In honor of Kanye West's idiotic, juvenile and completely unsurprising attention-grab at Sunday's VMAs (and because I'm still slightly out of the loop at the moment), I present to you every negative thing I've ever said about hip-hop's most famous five-year-old on this site.
From "Apparently, MTV Europe Doesn't Care About Black People Either" (Originally Published, 11.5.06)
Kanye West is a fucking idiot.
Last week, at the MTV Europe Video Music Awards, upon losing the award for Best Video to a band almost no one in the United States has ever heard of called Justice vs. Simian, Kanye stormed the stage and threw what my mother used to call a temper-tantrum -- back in the days when I referred her not as "my mother,", but rather as "Mommy." At the root of his little tirade was his belief that he, in fact, should've won the award, and that by not giving it to him, the entire MTV awards process lost credibility.
Why did Poor Widdle Kanye believe that he deserved the honor?
Let's let the baby speak for himself:
"My video cost a million-dollars! Pamela Anderson was in it! I was jumping across canyons and shit! I stood on a mountain! I flew a helicopter over Vegas! I did it to be the king of all videos and I wanted to walk home with that award!"
Where to even begin.
In the course of this little experiment of mine, I've brought up two phenomena which seem relevant right about now.
One involves the obscene sense of entitlement many celebrities seem to possess and display -- the absolutely psychotic belief that simply by virtue of who they are, they should never be denied any whim which might enter their underworked and overindulged little heads. I mentioned it in reference to the demands placed upon a small hotel staff -- one which has signed non-disclosure agreements to protect these celebrities and prevent just such childish behavior from being made public. It's an entirely different story, however, when that kind of mentality -- in all its hideous glory -- is broadcast live and around-the-globe for every living human being to see. Up next for Kanye: damage control in the form of the obligatory PR-firm-approved insincere apology -- and possibly rehab (of course).
The second phenomenon is a far more pointed one. It's the hilariously juvenile assumption by many rap stars that money directly correlates to quality, and that enough of it can buy class, acceptance, and above all, respect. Only someone who subscribes to that flawed theory could honestly believe that spending a million dollars, casting Pam Anderson(!), and flying over Vegas(!!), would translate into an award being handed out in, of all places, Denmark. Many rappers operate under exactly that faulty logic though -- that obvious excess will prove they've arrived and finally earn them a seat at the big kids table. It won't, and Baby Kanye's reaction to being snubbed only proves to the world what the detractors of his ilk have insisted all along: Rap stars can have all the money they want; they'll never be more than little children playing dress-up -- Neanderthals in nice suits.
Put simply, they'll never have an ounce of the kind of class which commands true respect.
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, Deader" (Originally Published, 11.12.07)
So, Kanye West's mother -- rather than tolerate one more day of her son's petulant whining, I'd imagine -- has opted to take the easy way out and die.
This of course isn't the least bit funny.
What is mildly amusing is that Dr. Donda West, apparently not content to simply get by on her Ph.D or the very big brain behind it, may have died while undergoing -- wait for it -- cosmetic surgery.
Think of it as the hip-hop mom equivalent of your average rapper being crushed by a falling 22" spinning rim.
Can we get a moment of silence in the rap community for Dr. West?
And can we make it last for the next hundred years or so?
(Yeah, yeah, I know -- I'm going to hell. Feel free to direct your complaints here.)
"Quote of the Week (Multiple Choice Edition)" (Originally Published, 11.13.08)
"I realize that my place and position in history is that I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade... It's me settling into that position of just really accepting that it's one thing to say you want to do it and it's another thing to really end up being like Michael Jordan."
Who said this?
A) Kanye West
B) Kanye West
C) Kanye West
Answer: "You damn sure better know who I'm talkin' 'bout! I spent 200-million dollars puttin' this quote together. Pamela Anderson was ridin' me while I was sayin' it. I jumped the Grand Canyon durin' this interview, got-dammit!"
From "That Stupid Year: The Ten Most Ridiculous, Shameful or Generally Unfortunate People and Events of 2008" (Originally Published, 1.5.09)
3. Kanye West
Title: Voice of a Generation (Just Ask Him), Auto-Tune Afficionado, Little Boy Who Just Wants To Be Loved, Douchebag
Big Pharm Recommended Treatment: Zoloft, Stick One Ball of Cotton in Each Ear
The Facts: Let's just say it: Kanye West isn't nearly as talented, important, or distinguished as he thinks he is. He couldn't be. It's simply impossible to be a carbon-based life form and have achieved the kind of preeminence Kanye insists he has. If he were even half the omnipotent cultural juggernaut he believes himself to be, he would've shed his physical form and morphed into a phantasmal ball of pure energy years ago. For the most part, 2008 didn't really bring anything new from Kanye that we hadn't already come to expect: There were the usual boasts about possibly being the most influential human being since Christ; the inescapable guest appearances on the records of lesser musicians (the year's nadir being his irritating cameo on the already irritating-as-hell American Boy); and of course the petulant whining about how no one shows him the adequate level of respect and everyone is out to get him because he's black. But toward the end of the year, we were treated to a new, yet not even slightly unexpected, side of Kanye: that of the self-loathing mega-star. Certainly, the death of his mother took an emotional toll on him. But the supposed result of it and a few other recent personal catastrophes -- his latest release, 808s and Heartbreak -- plays exactly the way you'd figure an "introspective" album from Kanye West would. Even at its quietest and ostensibly least obtrusive, the whole thing exudes its creator's legendarily gargantuan ego. Kanye can do self-pity; God knows we've heard it from him before. But after being asked to tolerate his narcissistic swagger for so long, it's just not very easy to feel sorry for him. And 808s, with it's ironically bombastic sadness, makes Kanye seem all the more like the kid who, even at his lowest suicide-threatening point, is just looking for attention.
Mitigating Factor: You know what almost did make me feel sorry for Kanye? His performance on Saturday Night Live a couple of weeks back -- when his Auto-Tune malfunctioned and he was left standing there onstage, looking and sounding like a really lousy karaoke act.
"By This Time Next Year, He'll Be..." Complaining about (fill in the blank).