Monday, November 15, 2010

The Kanye Situation

If it's Monday and I'm talking about Rapper Kanye West, then it must mean that I've finally grown tired of writing about the disasterous mid-term elections and the fallout from it. Anyway, I was watching Kanye West on television most of last week. Before I continue, Let me say that I love Kanye West's music and I'm a big fan of his music. I think I have all but one of his CDs and I'm planning to buy his next release too, when it's released. With that said, what I'm going to say next may or may not make me sound like a hypocrite.

Kanye, the person, annoys the hell out of me. He didn't always... but from the time he interrupted Taylor Swift last year at some awards ceremony, to his often controversial for the sake of being controversial behavior and statements, to his daily Twitter outbursts... I just find myself saying, enough already! Will you knock it off and get back to doing what you do best... creating some of the most innovative hip-hop music of his generation.

Most recently, Kanye West had a Twitter meltdown a few days ago surrounding a taped appearance on the "Today Show" sometime last week. In a fairly standard interview, Matt Lauer asked Kanye about his infamous "George Bush doesn't care about black people" statement from 2005 and the Taylor Swift-VMA incident that got cries of racism flipped on Kanye himself.

While producers ran a clip of Kanye's microphone-grabbing stunt at the 2009 VMAs, the rapper stopped talking mid-sentence and said... "Yo! How am I supposed to talk if you gonna run this thing in the middle, while I'm talking?" an affronted Kanye asks. "Please don't let that happen again. It's like, ridiculous," he said, acting like a petulant spoiled brat. They do this to everybody they interview about something controversial. Was this his guilt finally spewing over after seeing how ridiculous and callous he can actually come off at times?

Matt Lauer stood by the interview in a closing segment saying, "It's something we do every day. When a guest is talking about an incident or a location, we run video of that," Lauer says. "There was nothing improper about it, nothing unusual about it whatsoever."

Now, about the George Bush thing... It's hard for me to believe that in a presidency that saw our nation attacked by 911 terrorists, two costly wars, an American city nearly lost to a flood, and a near economic meltdown, the former president says that one of the worst moments of his presidency was the statement that Kanye West made about him not caring about black people. Really, Mr. President? Really?

Earlier in the interview, Matt Lauer asked Kanye to look at George Bush's face in a clip before responding. I didn't need you guys to show me the tape in order to like prompt my emotion to what I'm going to say," a visibly flustered Kanye says. He also asked some people off-camera to "be quiet for a second."

"I came here to say that I made mistakes, that I've grown as a person," Kanye said. "It's not as easy as boxing someone into a villain role or a race role. I didn't have enough information in that situation to call Bush a racist." But yet, he did... and I will admit, at the time, I was so frustrated about the governments lack of action during Katrina, that I actually agreed with what Kanye said about President Bush. But here's the thing about being a celebrity. You cannot say the first thing that comes to mind all the time. When that camera is on and the tape is rolling, it's good to measure your speech. Once they've got you on tape, whatever you said can come back to haunt you. And, it will... please, believe me, it will!

"It sounds to me, not to oversimplify, what you're saying is, 'We're human, we make mistakes, but we have to learn from our mistakes,'' Lauer says. Kanye agreed, but he still continues to make these kinds of mistakes. The media knows he 's good for a controversial quote and here of lately, he's been saying anything just to get in the paper. The other thing about being a celebrity is nine out of ten things you tell a reporter is going to get misconstrued and taken out of context anyway. Kanye has been around long enough to know this. He could learn something from Prince, who was so frustrated with the press in the late 1980s that he just stopped talking period. Prince just started giving interviews again in the last two or three years.

Matt Lauer closed on a conciliatory note: "We look forward to Kanye's return for a special live concert on the plaza on Friday, November 26th." According to Kanye's latest 'Twitter meltdown, he says that he felt used by Matt Lauer. So, it's very likely that he may not show up at the Plaza on November 26th. We'll see...

I'm looking forward to Kanye's new CD, but I'm not looking forward to anymore quasi-controversial statements, spoiled-child behavior, and Twitter meltdowns. Come on, man... I think we all could do without that. But, hey, that's just me!


Arlene said...

If one can be too old for hiphop, then I am. I get the beat but I can't seem to discern its message other than indiscriminate sex and violence. Hiphop has to be more than that. I don't know what Kanye is about. Perhaps he's a little full of himself and needs the public's undivided attention to satisfy his ego. Since you like his music, I hope he straightens out whatever issues he may have.

GurlNexxDoor said...

I feel much like you do, not crazy about the man at all.

But he`s very talented.


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