Poor Kanye. No, really. Poor Kanye. Yesterday, Kanye West went on a Twitter rant about his appearance with Matt Lauer on The Today Show and how he didn’t appreciate the way he was treated.
Then, the interview hit the Web today. Obviously, the Today Show just wanted Kanye on there to react to Bush's statements. It’d be an understatement to say Ye can’t catch a break when it comes to the media. Much of it he brings on himself with his self-analytical ego. But that hardly matters. During his awkward exchange with Matt Lauer, Ye apologized for letting his emotions get the best of him when he told the world during a televised telethon that “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people," which wasn’t that big of a deal, especially in the Black community. A lot of people felt like Ye and commended him for having the balls to even say something. What was a serious and dire moment turned into a hilarious pop culture moment that’s been parodied, referenced and laughed at and we appreciated Kanye for it. Beyond that, though, maybe we didn’t think about how he and Bush have had to deal with the ridicule.
During his own Today Show interview prior to Kanye's, Bush said he resented being called a racist and called it the most "disgusting" moment in his presidency. Which was silly. But clearly, Kanye understands what he did (not that anyone other than Bush was looking for an apology). West could probably benefit from thinking more than reacting. But he says:
“As far as his explanation, I completely agree with it and I empathize. And I felt like that the entire time that I was being handled as a hero and everyone said, 'Yo, I’m so happy you said that! And I didn’t like you before but now I like you cause you said this.' And, you know, in your heart as a person that in a moment of emotion to peg someone as a racist is not… it’s just not right.”
But when Lauer plays the clip of Bush’s previous appearance on The Today Show to promote his memoir, Decision Points, things turn super awkward. Matt says: “Just look at him. I mean, this is the most emotional he got during my entire three-and-a-half-hour interview with him…”
Kanye’s facial reaction: "Really?"
And then Ye says: “I didn’t need you guys to show me the tape in order to spark my emotions."
That, we can agree with. It’s the chicken and egg debate. Kanye often gets spoken to as if he’s a 5-year-old: “Do you understand what you just did, Kanye?” But is he acting like child because that’s how he is or are we treating him like one?
We all have moments of frustration when we reduce things to the simplest terms. Kanye tends to do this more often than not in the public eye and acts on his instincts, i.e. “Beyonce is better than Taylor Swift. Let me say something!” or “Bush sounds like a racist. He doesn’t care about Black people. Let me say something!” Matt later on says the show often plays background video while guests are speaking but I’m not sure if they ask the person to look at the video so they can get a better response. Maybe Kanye just needs another break.