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  • Soundgarden @ Big Day Out 2012
Tags: , , / Credit: Chris Hyde/Getty

Over the weekend, Kanye West played Australia’s Big Day Out fest, pissing some audience members off by showing up around 45 minutes late to the stage. Audience members weren’t the only ones he was pissing off; Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, whose band was playing on an adjacent stage, said:

”Sounds like there’s children playing music there,” singer Chris Cornell quipped to his irritating, booing fans. “Retarded children, retarded as in held back. There’s no other word for it.”

(via Popdust)

What I’m most surprised about, honestly, is that there were fans in the Soundgarden audience while a Kanye West performance was also happening. Have you seen his live shows lately? I don’t imagine Kanye will respond to this but maybe he’ll throw us a bone with a Twitter rant.

Comments (149)
  1. gotta do something to get some press, but what a fucking asshole for this:
    “Retarded children, retarded as in held back. There’s no other word for it.”

    • “There’s no other word for it.”
      I can’t imagine how a man who wrote the song “Big Dumb Sex” could struggle with vocabulary.

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          • EXACTLY, he should have used the more appropriate “What a Mong!”

          • I can’t think of a context where him saying ‘Retarded children’ is any less offensive whether or not he meant it as ‘held back’. If he’s referring to children held back in schools than he’s still referencing ‘retard’ as a synonym for stupidity, which is both mean and offensive.
            Unless he’s referring to retarded in the sense that they waited for Kanye’s performance, which was pushed back hence Kanye would have ‘retarded’ his performance. Which actually doesn’t make much sense either because the word he would be looking for is maybe ‘impatient’. Referring to them as impatient children?

            tl;dr: Don’t use the word retarded as an insult.

        • consult the DSM Timmy you dumb fuck. and, to clarify, by dumb fuck I actually mean the dictionary definition which defines dumb fuck as being as “fuck” which is ‘dumb”.

          the only people that are held back are those that still give a shit about soundfarten.

          PEACE BRO.

        • You’re very right, sir.

          Wow, judging by the amount of thumbs down you have here, the “commenters” on this website really seem to get dumber by the day.

      • Jonathan Espeche  |   Posted on Jan 26th, 2012 +2

        “Big Dumb Sex” was a joke song wrote to make fun of all of the 80′s hair metal bands at the time. So much for your insult.

      • wonder if anyone in this thread get as worked up over misogynistic lyrics as they do about the word retard.

        • Bitch please.

          • Jesus Christ the word retarded is not offensive, It means delayed in terms of your actual age vs mental age. It’s an actual medical term in use in the DSM-IV. Go watch another Jane Lynch commercial you sheep who have no idea the actual definitions or etymology of words.

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          • that’s what someone who has an extra 21st chromosome would say.

          • Arguing online is like running in the Special Olympics, because even if you win, you’re still mentally retarded.

            Arguing online about the correct usage of the term “retarded” , is in a category of its on.

            Props, mate.

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          • Except for the fact that usage determines meaning not the other way around. There’s lots of archaic terms that we just don’t use anymore because of a negative connotation that was ascribed to them. The fact is that the word retarded simply doesn’t mean what it used to anymore because of the fact that it is almost universally associated as a synonym for stupid, not as a clinical definition. “Idiot” and ‘moron’ also used to be clinical definitions that the DSM has backed away from due to their negative connotation, much as they are now doing for ‘retarded’.

            tl;dr summary: Usage defines meaning, your argument is technically correct but invalid.

        • Rysn,

          I don’t think you’ve learned the hierarchy of offensive terms.

          It goes like this:

          1. Homophobia is the least PC, unless you’re a rapper who doesn’t attract a white crowd, then

          2. Mysogynism is the 2nd least PC, unless you’re a major rap artist, then

          3. Making fun of the mentally handicapped is the 3rd least PC, unless you’re a major rap artist, then

          4. Racism seems to no longer matter, unless you’re white.

          So Chris Cornhole done fucked up, no matter how you try to explain away the use of the would “retard.”

  2. Ok hold up were the fans booing Chris or Kanye?

  3. wait, can I go again?

    “Sounds like an old man, coping poorly with irrelevance there”.

  4. thanks but i’m going with the soundgarden show

  5. Dammit,my pretentious hipster senses are tingling.

    Is it really still possible that someone dislikes Kanye West, even after his last album?


    So this must be some sort of cheap promotional stunt ..


    OK,snappy defensive comeback line time…

    Gotta say something along the lines
    “Well Chris, at least he’s not retarded enough to be fronting Soundgarden”.
    “Its better to be 45 minutes late to a Kanye show, than on time to a Soundgarden show.

    Hipster points here I come…

  6. Maybe Chris forgot that he recorded that one album with Timbaland?

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  8. lol @ “What I’m most surprised about, honestly, is that there were fans in the Soundgarden audience while a Kanye West performance was also happening.”

  9. The word “retarded” is really politically incorrect and offensive towards special needs people and those who care for special needs people. Mr. Cornell should be issuing an apology.

  10. I still like Soundgarden! Though, yeah, I’d probably rather see Kanye, if they were simultaneous.

    I have no problem with an artist calling out another artist for being late, but it seems like he was just mocking Kanye’s music. He has every right, but yeah, kinda pointless. Also, he should probably know better than to say “retarded.” I’m sure he didn’t mean anything about handicapped kids, and I’m not really about censorship, but as a celeb in a public forum, he should know that using that word isn’t the smartest idea nowadays.

  11. Oh my gosh, it’s my moment! Time to step up as Australian correspondent, I was there and this is what happened:

    Facts: The two main stages are side-by-side and alternate. Soundgarden were playing and then as soon as they finished Kanye was supposed to start next door. What Chris was complaining about was Kanye’s soundcheck, which was bleeding over onto the Soundgarden stage loud enough for the band (and some of the crowd) to hear. That’s when and why he made the ‘retarded children’ call.

    After they finished Kanye was supposed to start straight away but was 45 minutes late. It had rained heavily for a while just before, and it looked like they had to rearrange a bunch of the speakers on the stage. Kanye eventually showed up, apologised for being late, played way over time to make up for it, generally killed it.

    Opinion: Having Kanye’s soundcheck mess with the Soundgarden show is pretty shitty, but calling another artist’s music ‘retarded children’ is also pretty shitty. He almost definitely didn’t mean it that way but it was still shitty. Also, kind of bizarre considering Chris did that godawful stuff with Timabaland but still apparently can’t understand Kanye West? Oh well. They are playing together at least twice more in Sydney and Melbourne so stay tuned you guys!

    • UPDATE: Turns out Chris would like to clarify that his comments were directed at the soundcheck people and not Kanye:

      On the plus side, at least it seems like they are buddies. On the minus side, it made a large part of my previous comment totally irrelevant. Also, Soundgarden vs Soundguys isn’t going to get nearly as many pageviews, is it? Way to go Chris, you jerk!

    • you like to use the word “shitty” a lot. almost as annoying as “retarded”. Chris’s solo record was TERRIBLE, but Soundgarden deserve props for reuniting their old lineup and pioneering sound. Kayne West has a habit of rabble rousing and causing disturbances at performances (before, during and after) and he’s certainly not in Soundgarden’s league, unless maybe you write for Stereogum. I would be annoyed just to know this dolt was spaces away taking up my moment like he has an annoying habit of doing, either intentionally or unintentionally. Either way, stop using the word “shitty” and as a journalist (?) come up with something colorful :) love and kisses, soundgarden always.

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    • Keep sippin’ that haterade.

    • Mr. Locke, it seems people have a problem with lucid commentary on the subject. Although Cornell could have actually been talking about West’s music and he’d still be accurate.

      • Cornell should not have used the term he used, Ive stated that already…The problem is were on an indie/alternative music site and the fucker (Kanye) is anything but this, im in my 30′s and I remember when Pop music was considered complete bullshit…Maybe ive gotten too old to understand Kanye’s “Music” but not to old to realize that most of these people are the same mainstream/Corporate/cookie cutter/desperate houswife loving wastes that are fully to blame for all the horrible shit on Radio. Why not post articles about Lady Ga Ga, Kelly Clarkson, Nickleback? You guys seem to love this shit and those artists are one in the same…its a sad day for good old college rock…you finally killed..Thanks!

  13. lots of high horses in this comments section

  14. I for one will not be purchasing his inevitable Christmas album.

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    • ha ha “I paid 100 dollars for these tickets but if I don’t like it I can just leave?! I didn’t know that, holy fuck!” ha ha

      • Well there’s no reason for bitching lol

        • Sure there is! Anyways, top secret advice: if you don’t like a show, call the Public Relations manager, or carpet bomb the promoter’s top staff telling them (nicely, but specifically) what was wrong with the show and ask for your money back. You’ll get it.

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  17. Screw Kanye and his bloated ego, he thinks hes the best thing in the world oh please. I wouldn’t have used the word “retarted” but CC called it how he saw it. Bunch of hipsters kissing an ego maniac’s ass is what this is.

  18. Yeah, why would anybody go to a *concert* to see a *band* play *music* when they can see some guy rap off beat and mash random button on his sampler with ballerinas and a slide show from a community college “intro to art history” class?

    And how dare they use the word “retard.” This makes me so pissed I’m gonna vent by bumping Odd Future. Rape bitchez. Swag.

  19. You guys really should change the title of this story. And you should also probably check your facts before you publish trashy articles akin to tabloid stories. Chris Cornell was referring to the rudeness of Kanye’s crew, not the man himself. And it is very rude to soundcheck over the top of another band.

    You’ve succeeded in spreading false information and sensationalising an otherwise minor occurrence. Well done Stereogum.

  20. I must have been sleeping when the news of a Soundgarden Reunion came out.
    Whatever… sounds to me “like a seniors making music there”.

  21. Poor choice of words by Cornell but Kanye is garbage. His management also pays to have websites like this and Pitchfork kiss his ass 24/7. A LOT of people wanted a Soundgarden reunion and they can go and play almost anywhere in the world on their own unlike Kanye and Jay-Z and all the other rappers who have to play these traditionally rock festivals because they know they can’t tour by themselves because no one in middle America would go.

  22. Is Chris Cornell the same guy who made that album “Scream” with Timbaland? How come he’s still allowed to speak?

  23. Soundcheck starts…

    Yo, Chris. I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish but Red Hot Chili Peppers is the most washed up band of all time. Of all time.

  24. people still care about this guy?

  25. A few scattered points I want to make. I lack the time and eloquence to connect them with segues…

    1. Soundgarden has to be the least relevant band ever mentioned on this website.

    2. Kanye may be an ignorant jackass at times, but he is in no way mentally handicapped.

    3. Why are people pretending to be offended at the word “retard”? It was certainly insensitive, but let’s get real here. People say stupid things every day.

    4. Chris Cornell definitely says stupid things every day

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  27. How did we get to this point where indie music fans generally take the side of a main-est of mainstream rapper’s soundcheck over the actual set of a hugely influential rock band? A band that paved the way for all of the other Seattle bands that you either still like now, liked then, pretended to like then, pretend not to like now and/or will like later? What the hell happened?

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      • Genius is a term that gets thrown around to often these days….Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Dylan…that the definition of genius. My only problem is I dont think he is a great artist…FANTASTIC producer…the production Kills! He is just an ass, plain and simple….oh yeah keep cutting your wrists emo boy

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          • Did you just say a blind person can’t be a genius?

            Man, Stephen Hawking must be the dumbest man alive because he can’t even move, let alone speak. It must be his robotic chair that makes him so smart, then, huh?

            Helen Keller was deaf, mute, and blind, what a moron!!!

            And Beethoven was deaf, that fucker couldn’t write a song even if he tried. What a bunch of morons.

            Between Rubberjohnny and Frank Arevalo, we’ve got the ultimate Dyad of dumbfucks.

          • He may have been blind but lets see you do anything close to anything that man’s done. Your just some cunt on a website trying to prove a stupid point. I have vision problems myself but guess what? Ive won gold metals in taekwondo, and all I can see is a big blur. I really hope your joking.


        • A person of extraordinary intellect and talent is actually the definition of genius . i work with 80 percent of major touring acts , metallica jourrny neile young green day teh doobie brothers on an don are clients of mine. you think because you say these three are genius and these aren’t it has any bearing on what it is actually ?

      • troll detected

      • Kanye’s only genius is in fooling you into believing he is a genius.

    • White corporate shills realized it was a lot easier to make Black rappers less dangerous if they simply made the un-threatening cooning ones famous, because white kids love to treat Black people as if they were pets. Promote the hell out of monosyllabic idiots, white hipsters buy it to vacation in credibility while Black kids–even the smart ones–try to get paid emulating the money-suckling idiots that get major deals, and everyone forgets that music is actually supposed to challenge you and make you think.

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      • Thats a hell of a marketing ploy…

      • Frank,

        You have to be the dumbest person to walk the face of the earth. Please cease breathing immediately.

        To suggest that Kurt killed himself as a marketing ploy is just beyond stupid. The fact is that Courtney has exploited the Nirvana legacy with Journals, With the Lights Out, The Best of the Box, the current Reissues, etc. So, not only is your theory, if anyone can call it that, misdirected, but it’s nonsensical.

        I don’t know what kind of terrible music you love (my guess is Skrillex), but you can trace a hell of a lot of great bands back to the Melvins, Meat Puppets, the U-Men, Mudoney/Green River, SST-era Soundgarden through BadMotorFinger.

        Hell, without the Melvins, Boris, Isis, Neurosis, Big Business, and Torche wouldn’t even exist. Hell Nirvana wouldn’t exist without the Melvins.

        Without what happened in Seattle in the late 80s/early 90s, we’d be looking at a pretty fucking terrible music scene about now.

        By the way, you must be a MENSA member, right?

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  29. - Peak Soundgarden was better than peak Kanye, hate to say it, though at his peak as a producer I could at least see arguing otherwise.

    - All this over-the-top political correctness is retarded.

    - Chris Cornell lost it a long time ago…Cochise was a fluke and his last good song ever.

    - Kanye’s a twat, just a talented one.

    I think that’s all.

    • “- All this over-the-top political correctness is retarded.”

      You’re being a dick. It’s not “over-the-top” and it’s not “political correctness.” The fact is, “retarded” is a word that has a history of being used as a derogatory term, and is highly offensive to people with mental retardation, Down syndrome, and other disabilities. I’m not just pulling this out of nowhere; all you have to do is say the word around people with these conditions and they’ll tell you how they feel about it.

      “Political correctness” is just a phrase that people use to whine about being criticized for being a dick. You’re free to say what you want and be a dick about it, but you’re still being one, and the rest of us are free to call you out on it.

  30. Who the heck is Kanye West?

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      • C’mon Emo you know….

        • Not listening to crap….

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        • c’mon robert , you’re a lame . you spend all your time reciting crap about these people aren’t good but these people are , i bet all your t-shirts are of obscure , genius , underrated bands , you’re the original douche before jersey chore jocks took that from you too . you bash anyone with success just so you can go shop at goodwill , like you said in your other post i have read , you are thirty years old . three decades spent on perfecting your lame comments on websites . you have been on picthfork since 1998 ?? get a life then already

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          • Well none of you really read what people post…I said MY OPINION is that Kanye West isnt that good…thats an Opinion im allowed to have. It seems everyone here has had one of those ,thats why were posting comments. Now the fact that you work for Pollstar you should know that you are in the position to not talk any shit about any bands because your on the Business side of this and that can really affect YOUR business. So that seems like a load of bullshit, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

            I should get a Life because seeking out new music from music related websites is a horrible thing? A matter of fact were all here for the same damn reason…isnt that what your here for?

            But seeing we work in the same industry I hope to have lunch and chat about this one day….cause believe it or not YOU matter to us musicians, your doing a great thing,….I’ll be in L.A. on the 1st…hit me up

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    • Ugh, children. First of all, it’s political correctness. Second of all, get offended “by.” Perhaps if you spent more time in school, you wouldn’t be such a culturally insensitive dumb ass. Or perhaps you’d at the very least know how to use your prepositions properly.

  32. Jonathan Espeche  |   Posted on Jan 26th, 2012 +3

    My Chemical Haircut

  33. Feel the rhythm with your hands, Kanye.

  34. your comment is beyond pointless… the lyric 99 problems but a bitch isnt one. isnt in reference to a woman . it is in reference to a female dog , known scientifically as a “bitch” – the lyric refers to jayz moving cocaine interstate and being pulled over and the cops are waiting on a police dog in order to determine probable cause and search his vehicle , hence 99 problems but the bitch aint one . is teh actual line .

  35. i think its funny that you losers are trying to make fun of sum kid’s haircut . none of you look like you are seeing any action yourselves , not to mention it sounds like you all have a vast knowledge of my chemical romance , get jared letos testes out of your mouth already , and just for the record allllll the music and bands they feature on this site completely suck , a bunch of hipsters trying to not work waitng on apple to use 30 seconds of a song in a commercial so they can call themselves artist .

    • Stay awesome frank

    • Oh I got it….your Rubberjohnny0829′s dad or brother right….well Kuddo’s for sticking up for him….but once I read this comment I knew you were trolling, cause you have no other past except sticking up for “Little Nicky”….cause not everyone here are Hipsters, we are just people looking for new sounds that dont get exposure on mainstream radio. Yes we argue like a motherfucker here on stereogum, and our opinions clash quite often, but were all here for the same thing THE SEARCH FOR MUSIC WE KNOW FRANK AREVALO WILL FUCKING HATE….And that makes life worth living for!

      P.S. Jared Leto? the guy from My So called Life? What does that show have to do with anything?

  36. Relevant refers to whose opinion? Does it apply to all things based on one person or groups current view? And who decides what is Relevant? Is this a Kanye West Fan forum? I think I hit the wrong site, and I f’ing hate hipsters.

    Music that came out last week may not be Relevant to you, but it can still be quality work. I can listen to songs from 1824 and it can still be Relevant to me. This post is about a remark that Chris Cornell made, not whether you think his music or opinion is Relevant.

    I’m not going to say you are retarded, but you may be less advanced, esp. mentally, than is usual for one’s age. And if I had to think of something that is similar to what I am reaching for, I may say you are backwards or delayed.

    All hipster need to be locked away in a prison that only shows reruns of Real World 1992 and plays all songs that never made it to the Top 100 Billboard before 1985.

  37. three days on the same thread…crazy

  38. Amended title: “Soundgarden Disses Kanye, Remains Irrelevant”

    • …which is why they can play big rock festivals without a new single on commercial radio.

      I’ll be the first to admit Soundgarden’s style definitely falls outside the current pop zeitgeist, but calling a band that’s able to play sold-out concerts almost 30 years after they formed “irrelevant” means you might suffer from the same developmental issues Cornell suggests Kanye’s sound crew suffers from.

  39. I think this is more of an issue that they are an older band, and just like my generation hated Hair Metal and didnt quite get The Smiths or The Cure, they arent getting or dont respect Soundgarden because of the time seperation between the scenes and what was considered college/alternative/indie then as compared to now.

    • Jonathan Espeche  |   Posted on Jan 29th, 2012 +3

      Spot on comment Robert Locke. Soundgarden were one of the best bands of the 90′s. These indie kids nowadays can’t handle heavy guitar riffs or aggressive vocals. If it doesn’t have synth and twee vocals forget about it.

      Kanye isn’t a ball hair on a band like Soundgarden as far as talent goes. He just has a ton of money to keep himself relevant in the press and has friends in high places like Jay-Z (also musically talentless).

      • There it is. Soundgarden rocked in all the right ways during their original run. Cornell’s vocal chords and songwriting ability burned out years ago now, but just like Billy Corgan, another 90s rock god who’s fallen into hackdom, that doesn’t mean their band’s were elite in their time.

        I wouldn’t say Kanye’s a no-talent or anything, he’s a great producer and sometimes a solid rapper, but he’s not as good as he and many here think, and frankly he just has little things about him (and I refer to as a rapper, not a public figure) that piss me off. And honestly, I was a bit dissapointed by the Watch the Throne production.

  40. Chris Cornhole is just hoping to get attention for his Soundfarten, a terrible band that features one of the worst singers available. If Kanye wastes half a bar dissing Christ Cornhole, maybe someone under 35 will learn about his terrible old band.

  41. Kanye vs. Chris… I got 20$ on Chris for a first round knock out.
    Hey Kanye 6’2, what ya gonna do??

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