When I woke up this morning and saw, in my various Twitter feeds, that Kanye West had gone on one of his classic, rapid-fire streaks, where he tweets in quick succession about whatever “woe is me” or “here’s why I’m awesome” bullshit he’s got on his mind that day, I assumed it would be about the fact that his record, Dark Twisted Fantasy, leaked yesterday. But surprisingly, he hasn’t said so much as a word about that. Instead, he’s focusing all of his energy on The Today Show‘s Matt Lauer, who he claims “TRIED TO FORCE [HIS] ANSWERS” (caps his, obvs) in an interview that has yet to air.
The story, as told by West, unsurprisingly makes very little sense at this point. He says he did the interview “to express how I was empathetic to Bush because I labeled him a racist and years later I got labeled as a racist.” Fair enough. But things didn’t go very smoothly, it seems.
I don’t really know what this means. Is he just mad that they played a clip of the Taylor Swift VMA incident while he was talking? Was Lauer just cold catching up on his MTV viewing and not paying any attention to Kanye? Regardless, it’s only part one of Kanye’s gripe. He’s also mad that:
Now, Lauer can be a dick, obviously, especially when he thinks he’s smarter than the person he’s interviewing, and so you can pretty much picture the exact kind of treatment Kanye’s referring to, and since he does appear to have gone in looking to make a positive statement, it’s not hard to understand why, if Lauer really was being a bully, he’d be upset about it. But as usual, he takes it too far:
This is some serious high school emo kid shit. He shares his feelings as if they’re interesting or unique or, more likely, some badge of honor, as if hyper-sensitivity is something to be proud of. The similarities between Kanye and a troubled teenager are really, sadly striking. He is, you’ll remember, 33 years old. There’s more, too:
He’s none of those things, of course, or at least not in any meaningful way. He’s just a guy who’s made a handful of good records, a guy who’s got a really good ear for strange, inventive beats and who occasionally makes some really funny jokes in his raps. He’s a guy who, to his credit, has preyed on the mainstream’s incredibly low standards for high-art. He’s a guy who’s constantly saying dumb shit and who hates being called out on it, which of course makes everyone a little more eager to do exactly that. Nothing about him is half as interesting as he tells us it is, except for the fact that he keeps telling us.
After a few more tweets about his terrible, terrible plight, he goes back to Lauer playing the MTV clip. He really can’t get over this.
And then he really brings out the crazy:
What? Why? Oh, because:
Only this doesn’t make any fucking sense at all. The media didn’t set Michael Jackson up to be anything—what he was and what he became was far beyond what anyone could have dreamed up. They exploited him, sure, but when dealing with someone who pulled the kind of shit MJ pulled with such regularity, the line between exploitation and straight coverage is very, very fine. And as for Kanye’s feelings of kinship with him, well, the media hasn’t really set Kanye up for anything either: he’s done a pretty good job writing his own narrative here. He’s the one who pulled the shit with T-Swift at the VMAs, and he’s the one who said George Bush doesn’t like black people. If I’m understanding this correctly (and it is VERY possible I’m not), he’s complaining not that the media played a clip of him acting in a bold, outlandish manner, but that they’re played the wrong clip of him acting in a bold, outlandish manner. He is, basically, just angry at the Today Show’s production techniques, I guess?
This has me thinking back to another one of Kanye’s tweets from earlier in the week:
Wrong again. He is very obviously a great celebrity. And he should be careful: despite what I really do believe are his best intentions, he runs the risk of seeming as if he’s using his art to sell that celebrity, and not the other way around.