i think it’s time for us to have a toast…

14 Sep

So, the inevitable has happened. I’m devoting a post to Kanye West. His performance on Sunday’s VMAs, while controversial, begs to be discussed.

I’ve been a Kanye fan for awhile – I enjoy his substantive lyrics and his ear for the unusual. I drank the Kool-Aid, though, when he released 808s and Heartbreak in 2008 – that record was brilliant. I still get chills listening to Robo-Cop…and almost every other song on that album. He’s unexpected, creative,  and raw. He’s not a cookie-cutter fabrication, and he’s most certainly not polite…but he’s an artist.

Let’s step back in time to the 2009 VMAs. We all know what happened – the infamous “i’ma let you finish” remark…how dare mean and bitter ol’ Kanye stir the pot and tarnish Taylor Swift’s pristine reputation. While his actions were inappropriate, a year later it’s most definitely yesterday’s news. I might also feel differently if I liked Taylor’s music half as much as I like Kanye’s.

Sunday’s show featured performances by both artists (in case you’ve been secluded from any sort of media in the last few days). Taylor’s song was heartfelt but bland and she mentioned the Kanye debacle in a head-on way, with lyrics like “32 is still growing up now” and “who you are is not where you’ve been, he is still an innocent.” I’m glad a year later Taylor is able to put this behind her, and the song was sort of sweet.

The real conversation piece of the night, in my opinion, was the artful performance of Kanye’s new song “Runaway.” MTV saved the best for last with this one – with ballet dancers, dramatic staging, and a fire-engine-red suit, Kanye made his presence known and referenced the incident in a tongue-in-cheek (yet still pensive) way.

I interpret “Runaway” to be self-referential – Kanye realizes he’s negative and exhibits elements of self-loathing in the first stanza of the song:

And I always find, yeah, I always find somethin’ wrong
You been puttin’ up wit’ my shit just way too long
I’m so gifted at findin’ what I don’t like the most

I think it’s time for us to have a toast

It’s clear Kanye knows he messed up – but he stays true to himself by not apologizing. In a way, his song is a “thanks, but no thanks” response to Taylor’s olive branch. Instead, he takes the media frenzy over his antics last year as fuel for his work and churns out a creative and unique performance for a catchy and unusual song. The lyrics continue to suggest that we “make a toast.” Not to Taylor or anyone else, but literally to  “douchebags, assholes, scumbags, and jerkoffs.” He’s acknowledging that he’s one of the aforementioned and that he’s here to stay, so it’s time to buck up, realize it, acknowledge it, and move on.

Let’s let Kanye continue being the creative entertainer that he is. Oh, and he can keep tweeting too.

3 Responses to “i think it’s time for us to have a toast…”

  1. Matt September 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    Are you following Kanye on twitter? He’s probably my favorite person to follow, it’s hilarious. Where are you from in the bay? I’m from Union City… Hasta luego!

  2. gillian September 14, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    I am OBSESSED with Kanye’s tweets…Have you seen the New Yorker cartoons with his tweets as captions? Genius.

    I’m actually from Southern California…but I LOVE the bay area…that picture was taken in Berkeley. Hope everything’s going well for you Spain-wise!


  1. weekend update. « That's G - August 29, 2011

    […] my after-school mainstay growing up. I’ll always remember how epic the 9.9.99 VMAs were and Kanye’s crazy performance last year. Last night’s show was, in one word, lackluster. The best performance of the night […]

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