Are Kanye’s Meltdowns Overshadowing His Music?


Pity Kanye West.

With an impressive array of awards and a sizable bank account the famously irascible rapper can’t seem to stop providing constant grist for journalists and culture-watchers with his volatile behavior.

Stepping in a metaphorical pile of dung every time he opens his mouth must be utterly exhausting work. Where does he find the time to actually make music?

West’s knack for bad press has the dual effect of cementing a reputation for unpredictability, and confirming suspicions that he might be the love child of Michael Jackson and Sybil. The rapper recently lit up the Internet yet again, when he took to the airwaves yesterday to respond to former president George W. Bush’s recent criticism of his infamous rant during a telethon for Hurricane Katrina victims.

After a promising start, West’s appearance on NBC’s flagship Today Show quickly devolved into one of the most ill-advised celebrity interviews since Whitney Houston’s unfortunate 2002 sit-down with Diane Sawyer (or perhaps a better example is the pop diva’s expletive-laced tirade to then-radio host Wendy Williams).

In meandering responses to Matt Lauer’s probing, West acknowledged that he spoke too rashly when he accused the former president of not caring about blacks. But the hip-hop impresario appeared prickly at times, and at one point asked the off-camera crew to be quiet. The interview officially hit the skids when producers displayed a video clip of him — common practice in broadcast media — interrupting singer Taylor Swift at the MTV Awards while asking him about the incident. Afterward, West took to every celebrity’s favorite venting vehicle Twitter to carp that Lauer tried to “force my answers. It was very brutal and I came there with only positive intent.”