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Kanye West Pens Words Of Wisdom

He is one of hip-hop's brightest stars. Now Grammy-award-winning artist and producer Kanye West is adding author to his resume with this book, "Thank You And You're Welcome," which he co-wrote with J. Sakiya Sandifer.

West and Sandifer, whose families were friends, have an almost 20-year history together.

The two met in Chicago and both moved to New York within three months of each other. Sandifer was working on his graphics and writing and West was working on his music and somehow the two "reconnected and just started building," West explains.


Photos: Kanye West Says "Thank You"
In terms of the style of this book, what was he trying to do?

"I was trying to appeal to fellow non-readers like myself," Sandifer explained. "And said, 'okay, like we live in a culture of people standing in front of microwaves and say hurry up.' I just wanted to hurry up and get to the point and make it look as aesthetically pleasing as possible."

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Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith pointed out a quote in the book that read: "Would you rather have 100 percent from an average person or 10 percent from someone who is outstanding?"

"There's so much wisdom in this book," Smith said. "And I wonder, as this was coming together, and as you were writing this, how much of your mom is in the book?"

"Well, yeah, a lot of it. She's like really influenced me and she was an educator, and I just wanted to make something that would make her proud," West said of his late mother.

"As people read this, do you think they'll know the real you better and try and take to heart some of what's in here?" Smith asked.

"Yes. I think they will. Even if they don't, I'd like them to know the real them better," West said. "This book is about people knowing their worth and believing in their flyness and conquering their shyness. It's not about me -about me defending myself."

West wanted to have his quotes written down properly because, he says, a lot of times his words get paraphrased and taken out of context.

"Because I have all these like bold, non-traditional ideas," he said. "And I wanted to just put them in a package together sort of like when you take singles and put them on a whole album."

West and Sandifer's philosophies kept flowing during their collaboration.

"He (Sandifer) came up with the line, 'having money is not everything, but not having it is.' That's the line on the good life. I said we need to just put these quotes in bold and explain," West said.

"Most definitely it's about people defining their own life," Sandifer said. "It's about re-giving, like this is about you. You have to define your own life."

"I love this one: 'If everybody thinks it's right, you're doing something wrong,'" Smith added.

"Right. Because if the train is going by, and everybody's on it, 'whoo, whoo, whoo,' there's got to be something wrong with that picture," Smith said. "I absolutely ascribe to the same philosophy."

Although Smith doesn't question that philosophy, he admitted that he is not so sure if he's in touch with his "flyness."

"Because it says believe in your flyness, they're all laughing -- see I'm not sure I know what my flyness is. If you have to ask, then maybe it's not understandable on this earth," Smith joked.

"I think that everyone has flyness inside of them," West said. "And these are quotes, which you can say to the mirror to build you esteem up before you go and tackle the world everyday.

"So many people have negative views and traditional views and if you want to break out of that in any way they're going to try to beat you down," he added. "You have to believe in your flyness and conquer your shyness."

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