OPINION: On Kanye, Kimmel, and Slate

Kanye-YeezusNormally when two of our pals fall out, we run and grab some popcorn and watch from a distance. Of course, neither Kanye West nor Jimmy Kimmel care about PressPLAY (as far as we’re aware) so we’re going to take that as full licence to stick our oar in. Although we probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for this ridiculous Slate article. While we don’t need to bore you on why/how the initial West vs Kimmel spat happened (up sum: it’s the height of innocuous), we find it unbearably amusing that a) Yeezy has reacted in this way, and b) that anyone has actually chosen to defend him.

There’s something heartwarming in the fact that it’s not just us Brits that pity the conceited. Kanye’s self-aggrandising statements are laughable at best, purely because we have here a man who is so convinced of his genius that he apparently needs not the world’s validation to sate himself… and yet hastens to take offence at any lampooning, and is even quicker to retweet comments (and articles) that work in his favour. What Kanye should take heart in is the fact that he’s relevant enough to be satirised; after all, he’s in good company. From Prince to Madonna, any artist who has taken themselves so deeply seriously has ended up becoming a bit of a punchline. In essence he’s probably made life more difficult for himself – a challenge he’ll no doubt have the self-belief  to conquer – as every future release, ‘product’ and, of course, failure will be held up to this interview and these quotes. There’ll be more piss-taking. There’ll be more memes. This will probably be regretted as much as the Taylor Swift incident, which people STILL talk about (much to his chagrin).

What’s more amusing than Kimmel’s sketch is the material he tackled. We wonder how Kanye would react if Kimmel went for the squeaky-clean Kris Jenner interview instead; wildly different to the Zane Lowe one, it’s still a calculated move from someone who – if not suffering from severe split personality – is knowingly engaging in the media circus and promoting exactly the agenda he wants at the right platform. If this was his the first honest bit of media in ages, what was Kris? A dose of hypocrisy, the very ‘manipulative media motherfucker’ charge he aimed at Kimmel? Just a thought.

The Slate article doesn’t even warrant a rebuttal, but there are a few hilarious points to counter: Kimmel would have done this if Kanye was a rapper or a rocker. A megalomaniac is a universal target and for a comedian, however broad or subjective their comedy, people like West are a goldmine irrespective of genre.

A shout to Kanye though: we’re not trying to tear down creatives. We admire your self-confidence. We thought Yeezus was ace. And we feel sorry for you being hounded by TMZ paparazzi at 4am outside your house. But as for whether you’re a life-changing genius or the next Steve Jobs? That’s for us to decide. The more you tom-tom your achievements, the less we’re inclined to believe or respect them. And remember, the day you’re not being made fun of is the day you should probably worry; if your Truman Show boat really has hit the edge, it means you’re ready for people to stop watching. And that, dear Kanye, is something you’ve vehemently convinced us to the contrary.

Now someone give Zane Lowe a raise while we grab Dave Chapelle to get a REAL parody going on.