Last night, Kanye West stormed the stage of downtown L.A.'s Nokia Theater, interrupting a Kanye West concert. The 37-year-old rapper grabbed the microphone from the 37-year-old rapper's hand during a performance of “FourFiveSeconds” and proclaimed, “Imma let you finish, but I got to say, Kanye, you need to respect artistry.”
The verbal barrage was the most recent incident in a string of public outbursts that have been directed at contemporaries including Gretchen Wilson, Taylor Swift and Beck. Kanye West stood onstage, uncharacteristically speechless, as Kanye West continued his harangue in front of a live audience of 7,000 spectators.
“What happens is, you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music,” continued West, getting in West's face. “You're disrespectful to inspiration, and we as musicians have to inspire people.”
Kanye West's grudge against Kanye West goes back to the 2013 Grammy Awards, when West's single “Mercy,” which featured the talents of fellow hip-hop artists Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz, lost both the Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song awards to West's “Niggas in Paris,” which also featured vocals by his longtime friend Jay-Z.
After the concert, Kanye West responded to the press about Kanye West's accusations. “I don't care if somebody's Kanye West or not,” Kanye West told Rolling Stone. “I care about thoughts, and how are you helpin' people, and what you bring to the world. My music brings joy to people. What I create brings joy to people, and I'm about people. Me, I'm not about me. I'm about, 'I got an idea that people gonna like.'”
The crowd of loyal Kanye West fans responded aggressively to Kanye West's abuse toward their rap idol. Halfway through Kanye West's tirade, audience members stood up and began booing.
“I think that it was not Kanye's place to ruin Kanye's moment,” said Deana Walker, a 33-year-old postal employee who attended the concert. “It's OK for Kanye to rattle off about himself, but I think he crossed the line when he decided to speak out against Kanye.”
Despite the outpouring of support for Kanye West, Kanye West wasn't without supporters of his own. His most prominent defender was his wife, Kim Kardashian, who responded to the press shortly after the incident.
“I'm as outraged as Kanye is,” Kardashian stated. “Kanye is a music icon, and I keep reminding Kanye that Kanye's jealousy and ignorance toward Kanye will always plague Kanye's brilliance.”
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