Fame has become a truly fickle thing. There is no telling just how many ways are there of climbing the ladder to stardom and success. While being a celebrity once used to mean having something to offer to the world (albeit in exchange for cheddar and Twitter stalkers), the spotlight can now fall on anyone who has the means of summoning it towards them. Possibly the easiest way to earn the media’s attention these days is through controversy. We have leaked photos and videos of who knows what, social media bashing among celebrities, shocking music videos and lyrics, unpopular opinions and so on. There are some people who just have it all: like Kanye West. Kanye is many things: by all means, he’s truly an artist, since it’s difficult to deny the mastery behind his music. As of late, he’s also a fashion designer, but one thing has been a constant ever since he first wowed the world at the 2009 VMA’s: his tendency to be the center of controversies. Along with the launch of his newest album, Life Of Pablo, and his latest fashion collection, Yeezy Season 3, came many more awe inducing moments, which we’ve thrown along with the rest in a list of 6 Times When Kanye West Shocked The World.
1. The 2009 VMA’s
First, let’s contour Kanye’s background by getting out of the way some of the most controversial moments from the past. By far the most talked about one is the time when Kanye invited himself on the stage next to Taylor Swift, who had just won an award for Video Of The Year and was in the middle of her acceptance speech. Enraged that she had won over Beyonce’s Single Ladies, Kanye took a microphone and spurted out the iconic line, “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!” Needless to say, many people were shocked, with Taylor being at the top of the list.
2. Squid Brains
One of the biggest things that make Kanye West so controversial is his giant ego. Some may love him for it, but most people at least raise a question mark towards it. The best exhibit of this was during the Bonnaroo festival, when Kanye arrived on stage two hours late, and faced an angered crown that united in a sung chant of, “Kanye sucks!” The rapper really didn’t take this well, and went on an extensive rant where he put the blame on the concert’s organizers in a very explicit way. Long story short, he basically claimed that it was their fault for not properly appreciating his mastery, and for being unable to keep up with his pace and properly put on a show. He grandly ended his rant by calling them “squid brains.” Interesting choice of words, I guess?
Let it be a lesson for all, that inviting Kanye West to a live broadcast and expecting him to behave according to a teleprompter is very likely to go wrong. When invited to a TV fundraiser days after hurricane Katrina ravaged the country, Kanye decided to ditch his script, instead entering a political rant regarding how the black victims were being treated, making the very much controversial claim, “Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Both his co-presenter, Mike Myers, and (I assume) the producers were flabbergasted, and quickly cut the emission. Even though they left this part out during the rerun, the harm had already been done. However, one thing that really wasn’t harmed is the number of sales of Kanye’s latest album at the time, Late Registration.
4. Taylor Swift Lyrics
It’s time for us to return to the present day, respectively the album launch from Madison Square Garden from only days ago. During the listen of his new album, Life Of Pablo, attending guests heard the song Famous, which features some, ahem… questionable lyrics that talk about Taylor Swift. Long story short, he proudly claims that the VMA’s incident is what made her famous. It seems like this kind of thing was the last straw for many celebrities, who quickly went to jump in Taylor’s defense, including her brother, Austin. He posted a video of himself on Instagram, where he drops a pair of Yeezy Boost trainers into a bin.
5. Modeling Rules
If you’re thinking that modeling for Kanye West is a glamorous act, then think again. A Snapchat photo featuring the list of strict rules his models have to follow has been made public, and it includes regulations so ridiculous, that you have to wonder why didn’t he simply use dummy mannequins instead. Some of the things that are forbidden to the models include: smiling, dancing, singing, fast movements, slow movements, eye contact, moving at the same time, acting cool and… the list is long and carries on with the same strange regulations.
6. Twitter Beef
Ever since West joined Twitter in 2010, he’s been raising chaos in his way. Recently, he got into a fight with fellow rapper Wiz Khalifa, over some lyrics that Kanye interpreted as referencing his wife, Kim Kardashian. For several hours straight, Kanye exploded everyone’s Twitter notifications by going on a tweeting rampage that threw barrages of passive aggressive comments towards Khalifa. He eventually apologized for his misunderstanding, but quickly returned to his old ways by posting the very negatively received tweet, “BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!!” There was no context behind that, but many people tie it with the rest of the controversial things, as a means of boosting album sales.
Some people love him, some people hate him. Those who love him, though, definitely don’t do it because of his radiant and benevolent personality. He did many questionable things, assumed to be solely for attention and album sales, but it seems that recently he’s overstepped some boundaries, and lashing from fellow celebrities and fans is currently being endlessly fired at him. What’s worse, many say that West is buried neck deep in millions of dollars worth of debt, and that he is only doing everything he can to cover the gaps. Whichever it is, these 6 Times When Kanye West Shocked The World are here to stay with him forever. I guess all we can do is hope that he knows what he’s doing.