What was Kanye thinking?
This weekend began with me missing that Jay-Z 9/11 “tribute” concert on Fuse, and it ended with me missing the VMAs last night on MTV. In between, I worked a couple of shifts at the BGM and gorged myself on the great American lager. This is the part where I’d say I need to get my priorities in order, but I’m not completely convinced that I do. Kanye West on the other hand…
Friday night, I was in a bar that plays a lot of country music, getting my drink on old man-style (the only way to do it). I checked Twitter on my cell, to see if anyone famous had died, and all anyone was talking about was the Jay-Z concert. Damn, I’d forgotten. Well, kinda. I’d seen where they were gonna have the Jay-Z concert, the other day, during Distortion, but I didn’t feel compelled to set my DVR. Even though I’ve only seen Jay-Z live twice, and both were a long ass time ago (opening for Diddy a few weeks before Vol. 1 came out, and the legendary Hard Knock Life tour), I feel like I’ve seen him perform more times than any other artist. And he isn’t even that good live. Why would I go out of my way to see him again?
I skipped the VMAs last night to watch the season finale of True Blood, and another great episode of Mad Men (priorities, people), both of which I could write thousands of words about, but I did set my DVR to record the VMAs. I might have to have a look this evening, even though all of the noteworthy moments have been excerpted, for my viewing pleasure, all over the Internets this morning. I had a feeling something controversial might take place. MTV has seemed especially desperate lately, with all of those bullshit press releases last week talking about how Lady Gaga’s performance last night was gonna be the new Madonna in 1984 (oddly enough, I haven’t heard anything about it), and there’s a lengthy history of wild shit taking place at the VMAs. I thought Lady Gaga might prove once and for all that she’s really a woman, but instead all of the talk today is about Kanye West pulling an ODB on Taylor Swift.
(Sidebar: Of course I’m taking this as further proof that Lady Gaga is a hermaphrodite.)
Taylor Swift, some country singer (as I recall, Tom Breihan is a fan), was up there trying to give an acceptance speech, for being awarded best female video, when Kanye just rushed the stage all of a sudden to announce that Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. Watching the video of it this morning, at MTV.com, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Ol’ Dirty Bastard interrupting Shawn Colvin at the 1998 Grammys to inform the crowd that, while Puff Daddy is good, Wu-Tang is for the children, which I think is a bit more true than what Kanye had to say about Beyonce, even though I haven’t seen her video for “Single Ladies” in its entirety. I may have just seen the parody with the Chinese women, which was hilarious. ODB was obviously high out of his mind (as usual), and these pictures of Kanye West walking around with a bottle of Hennessy, as if he was at Talib Kweli’s wedding, suggest that he may have been as well.
Which begs the question: Was last night’s incident staged? The fact that MTV just kinda allowed it to happen, and that they’re heavily promoting the video of it on their site today make me think that it was, but some of the fallout I’m seeing on the Internets today makes me think it wasn’t. Kanye West is catching hella shit for this. This is worse than when he ruined Bonnaroo. This is even worse than when South Park depicted him as a gay fish. World Star has a video of some fat Mexican kid (is that you, Rey?) calling Kanye West the dreaded n-word, and Bossip has a screencap of all of the cracka-ass crackas on Twitter last night calling him the dreaded n-word, as this took place. It was similar to when white people were wondering why in the fuck Keith Sweat was trending, during the BET Awards, except it was even more vitriolic, perhaps since this was a case where a black person was actually in the wrong. And it just so happens that this took place during the same weekend when Michael Jordan said some inappropriate shit during his Hall of Fame acceptance speech, and Serena Williams had a Black Woman Moment during the US Open, not to mention Glenn Beck’s racist-ass Million Cracka-Ass Cracka March on Washington. The country was hardly this racially polarized the day of the OJ verdict, and that sort of climaxed and dissipated that day. This is ongoing. I’m afraid to see where this is headed, though I have my suspicions.
Even if Kanye’s incident last night was officially sanctioned by MTV, he tripped in going along with it. Just like Eminem did when he let Sacha Baron Cohen rub his nuts in his face, to promote a movie Eminem didn’t have any financial stake in. (Not that I condone getting nuts rubbed in your face for a fee, but I could at least kinda understand if he was getting paid. Nullus!) Eminem may have gotten some publicity out of it, at the time Relapse was hitting stores, but it wasn’t the kind of publicity he needed. Relapse was all about how Eminem was back and badder than ever. There’s nothing badass about getting fromunda cheese on your lips for a fee – though I suppose there is a certain drug connotation. Similarly, Kanye West bumrushing Tayor Swift’s acceptance speech wasn’t a very good idea, regardless of who came up with it. Kanye doesn’t even have an album coming out this year, and white people have officially lost their minds. Now is not the time for a grown-ass black man to be making a teenage white girl cry on TV.