Listen To Kanye West Freak Out, Call Taylor Swift “Fake-Ass” In Leaked Backstage SNL Audio

Over the weekend, immediately before posting his new album The Life Of Pablo as a Tidal stream, Kanye West performed on Saturday Night Live. He’s been on the show many times, and his SNL performances are always memorable. This one was no exception; his version of “Ultralight Beam” was one of my favorite TV moments in recent memory. It almost didn’t happen.

We touched on this in a post yesterday, but Page Six reported that West freaked out backstage at the show because he was unhappy with his stage setup. Apparently, both Kim Kardashian and Lorne Michaels had to come in, calm him down, and convince him to do the show. It worked, but not before someone recorded West having an epic freakout. Page Six has now posted audio of that freakout, which includes West calling Taylor Swift a “fake ass” and mentioning Stanley Kubrick twice. It’s pretty incoherent. You can hear it below.

Here’s the full text, such as it is:

Look at that shit. They took my fucking stage off of SNL without asking me. Now I’m bummed. That and Taylor Swift, fake ass. Now I ain’t gonna do this. We breaking the motherfucking internet. I went through six years of this fucking shit. Let’s get to it, bruh. Let’s get to it, bruh!

Are they fucking crazy? Bro! By 50 percent. Stanley Kubrick, Apostle Paul, Picasso. Fucking Picasso and Escobar. By 50 percent more influential than any other human being. Don’t fuck with me! Don’t fuck with me! Don’t fuck with me! By 50 percent, dead or alive. By 50 percent for the next thousand years. Stanley Kubrick. Ye.

Now. A few takeaways from this: Kanye West is not going to be back on SNL anytime soon, and this seems destined to join the Christian Bale Terminator Salvation tantrum on the list of all-time great leaked-audio freakouts.

Also, I don’t know whether to be concerned or delighted that West actually talks like this in his private life as well as his public one. According to a source who spoke to Us Weekly, West wasn’t screaming at show producers; he was having a private moment with his team backstage and venting some frustration. And honestly, this seems like some stuff Kanye might say in the mirror to psych himself up in the morning.

Finally, what do you think is West’s favorite Kubrick movie? Paths Of Glory? Barry Lyndon? The faked moon landing?

UPDATE: A source close to West gave this statement to Billboard:

He did not yell at SNL staff. This audio was secretly recorded while he was venting his frustration in a private moment with his team. He found out his stage design was changed and taken apart under the direction of the show’s lighting director without anyone’s approval. He had spent an entire day rehearsing and a lot of hard work into the performance. Dramatic set changes were made 30 minutes before going live. It should be understandable why he was upset after being completely blindsided.

Kanye was seen hugging Lorne Michaels just before the goodnights and he stayed afterwards to chat with the staff and the cast, and thanked the producers on his way out the door.

Also, it seems like we now have some context for these tweets from yesterday:

That could’ve been a genuine moment of humility, but it also seems likely that West knew this was coming.