I knew this was coming. We all did.
Kanye’s media run was going far far too smooth for someone of his temperament. Sure, everybody who interviewed him prior to today had a chance to ask him the hard questions. But those same people also saw and read about Kanye going ballistic on Jimmy Kimmel and nobody wants this petulant dude typing at them in all caps. So they let Yeezy be Yeezy by allowing him to take over their platform as his own.
That’s when Kanye made his way to Power 105.1′s The Breakfast Club and Sway In The Morning on Shade 45 and no softballs were sent his way. First up, we’ll go with The Breakfast Club because Charlamagne’s been hard on Kanye in his own interviews recently, labeling the rapper a “walking contradiction” among other things. He even introduced the man as “Kanye Kardashian” if that’s an indication of how this one goes. However, things start off cordially with the group discussing his recent round of shows in NYC, the album (Charlamagne calls it “wack,” ‘Ye responds “That’s great”) the “Bound 2″ video and more.
Then, around the six-minute mark, the show gets started when Kanye says “They want this man to throw them blows man, that’s what they waiting for. They waiting for Charlamagne to tap these gloves and go at Ye. So let’s go.” And go, they do. The conversation drifts from paparazzi issues, President Obama, fashion and just about everything you can imagine over the course of 40 minutes, so grab a Snickers.
We’ll stop here and point out that DJ Envy does call Kanye for sticking with Jay over Dame when the Roc split, which has always been a gnawing issue for me accepting Kanye as well. For all his good, him not backing Dame after Dame’s the one who originally helped him just doesn’t sit right. For Kanye’s part, he compares his on-stage rants – he calls them “visionary stream of consciousness” – rubbing people the wrong way to Dame’s technique being “too harsh” for him as a “young kid.” In ‘Ye’s eyes, he already knew how to be a loud asshole, like Dame. He wanted to learn to be “likeable,” the same as Jay. Listen around the 10:00 mark.
For Sway’s show, the audio’s only a clip and sounds like he was asking Kanye about fashion, you know, since Kanye loves to talk fashion and how he’s going to redesign the game. What Sway said struck a serious nerve with Yeezy and Kanye (REPEATEDLY) yelling at the radio host “you ain’t got the answers, Sway!” He keeps on by screaming “You ain’t spent $13 million of your own dollars trying to empower yourself.” Sway’s a vet though and stood firm in the face of the outburst, eventually able to talk his subject down. Kanye does go on to apologize before stating “we are all slaves” and making vague references to historical events where in-fighting occurred.
As much as I get annoyed by Charlamagne playing the antagonist at times, it works well here because he’s able to finally be that person who’s willing to fire hard questions at ‘Ye and say what mirrors my own thoughts. Just like the radio host, I turned down free tickets to dude’s show most because I don’t want to hear Yeezus again and I damn sure don’t want to hear the “visionary stream of consciousness.” Finally, I’m glad somebody said it.
For Kanye, at least he lost that funny voice he’s been using and sounded normal again. And when he sounds normal and not frantic or wired, it makes seeing what he sees somewhat easier. He’s not an asshole so much as he’s a musician and a man who’s playing at higher stakes than the rest of us. He’s competitive and doesn’t want to be beaten and, even worse, cheated or at least led to believe he didn’t get a fair shake.
Combined and along with Sway, there are a lot of compelling thoughts brought to the table that may/may not leaving you siding with one over the other. Mostly, the discussions about money/product, Jay/Dame etc. made me think about how not complicated my life is and how hectic Kanye’s must be.
All in all, I don’t feel that bad for ‘Ye though because fact of the matter is he had $13 million to lose and still bounce back. Plus, he’s going home to this tonight (Update: apparently, clicking that link while at work is not advised). Shit could obviously be worse, but it ain’t that bad.
Update: Here’s the full video of Kanye and Sway’s 30-minute conversation on Shade45. Somebody will have to shoot me the Cliff Notes though. Sorry, I took one for the team and watched the Breakfast Club joint yesterday. There’s no way I’m sitting through another 30 minutes of Kanye today.