a human being, which means I can stop being a famous pop star now."
"So I just want to say thank you to everyone who bolstered my self-esteem by showering me with so much acclaim," added West, sweeping some dust from his front porch. "Because it worked. I'm good to go."
West said he came across Pitchfork.com's perfect 10.0 review of his new release on Friday and then, immediately afterward, was informed that his album had already sold more than 800,000 copies, experiences that caused a feeling of "total, and permanent, fulfillment" to come over him.
The internationally renowned rap star described his many displays of outlandish behavior over the years—running up on stage and interrupting Taylor Swift during the MTV Music Awards, replacing his bottom teeth with diamonds, and posing as Jesus in a crown of thorns on the cover of Rolling Stone—as attempts at self-realization that "totally paid off."
"A lot of people thought I was crazy or egotistical for doing those things, but they were merely projections of various childhood traumas and insecurities borne of postmodern alienation," West said. "Luckily, I found ways to make up for my deep-seated psychological needs, and I am now a fully actualized adult."
When questioned about some of the lyrics on his latest album, including lines such as "I'm trippin' off the power," and "This pimp is at the top of Mount Olympus," West chuckled lightly and replied that he had been getting "that last little bit of validation" he needed to feel emotionally adequate and confident for life.
"Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of the work I've done," West said. "But now that I'm finally 100 percent certain that people like me and I am talented, it would be pointless to keep seeking fame and accolades."
Since making his decision, West said he has enjoyed passing the time by chatting with the folks who sit and talk all day in front of the post office downtown, and by taking up hobbies such as bird-watching and baking.
The 14-time Grammy Award winner also said that he recently began dating a "very nice woman" in nearby Dubuque whose identity he preferred to keep private.
"I might still make some music from time to time, but not so I can release it and hear people's opinion of it or anything," West said. "Who cares what other people think? It's music. If I want to make music. I'll just do it for me, because it's fun."
After answering questions for 10 minutes, West politely asked reporters to leave, saying he was "a little tired" and had some reading he would like to get done.
"Also, please don't make this a big front-page deal in your newspapers," West said. "This isn't some juicy scoop or anything, and I honestly don't see why anyone would even want to print a story about this. But if you have to run something, just keep it short."
"You guys know your way back to town from here, right?" West added before walking back inside.