You all know what happened. It's almost not worth repeating. Yet, alas, i just wouldn't be doing my job if i ignored it completely. So, we need to talk about Kanye. Last night at MTV's VMA awards, Kanye West once again made a fool out of himself, and hit a new low in his addiction to spotlight-grabbing douchebaggery. Basically: Taylor Swift won an award and Kanye decided this was an outrage. He leaped on stage to proclaim that Beyonce's video for "Single Ladies" was one of the best of all time and that Swift's video essentially was crap. Now, let's not pretend he isn't right. He is. The "Single Ladies" video will be as iconic as "Addicted to Love", but god, Kanye, that's so not the point. It's protocol! Basic social etiquette! Things you think but don't say (at least not right off)! You can't rob a 19-year old girl who seems perfectly nice of a moment and expect not to piss off the entire viewing public. Also, i'm not so sure you can pull a stunt like that and be in Jay-Z's good graces ever again. Basically...bad move Kanye. Especially since the VMA's are as inconsequential as it gets, they don't award artistry or even take into consideration any music videos that may actually be impressive. It's just a popularity contest where the same fifteen crappy over-produced pop videos are celebrated in a festival of exhibitionism and mediocrity. Get over it.
If you're from anywhere near Chicago it's sort of like required that you maintain a certain amount of loyalty to local artists. So, yes, i'm a Kanye West fan. I've seen him in concert and appreciate the construction on a good deal of his songs. I do think he's been robbed of a couple well-deserved Grammys and accolades. But, i think we've really reached a point where i have to own up to the fact that in spite of his talent and taste, he's not the brightest pair of sneakers in the closet. His inflammatory comments aren't publicity stunts so much as moments of immature tantrum throwing and idiocy. Even his blog apology (which appeared and is now nowhere to be found) is a poorly thought out display. Observe (edited out of all-caps by MTV.com):
"I’m sooooo sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans and her mom. I spoke to her mother right after and she said the same thing my mother would’ve said. She is very talented! I like the lyrics about being a cheerleader and she’s in the bleachers! I’m in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment!
“Beyoncé’s video was the best of this decade!!!! I’m sorry to my fans if I let you guys down!!!! I’m sorry to my friends at MTV. I will apologize to Taylor 2mrw. Welcome to the real world!!!! Everybody wanna booooo me but I’m a fan of real pop culture!!! No disrespect but we watchin’ the show at the crib right now cause … well you know!!!! I’m still happy for Taylor!!!! Boooyaaawwww!!!! You are very very talented!!! I gave my awards to Outkast when they deserved it over me … That’s what it is!!!!!!! I’m not crazy y’all, i’m just real. Sorry for that!!! I really feel bad for Taylor and I’m sincerely sorry!!! Much respect!!!!!”
GRAMMAR, Kanye. Learn it. It's hard to take an apology seriously when it contains that many exclamation points (a personal pet peeve), text speak, and numerous references to the speaker's personal ego trips. Also, does "I like the lyrics about being a cheerleader and she's in the bleachers" even count as praise? I'm voting no. That's fifth grade level criticism. An "I like it because i like it" book report. One last thing: i've heard that only crazy people say they're not crazy.
I feel like i say this a lot of various celebrities, but Kanye is treading a dangerous line between remaining a well-respected talent and a blathering diva who accidentally stumbled upon a winning formula for a new breed of hip-hop. It's cool to have an opinion, but sometimes you just need to keep it quiet and stay dignified.
I like the remix.