10 Questions for Kanye West

Hip-hop's fasting-rising star is just as likely to rhyme about buckling his seat belt as about getting it on with the ladies. Kanye West, 27, won four Billboard Music Awards last week and got nominated for 10 Grammys--mostly for his debut album, The College Dropout, but also for producing other artists, like Alicia Keys. He freestyled with TIME's Barbara Kiviat.

YOU'RE MUCH PREPPIER THAN MOST RAPPERS. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF HIP-HOP'S IMAGE IN GENERAL?

I love the gansta image. I love that music. I bought 50 Cent's album on the first day. I bought Jay-Z's album on the first day....