Man, I remember when I was 19 years old.
It was my first year in college, I had, like, 8 dollars in my bank account and spent way too many hours at the dining hall eating free chocolate chip cookies. Good f*cking times.
It looks like then 19-year-old Yale student Cassius Clay was just like me -- until Kanye West came into the picture and changed his world forever.
Yeah, this isn't your typical college story.
Before he could even legally drink, Clay worked for Mr. Kanye West on his creative team. UH HUH, FOR REAL.
The two apparently met in 2010 and discussed their love for Alber Elbaz. Later that summer, Kanye took Clay out of school and hired him to work on the creative development team for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Clay was only a sophomore but moved to New York to officially join Yeezy's team as a junior creative consultant. ISN'T THAT INSANE? I REPEAT, HE WASN'T EVEN OLD ENOUGH TO DRINK YET.
Clay said he helped Kanye research fashion and art that could help influence his album. He also gave Kanye artistic feedback on the record, as well as the working environment.
In an interview with Complex, Clay said,
The career I've always been interested in is some sort of curation.
He explained to Complex Kanye enjoys that aspect, too. He added,
He's a curator of different musicians that he has featured on his tracks. He's a curator of old music samples that he'll reintroduce in a song. He's a curator in the wide range of visual artists that he works with.
It sounds like the two are very similar and shared the same vision. I guess that makes sense because Clay also mentioned Kanye's the kind of guy who likes working with "other Kanyes." He explained,
He needs to work with people who are as committed to understanding their field, to excelling at it, to producing things and to sharing them with other people.
The press started to take note of Clay's involvement; Vice allegedly published an article called "Did Kanye West F*ck Cassius Clay?" It was reportedly taken down.
Clay said the rumors weren't true, but they did make him question himself and his role on the team. A few months later, Clay went back to Yale to finish his education and gain enough credits to graduate on time.
He's currently a PhD student at the University of Cambridge and contributes to magazines like Near East and Suitcase.
He no longer keeps in touch with Kanye, but he does wonder what his life would have been like if he stuck with fashion.
All I know is Clay accomplished more in those 19 years of life than I'll probably accomplish in a lifetime.