12/02/2013 11:28 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Russell Simmons: Kanye West Is A 'Genius'

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Kanye West hasn't been shy about lauding his own professional accomplishments, regularly calling himself a genius and comparing himself to the likes of Steve Jobs and Pablo Picasso.

While the 36-year-old rapper has received some pushback for his words, one person who sides with him is Def Jam founder and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. Simmons recently penned a piece on hip-hop website Global Grind praising West.

"I recently sat down with Ye in New York and got the chance to hear about his hopes and ambitions, his frustrations and contradictions, his happiness and his anger," Simmons wrote. "But through it all, what I felt from Kanye was an artist who desperately wants to leave his imprint in the history books."

"What’s often times misunderstood about Kanye is that people believe he wants all of this for himself, in fact, quite the opposite, he wants all of this for the rest of us," Simmons continued. "He wants to destroy the glass ceiling with 808′s and crack music ... so one day WE have the power to see all of the lights. Certainly he wants a piece for himself … everybody would, but at his core, at the bottom of his heart, lies an inner-truth that has led to an external battle to make this world a bit easier for those who have been dealt a hand of struggle, by showing them a glimmer of hope through his art."

Simmons also praised West's ambition and "his genius, his tenacity, his creativity, his relentlessness and his madness."

Kanye took to Twitter to respond to Simmons' piece, thanking him for the support.

Head over to Global Grind to read Simmons' full article on Kanye West.



Kim Kardashian and Kanye West