It sure would suck if all of the hard work Kanye West has put into keeping his name hot in the streets for the past umpteen weeks now was all for naught, because his album sprung a leak, because that new Kid Cudi album (which you can actually buy in stores) sucks balls, even compared to the first one, and because he got pwned by George W. Bush, who’s got a book he’s trying to promote.
That seems to be what’s happening. If you’ve been on the Internets ever since you rolled off of the couch three hours ago, chances are you’ve seen the video of Kanye’s minor meltdown on the Today show the other day. I know part of it was that there was someone off camera distracting Kanye, who failed to graduate from an HBCU he could attend for free, because his mom (RIP) worked there, and hence he needs the room to be as quiet as possible when he’s trying to say something pseudo-intelligent. I couldn’t actually hear anything, when he told whoever it was to please shut the fuck up while he was trying to talk, but that could have been the liquid cocaine making him hear things. Very little is known about liquid cocaine or its effects. I remember trying to look it up in the world’s most accurate encyclopedia, back when Kid Cudi was arrested for trying to rip some woman’s door from its hinges (presumably not because he wanted to have sex with her), and I couldn’t find anything. Of course that didn’t stop me from writing like a thousand words about it.
Kanye didn’t seem quite right even before he got all distracted. It seemed like he might be nervous about something. I can’t imagine he’d actually be that upset about this beef with George W. Bush – unless someone from the Secret Service paid him a visit and played for him a new, never before seen video of the Kennedy assassination, from the grassy knoll. And that wouldn’t make sense, because that was the CIA, and I’m not sure if there’s any overlap between them and the Secret Service. Obviously there wasn’t back in the ’60s. But otherwise, who gives a shit if Kanye’s comments really were the worst moment of Dubya’s presidency, even if they really were? (How many bad days has Dubya really had? His father was president, his grandpa was a senator, and he was on Jack Daniels and cocaine up through his 30s.) I don’t buy that Kanye is bothered by this feud with the former president any more than I buy that he really was bothered by what happened at the VMAs a couple of years ago.
If anything, he might be upset that Dubya hijacked the press run-up to the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Now Kanye is on the Today Show, but instead of talking about his new album, he’s apologizing to George W. Bush. Which is just wrong on so many levels. But it’s not like he could go on there and try to give a nuanced explanation of what he meant by his comments at the Katrina telethon, and how that relates, if at all, to what happened at the VMAs a couple of years ago. He might not have the raw brain power to provide that level of analysis, and anyway he’s no longer allowed to go on TV and just say whatever the fuck he wants, because of the Taylor Swift thing. You think his first instinct was to apologize to George W. Bush? It makes you wonder what he wouldn’t say or do, if someone from Def Jam told him it might help increase first week sales. I’d come off as ill at ease, too, if I played myself like that.
And then to find out that your album is available for free via the Internets, something like three weeks before it’s set to hit stores: you’re out here selling your soul to promote a CD, in age when no one with the sense god gave geese still buys CDs, and come to find out your efforts have been undermined. A roomful of chinamen are probably pressing up bootleg copies as we speak. Between the leak and the throwaway mp3 of the week program, people might be tired of My Beatiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by the end of next week, if they aren’t already. Damn. Kanye might want to consider rushing the album onto iTunes forthwith, which would serve the dual purposes of cutting into losses of digital sales, and juicing those first week sales numbers (which apparently include early digital sales) to make it seem as if people still give a shit, like they did with the new Lil Wayne album. He could announce it this Friday, when he performs as part of the Today Show’s outdoor concert series, even though he supposedly doesn’t fuck with Matt Lauer.