Happy Birthday Yeezus: Relive Kanye’s Best Rants Over The Years
We love Kanye. The bad mood Kanye, the always rude Kanye, spaz in the news Kanye. After all, where would the world be, if Kanye didn’t rant about whatever it is that goes on in his mind?
Throughout his lengthy career in the music industry and the fashion business, Yeezy has made headlines for his strong convictions, which have led to some pretty epic rants. From setting the record straight on how former President Bush feels about black people, to letting everyone know that no one really has all the answers, but him, Kanye has given the culture memorable moment after memorable moment.
And today, the Chicago rapper is ready to blow the candles out on his 39th birthday cake. So we’re going to let him finish, but VIBE is giving you the list of Ye’s best rants of all time, in celebration of this milestone.
Happy Birthday Kanye!
1. 2016 Twitter Rant Against Wiz Khalifa
What’s sad is I love Wiz and I love all all my brothers and all people
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016
Memorable Quote: “You have distracted from my creative process.”
The world definitely wasn’t ready when Pablo went in with full force after Wiz Khalifa commented about Kanye playing hot potato with various album titles ahead of the release of his highly acclaimed album, The Life of Pablo. When the “Ultralight Beam” rapper initially settled on using “WAVES,” as the title, Wiz immediately took shots at Kanye. “There is no wave without him,” Wiz said. The “him” he was referencing was Max B, who is believed to be the originator of the term.
Yeezy doesn’t take kindly to criticism. After catching wind of the negative feedback, Kanye stepped out of his creative process to unleash a 33-tweet rant, coming for Wiz’s whole life — his ex-wife, Amber Rose and child included. “Oh ni**as must think I’m not petty cause I’m the best that’s ever made music,” he began. “No one I know has ever listened to one of your albums all the way through.”
Most of his rant has since been deleted and the two reportedly made up, but his words have burned a special place in our minds forever.
2. 2015MTV VMA’s Video Vanguard Speech
Memorable Quote: “I just wanted people to like me more. “But f**k that, bro!”
Kanye is willing to die for the art, or at least that’s what he said during his acceptance speech for the Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. The rapper took the stage to accept the honor, following frenemy, Taylor Swift’s introduction. Any normal honoree would thank the “academy” for the great award, shout out their mother, aunts, family, producers, etc. But normal, isn’t Kanye’s style. It’s hard to keep up with what was actually bothering the lyricist, but he began by picking at the network’s push for ratings. “You know how many times they announced Taylor was going to give me the award ’cause it got them more ratings?”
Then things took a different direction as he called out his fight for artistic integrity. “Listen to the kids, bro! I still don’t understand awards shows,’ he exclaimed. “I don’t understand how they get five people who worked their entire life … sold records, sold concert tickets to come stand on the carpet and for the first time in they life be judged on the chopping block and have the opportunity to be considered a loser! I don’t understand it, bruh!”
And since no one seems to be listening to the kids, or supporting creative ideas, Kanye made one declaration , followed by one of the most epic mic drops. “If my grandfather was here right now he would not let me back down! It’s about ideas, bro. New ideas, people with ideas. People who believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
3. 2013 “Sway In The Morning”
Memorable Quote: “You ain’t got the answers Sway!”
“How Sway?!” Many people were probably wondering how Sway Calloway got into this war against Kanye after seeing his 2013 interview in which, Ye blasted the radio personality. The quotable interview went viral after the “Jesus Walks” rapper attacked the radio host for trying to tell him about the music industry. “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 rapper went on to compare himself to many icons that came before him. “I am standing up and I’m telling you. I. Am. Warhol. I am the number one most impactful artist of our generation, in the flesh. I am Shakespeare, Walt Disney. Nike. Google. Now who’s gonna be the Medici Family and stand up and let me create more?” Needless to say, don’t come to Kanye thinking you have all the answers, because you don’t.
4. 2012 Atlantic City Benefit Concert
Memorable Quote: “I ain’t crazy, I’m just not satisfied.”
Contrary to popular belief, Kanye isn’t going mad. During his performance of his squad goals song, “Clique,” he dispelled any lasting rumors questioning his sanity, “They’ll try to tell you Kanye’s so crazy, so deranged. … I ain’t crazy, I’m just not satisfied,” he declared. Short, sweet, and to the point.
5. 2011 Big Chill Festival
Memorable Quote: “I’m f**king insane, like I’m Hitler.”
Kanye has compared himself to a lot of people, God, Andy Warhol, Walt Disney are included. But nobody expected him to connect to the Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler at the 2011 Big Chill Festival. Let him explain though. “I walk through the hotel and I walk down the street, and people look at me like I’m f**king insane, like I’m Hitler,” he said. Once again, let’s reiterate that Kanye is not crazy; he just has a lot on his mind. “You all know I’m a perfectionist. And you know the media tries to spin it like I’m a monster because what they like to do is catch the photograph of me screaming… and they realize, it’s to make a better product for ya’ll,” he added.
6. 2010 Matt Lauer Interview on Today
Memorable Quote: “I didn’t need you guys to prompt my emotions…I don’t need all the jazz.”
Poor Matt Lauer. A lot of artists and public figures have sat beside the TODAY host, but probably none as charismatic as Kanye. The rapper appeared on the Today Show, to speak with Laeur about his controversial comments about former President George Bush. The host fired the hard hitting questions, which Ye attempted to counter. But Kanye got heated after the producers began to run footage of a distraught Bush while he was speaking. “You don’t have to do the TV stuff with me; this is reality. I don’t need all the jazz,” he said. “Can we be quiet for a second?” And the set was hushed momentarily, until Lauer brought up another controversial moment in his career. When footage of Kanye crashing the 2009 VMA’s stage flashed on the screen, the rapper noticeably grew aggravated. “If you’re going to run this thing in the middle while I’m talking,” he said. The host cautioned him that it wouldn’t happen again. But I’m hearing it while I’m trying to talk,” he continued. “Please don’t let that happen again, ridiculous.”
7. 2009 Kanye vs. Taylor Swift
And now we’ve come to what may be one of Kanye’s most infamous OMG moments. At the 2009 MTV, Video Music Awards, Yeezus felt like he needed to speak for the Bey Hive on the “injustice” that came when the Best Female Video. Taylor Swift nabbed the win for her video, “You Belong To Me.” But if you asked the pissed off Kanye, she shouldn’t have won. As she began her acceptance speech, Ye joined the stage, taking the mic from the poster amid her thank you’s. “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!” T. Swift stood mortified beside the rapper; Beyonce was seen in the audience in total shock. But Ye, seemed unfazed. He shrugged it off, handed back the mic, and left the stage.
8. 2006 MTV EMA’s
Memorable Quote: “If I don’t win, the awards show loses credibility.”
This is what happens when Kanye doesn’t win an award that he believes is rightfully his. The world found out when he didn’t win at the 2006 European Music Awards for his video for “Touch The Sky.” He lost to Justice vs. Simeon’s “We Are Your Friends.” And not being able to contain himself, he crashed the group’s acceptance speech, obviously a little toasted off the “slippy sippy.” He cited that his video should have won because it combined icons like Pamela Anderson with fashion and amazing visuals. “It’s nothing against you. I’ve never seen your video,” he said. Still, Kanye felt he deserved the win and wasn’t going to lose quietly. The thing about this rant was it probably gave Yeezy the impression that running up on stage is a totally normal thing to do.
9. 2005 Hurricane Katrina
Memorable Quote: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
Many were thinking it, but Kanye said it. During NBC’s Benefit Concert for Hurricane Katrina Relief, which was held in support for the residents of New Orleans in distress after the monster storm, Kanye made some blunt remarks about the ways in which African Americans have been treated.
“I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they’re looting, and you know that it’s been five days, because most of the people are black,” he said. “And even for me to complain about it, I would be a hypocrite because I’ve tried to turn away from the TV, because it’s too hard to watch. We already realize a lot of people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way, and they have given them permission to go down and shoot us.”
Mike Myers, who stood beside the rapper tried to get the PSA back on track by asking viewers to donate to efforts helping the New Orleans residents, but he was unsuccessful. “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” he said, looking straight into the camera. Mike Myers awkwardly stood there baffled. That’s sure a moment he will never forget.