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Two takes on Kanye West

By in Opinions

Opinions Writer

  Just when we thought the world may be changing for the better — Kanye West opens his mouth.

As all of you have heard or seen, West, 32, interrupted 19-year-old Taylor Swift during her Video Music Awards acceptance speech for best female video to state that Beyoncé’s video, nominated in the same category, was more deserving. A stunned Swift listened to Kanye diss her and left the stage without finishing her speech. Beyoncé appeared equally mortified even though West was praising her video.

Kanye West and Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs

     According to sources, the rapper was escorted out of the event after his outburst. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the first of Kanye’s rants. In 2005 at a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina relief, he exclaimed, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” and in 2006 he went on stage after he lost the award for “Best Video” at the MTV Europe Music Awards to argue with the winner that he should have won.

     On Sept 14 when West appeared on The Jay Leno Show he said he realized that what he did was wrong when he handed back the microphone back to the teen country singer. Leno then dug a bit deeper and asked if his mother, who passed away in 2007, would have been disappointed. After a moment, West replied that she indeed would be disappointed and went on to say how he has yet to come to terms with his grief of her death.

    West apologized in two blogs on his website. On Sept.15, two days after the incident, Swift appeared on The View and said West had yet to contact her to apologize. Later, she stated he did get in touch with her to apologize and she accepted.  

     Numerous celebrities including Pink, Katy Perry, Joel Madden, Kelly Clarkson, and 50 Cent voiced their disgust at Kanye’s actions. Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton stated that Swift deserved the award because people voted for her. An infuriated Donald Trump recommended a boycott of West. Even President Barack Obama was heard calling the rapper “a jackass.” Maybe West should have been reminded that the VMA’s are voted on by fans.

      All controversy aside, we must give both Taylor Swift and Beyoncé credit. Swift had to perform live only five minutes after the incident. She did so with the professionalism Kanye West lacks. And hats off to Beyoncé, who graciously called Swift back to the stage, after winning video of the year, to finish her acceptance speech.   

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photo by Photo Giddy

Opinions Writer

The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards were aired live on Sept 13. I thought the only person who would make me laugh on this night would be world class comedian Russel Brand. It was a lacklustre show wherein many cases the awards went to the wrong artists.

The greatest travesty was the winner of the best female video for “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift. I had never heard of Taylor Swift so I immediately jumped onto YouTube to check out the video.

Before I could type in “YouTube,” Kanye West hopped onto the stage and delivered the most entertaining moment of the show when he interrupted the pop star’s acceptance speech, making me burst out laughing. Kanye jumped onstage, pulled the microphone towards him and said that Beyoncé should have won and that she had “one of the greatest music video of all time. Of all time.”

There was immediate Internet outrage. Facebook was filled with angry messages in defence of the pop star, chastising the hip hop megastar for his deplorable actions. On Sept. 15, U.S. President Barrack Obama called Kanye a “jackass” in a comment that was supposed to be off the record. Celebrities also said their piece, many on Twitter.

I decided to watch all of the nominated videos while the award show was still airing. I wanted to see which video was the best beginning with the “You Belong With Me” music video which was the only one I hadn’t seen. Upon viewing it I nearly gagged on my own vomit. However, I did manage to sit through it. All painful three minutes and 52 seconds of it. I was surprised something so awful could win the best female video award. I then proceeded to view all the other nominated videos.

I am a bigger fan of Lady Gaga but Beyoncé’s video was definitely the best of the nominated videos. It had stronger art direction, it had a great feel to match the song and most importantly, it was the most polished.

Katy Perry’s video wasn’t great by any means. Pink and Kelly Clarkson’s videos were the usual stale retread consistent with what they have produced in the past. Finally, Taylor Swift’s was just one giant cliché complete with her being ignored by the boy she likes, etc. I’m positive I saw the same concept in the movie She’s All That.

The only other music videos nominated that were as bad were 3OH!3’s “Don’t Trust Me” (nominated for best new artist) and Green Day’s “21 Guns” (winner of best rock video).

I wondered if Kanye crossed a line. I wondered if what he said was wrong. He might have had poor timing but he was still right. Let’s not forget who he interrupted. It wasn’t like he interrupted an artist of the calibre of Mariah Carey or Ne-Yo or someone like that.

Nobody will remember Taylor Swift in two years. She had her five seconds of fame and it was Kanye who gave them to her. Instead of having to sit through a boring acceptance speech we got to see Kanye, complete with awesome hair.

Some people wonder how Kanye “could be so heartless.” Not I. I understand the man Kanye is. He actually cares about producing good music. He is a passionate person and I respect him for that. It isn’t awards that make the artist; it’s the quality of the music they produce.

Kanye’s outburst was fuelled by the fact that the best artist was not being recognized. This is not hip hop vs. country / pop as some critics have claimed. Kanye believes that the best person should get the job and the best person should be recognized for doing the best work. I am inclined to agree.

On the morning of Sept 15, two days after the awards show, Kanye personally called Taylor Swift and offered a sincere apology. Swift accepted.

After everything has been said and done regarding this incident, I might be the only one with this opinion: I would like to give a shout out to my boy Kanye for saving this dull 2009 MTV show by providing the viewers with not only something funny but an extremely memorable moment as well.


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