October 10, 2013 - 1:22pm
BY ALLEN DONNE
Kanye West is a sensitive guy. He is obsessed and concerned with his image (as he raps on The College Dropout, “We’re all self-conscious / I’m just the first to admit it”). If anyone messes with him, he takes offense – and justifiably so. That attitude is what led to Kanye’s outrage toward Jimmy Kimmel.
For anyone that does not know, Kanye West stepped out of his own comfort zone and participated in an interview on BBC Radio. Kanye spewed a stream of consciousness of how he is the best at what he does, whether it is musical production, fashion design, or designing water bottles. Jimmy Kimmel, confused about the content of the interview, took to spoofing through the use of child actors.
Enter Kanye. Using the Twittersphere to express his frustration, Mr. West expressed his discontent with Kimmel. He tweeted angrily, claiming “he doesn’t take it as a joke” and asked Kimmel to put himself in West’s shoes, but that’d mean he’d have “gotten too much good pussy in his life.”
So why does all of this matter? Last night, Kanye West agreed to appear on Kimmel’s late night show following the apparent feud between the two. And the result? A surprisingly calm exchange between the two.
As Kanye walked onto the stage, the audience anticipated tension between the two. After a discussion about what Kanye is wearing, however, Kimmel immediately expressed his sincerest apologies. He admitted that he only saw bits of the interview on BBC and only used children to spoof him because he “enjoys hearing kids curse.” Kimmel repeated profusely that he did not personally mean to insult Kanye.
For the most part, Kanye was soft spoken and silent, accepting his apology. Once Kanye warmed to the subject of celebrity status, what began a simple guest appearance transformed into Kanye West’s show.
Mr. West stated he isn’t like the normal celebrity — he breaks rules. Kanye then elaborated to say that he used the Kimmel incident as a medium to express his frustration with being a celebrity. Paparazzi treat him like “a zoo animal,” and he feels he should be respected for producing music that brings people joy. Instead, cameras follow him constantly, with the intention of slandering him.
All Kimmel can do is empathize with the situation and promise that Kanye is a nice guy. At times, it seems like he is trying too hard to feed Kanye’s ego.
What happened next is a blur. Kanye rehashed most of what he said on the BBC interview, chronicling his forays into fashion. And of course, he once again kept up with a theme on his albums: he compared himself to Michael Jackson and how West’s own fashion design ideas parallel MJ attempting to air his videos on MTV. West also mentioned his struggles of growing up as an artist in Chicago. The struggle for legitimate artistry has always been an issue for him. Overall, though, the entire appearance was disappointing.
Perhaps it is my own penchant for watching conflict, but the guest appearance did not seem to have any substance to take away. Kanye showed up as a toned-down version of himself, and everything he said was a repeat of his approximately hour-long interview. Sure, there was a line about how he threatened paparazzi that they should “never think [he’s] not from Chicago for one second,” but that was about it. I wish I could say that I didn’t expect much, but as a huge Kanye fan, I was hoping for something more exciting.