Last time Kanye West was on late-night TV, he embarked on an epic monologue while Jimmy Kimmel looked on in amusement and/or amazement. Last time Kanye performed music on late-night TV, he brought an astounding take on “Bound 2″ to Fallon. Before that, he unleashed a “Black Skinhead” blitzkrieg on SNL (“New Slaves” too!). If you want to throw primetime TV in there, there was also a rad “Blood On The Leaves” at the VMAs. The point is this: When Kanye shows up on TV, it’s usually something special. Tuesday night, Kanye brought his voluble repartee and his electric stage presence on the second episode of the nascent Late Night With Seth Meyers, and it was special indeed.
First up was the interview: Kanye discussed the liberating power of the Yeezus tour’s notorious Margiela mask, compared his fashion design to sculpting with marble (and related it to his synesthesia), and reiterated his desire to expand into new creative fields, saying he felt like he needed bigger shoes. Though really, can the guy’s shoes get any bigger? He also discussed the influence of baby North on his approach to life and the need for profanity to get his point across, comparing himself to nudity on European TV, Quentin Tarantino, and an agent of chaos in the system. They capped the interview segment by re-airing an old SNL sketch in which Kanye crashes the awards presentation at a pumpkin show.
After Russell Wilson showed up for a Super Bowl victory lap, Kanye returned for a victory lap of his own, performing a career-spanning medley that including one song each from all his albums except Watch The Throne, which he’s agreed not to perform without Jay Z present. Bits of “Jesus Walks,” “Touch The Sky,” “Stronger,” “Heartless,” “All Of The Lights,” and “Mercy” segued into a furious “Black Skinhead,” F-bomb included. It lacked the pageantry of the Yeezus tour, but it was yet another reminder of how much ground this guy’s covered in the past decade.
Find videos of the full interview and the performance below.