The 7 Greatest Kanye West Rants Of All Time
By SOPHIE SCHILLACI
July 07, 2014
Kanye West grabbed headlines once again this weekend for a lengthy rant amid his performance at the London Wireless Fest, where he waxed poetic about consumerism, fame and the fashion industry – you know, his go-to topics these days.
The interruption of his set drew boos (and a few cheers) from the audience. But let's be honest, concertgoers: rants are nothing new for Yeezy. His latest stunt comes just three weeks after he was booed stateside at Bonnaroo and almost a decade after we first learned of his penchant for going off script (more on that later). If you’re going to a Kanye show -- or any event where West will be present, for that matter -- you should expect more than just music.
West's latest rant can be seen in full below, while ET has compiled an abbreviated version in the player above. Read on for a walk down memory lane as we recount a sampling of West's most memorable rants.
2005: Jaws dropped from coast to coast when West went off script during a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina live on NBC. Appearing alongside Mike Myers, West declared "George Bush doesn’t care about black people," while producers quickly cut away. He later apologized for his remark.
2006: When West's "Touch the Sky" was bested by Justice and Simian's "We Are Your Friends" at the MTV Europe Music Awards, West crashed the stage to argue that he should have been the winner. He issued a mea culpa days later and even spoofed the incident during an appearance on Saturday Night Live.
2009: Perhaps West's most famous rant came at the MTV Video Music Awards when Taylor Swift was earned the Best Female Video Moonman for "You Belong With Me." West grabbed the mic from her and professed that Beyonce's "Single Ladies" was "one of the best videos of all time." He may have had a point – Queen Bey did win Best Video of the Year that night and called Swift back up to the stage to finish her acceptance. For what it's worth, Swift has said that West called her personally to apologize.
2010: West became visibly agitated during an interview with Matt Lauer on Today, when he was asked what he would say to President Bush if he had the chance to apologize for his 2005 comments. West became irritated when Lauer asked him to look at a video clip of Bush's expression when discussing the incident (Bush called West's comments "one of the most disgusting moments" of his presidency) West chastised producers for trying to "prompt [his] emotions" and even looked off camera to ask people on set "can we be quiet for a second?" Later, West took to Twitter to bemoan that Lauer "tried to force my answers. It was very brutal and I came there with positive intent." He added: "Everything sounds like noise! I don’t trust anyone!"
2012: While performing a set of three shows in Atlantic City, West diverged from his performance of "Clique" to slam the media, the fashion industry and the Grammys. "I ain't crazy, I’m just not satisfied," West told the audience. The next night, he stopped the music briefly to shout-out girlfriend Kim Kardashian, calling her "my baby mama." The happy interruption served as the couple's pregnancy announcement.
2013: In an interview with Sway Calloway on SiriusXM's "Sway In The Morning" show, West lambasted the host. In response to a question about empowering himself in the face of classism and racism, West went off: "How, Sway!? You ain't got the answers, Sway! I been doing this more than you! You ain’t been doing the education! You don’t have the answers, though, because you tryna give me advice about something… You ain't spend $13 million a year tryna empower yourself." The tirade was turned into an auto-tuned viral sensation.
2014: Anticipation was definitely high for West's return to Bonnaroo after a 2008 debacle that found him going on stage at 4:30 am – several hours later than scheduled – and trashing festival organizers as "idiots." While his 2014 appearance was ruled an overall success, his trademark rant stole the show. "Last time before I got here they had 'f**k Kanye' on the port-a-potties. This time we're going to piss on them," he said, according to Billboard. "Where the press at? F**k the press!" he added.
For good measure, let's also address one of West's most positive appearances.
While accepting the Grammy award for Best Rap Album in 2005 for College Dropout, West delivered a heartfelt and emotional speech about a near fatal car accident he had been in years earlier. "Nothing in life is promised except death," he said. "If you have the opportunity to play this game of life, you need to appreciate every moment. A lot of people don’t appreciate their moment until it's passed."
What do you think about West's rant habit -- genius performance art, or just obnoxious?