The Stupidity that calls itself, “Kanye West”

kanyedrunk 2.jpgGoogle the phrase “Kanye West is an asshole” and you get over 81,000 returns. Compare that with, say, “Hitler is an asshole” (almost 58,000) and you should get a fairly accurate — if not exactly scientific — picture of how the public at large now feels about Mr. West. But, you know, this is as much our fault as his. After Katrina devastated Louisiana in 2005, we all applauded West’s “courage” and “honesty” when he publicly decried the government’s handling of the crisis. But his outrage has devolved from criticizing a derelict President to going after noticeably softer targets, and though the entertainer claims to always be speaking from his heart, some wonder if the impulses don’t originate somewhere inside his massively bloated, Henny-soaked head. His “performance” at the 2009 VMAs, where he bum-rushed the stage and managed to steal the glory from both Beyonce and Taylor Swift, was just the latest in a long line of outbursts, tantrums and bizarre behavior. Here we present you with Kanye West’s stupidest moments.

His Award Show Complex
What is it about Kanye West and awards shows? Is it a sign of some insurmountable insecurity that he can’t let one go by without some kind of drama? Quickly, a run-down: in 2004, he walked out of the American Music Awards after he lost the Best New Artist category to Gretchen Wilson; in 2005, a week before that year’s Grammy nominations were even announced, Kanye used a charity show at Santa Monica High School in California as a platform to launch an attack on the Grammy selection committee, summing it up with, “If I don’t win Album of the Year, I’m gonna really have a problem with that”; in 2006, at the MTV Euro Music Awards, Kanye bumrushed the stage when he lost Video of the Year to Justice, defending his “Touch the Sky” video by saying, “It cost a million dollars and Pamela Anderson was in it”; in 2007, a video leaked of West declaring that he would never return to MTV after they relegated his performance to a side stage. And, of course, all that was overshadowed this year when he stole the spotlight away from America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift.  Why is it that his only outbursts occur when a white person wins over either himself or another black performer? He’d never snatch the mic from Beyonce, Whitney, Ludacris, Curtis Jackson or Snoop Dog.  It’s apparently a racial problem he’s having.
Further Listening:
Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak
Justice, A Cross the Universe

The Grammy Wardrobe (2006 Edition)
With every illness, there are early warning signs that, at the time, are dismissed as aberrations or eccentricities. But in retrospect, we should’ve seen West’s outfit at the 2006 Grammys as an early sign that he was quickly tunneling very far up his own a-hole.
Further Listening:
Kanye West’s 50 Greatest Guest Verses

The OJ Incident
Hip-hop artists have a long history of championing worthy social causes, from the Sean Bell atrocity to the free Mumia campaigns to Katrina relief work. But during a taping of VH1’s Storytellers concert series in early 2009, West championed Chris Brown and OJ Simpson. The remarks came after a long tirade against Radiohead (who, it turns out, had refused to kiss West’s ring while backstage at the Grammys) and found West asking, “Can’t we give Chris a break?” He went on to comment, “O.J. Simpson, amazing. Is he not? What he did, when he did, what he did. Was he not amazing though?”
Further Listening:
Chris Brown, Exclusive

The Thing He Said About Hip-Hop
Remember back in the early half of this decade — after Jay-Z’s The Blueprint came out in 2001 and effectively introduced West to the world, up through the 2004 release of West’s debut, College Dropout.

The best that could come of this would be to see the smug Kanye West fail epically.  In a year or two, perhaps we’ll hear that Mr. West has been spotted wearing filthy coveralls, hanging off the back of a trash truck riding to his next pickup.

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