A few hours ago Kanye wrapped up another day of owning the internet by performing at NYC’s 550-person capacity Bowery Ballroom. The show was announced Tuesday morning, went on sale quickly thereafter, sold out in roughly 40 seconds. Later the Craigslist market would hover around $1200 per ticket. According to Twitter, Bowery piped in external power to support all of the lights Ye brought, had a VIP section in the balcony to support all of the stars he brought (Spike Lee, Diddy, this post’s photographer ?uestlove, likely many more). Bon Iver, John Legend, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Swizz Beatz, and Pusha T all made appearances. The focus of the night was, rightly, the entirety of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, though it wouldn’t be an intimate night with Kanye without some meta-speak. Before leaving stage West addressed the Kanyetroversy that’s seen him in headlines for reasons other than releasing his hip hop opus — Bush, Katrina, Taylor Swift, the media — in a soliloquy that saw him skewer the media for unfairly treating both him and George W. Bush. Yep, Kanye defending Bush. The media makes for strange bedfellows. (While Bush gets Kanye’s sympathy, Taylor’s not getting any. While we’re talking strange bedfellows, that is.)
Hear it straight from Kanye’s mouth:
Here’s a transcript:
…the people on TV. And now we are mere surfaces of the energy they are projecting on us. Everybody needs a villain, don’t we. We need to blame someone at all times. And for me to be considered a racist for stating a blatant truth, an obvious truth. But the nuances of my words because, I am very particular with my words, and the emotion that I felt at that time, wasn’t worded exactly right. But everybody came and said “oh my god” — I’m talking about five years ago, I’m not talking about a year ago, I’m talking about Katrina — oh my god Kanye, I love you so much, I hated you until you said that. But now you’re speaking for me, I always thought you were an asshole but now you said something that represents me.”
And the whole time I’m thinking in my mind, “That’s not exactly what I wanted to say. I was emotional, that was not exactly the way I wanted to word it.” But I rode it, I rode it. Just as Taylor never came to my defense in any interview, and rode the waves, and rode it, that’s the way I rode the wave of the Bush comment. I rode it. It’s not about popular opinion. It’s about when you look in your heart and know what’s right and wrong.
When you look in your heart, look at what the media did, look at how they exploited him, they said that he said that was his lowest moment. And as a mass, as America, we took that as a fact. If you look at the interview, he said it’s ONE of his lowest moments, and he said it about ten different things. But because of the popularity of me, they exploited that to make you watch the interview and make you feel he was stupider than ever, to think a rapper’s comment could be his lowest moment. That’s not what he fucking said! That’s not what he said. He said it’s ONE of his lowest moments. But it shows you it shows you the way they try to villainize, they way they try to do that.
Everything would have been OK if they didn’t play the audio that day…
Obviously there was more, and I’m sure recordings of the entire speech will surface soon. That’s a good start to begin brainstorming your think pieces, though.
01 “Dark Fantasy” (w/ Bon Iver, Terena Taylor)
04 “All Of The Lights” (Interlude)
05 “All Of The Lights” (w/ Bon Iver)
06 “Monster” (w/ Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Bon Iver)
07 “So Appalled” (w/ Pusha T, Cy-Hi Da Prince, Swizz Beatz)
08 “Devil In A New Dress” (w/ Rick Ross)
09 “Runaway” (w/ Pusha T)
10 “Hell Of A Life” (w/ Bon Iver)
11 “Blame Game” (w/ John Legend)
12 “Lost In The World” (w/ Bon Iver)
13 “Who Will Survive In America”
14 “Christian Dior Denim Flow”
15 “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”
17 “The Good Life”