On October 9th, just two days ago, I turned 22 years old. It was great, filled with cake baked by friends and whiskey-gingers from their wallets. I am blessed.
But beyond the pageantry that comes with birthdays on the earthly plane of existence, I like to think that God was smiling on me that day, because he gave me the gift of a lifetime. After all my writings/musings over the Kanye-Kimmel debacle, Yeezy himself would be making an appearance on JKL! to make amends with and/or get mad real with the aforementioned late night host.
In all seriousness, I cannot think of a better birthday gift.
Both parties involved killed it. The interview was broken down into six segments for YouTube purposes, which I will list here with my own notes bullet-pointed for your convenience as well as some commentary on the segment as a whole. I give the people what they want.
- Props to Kimmel for mentioning all 21 of Kanye’s Grammy’s.
- I always find it fascinating to see Kanye both dressed and acting casually. If I ever (God willing) get to meet Mr. West in person, this is the Yeezy I want to talk to.
- Jimmy, you gotta know that Kanye rocks a grill now. It has been happening for a while.
- Kanye West does not do publicity stunts. Period. This is the perfect set up for what is soon to come, a nice taste of the “Structured Kanye Rant” that we have ahead of us.
Kimmel’s semi-apology at the top of the interview is very genuine. The most important aspect of it was his admission that he did not see the Kanye’s BBC interview in its entirety. Kanye’s response of “Yeah that’s what I thought.” is all sorts of perfect. The reason that the BBC interview made headlines in the first place was because certain corners of the Internet blew up with blogs taking Kanye’s quotes out of context, which made him sound like a mad man. A writer at Kimmel probably saw one of these articles, pitched the idea, and the show ran with it, because that is how I assume late-night television production works.
After showing a small portion of the skit in question, Kimmel admits that his reason for doing the bit was his enjoyment of seeing kids curse. This gets Kanye to chuckle.
This is a big deal. Kimmel’s statement undercuts the racial implications that some were insinuating about the bit, and Kanye’s laughter shows an approval of his explanation.
We are off to a strong start.
- I would pay $1,000 for a copy of the phone call that took place between Yeezy and Kimmel.
- I love how easy it is to see Kanye’s mind moving. His eyes visibly light up when he finds the point he wants to make.
- Kimmel makes a great call in casually slipping in how beautiful Kanye’s wife is. I was worried that the jokes Kimmel made about her would arise on air. Things could’ve gotten messy.
- Thank God the crowd didn’t laugh at “I don’t know if you know this – a lot of people think you’re a jerk.”
- Oh man, that photo of Kanye and Kimmel’s dad.
The most important part of this segment is Kanye’s break down of his history with Kimmel and his problems with the media. Kanye knew Kimmel, and he had the impression that Kimmel was interested in presenting a different side of him to America. Clearly, Kanye only heard about the skit when headlines came out the next day reading something along the lines of “Kimmel Mocks Kanye’s BBC Interview.” This, reasonably frustrates Kanye, as he was under the impression that Kimmel desired to reveal more of his personality, as opposed to further the caricature that many media sources have already made him out to be. Thus, Kanye went straight to the source, in this case Jimmy Kimmel, and used Twitter to show is displeasure.
- Kanye West is a creative genius. If you don’t believe that, just go home and reevaluate everything in your life.
- Kanye does not care about cameras.
- I love Kanye pointing out how Kimmel’s use of “rap beef” is problematic.
- Props to Kimmel for helping Kanye frame his “genius” comment correctly for his audience.
- False humility actually does come with your first ticket to LA as soon as you get off the plane.
- Regardless of your feelings on her, Kim Kardashian should totally have a star on the Walk of Fame. Anyone who is regarding a star on the Walk of Fame as sacred ground is insane.
This segment is everything.
Kanye is not running for office. He is here to make good music. He does not want to be seen as “just a celebrity.”
“I’m not running for office, I’m just here to make good music, and make people feel good….When I did that [Zane Lowe] interview, I was really vocal about what I’ve been going through in the past 10 years, being classified as ‘just a celebrity.’
Because for me, I’m a creative genius and there’s no other way to word it. I know you’re not supposed to say that about yourself, I say things the wrong way a lot of times but my intention is always positive…I want to help the world. I want to make peoples’ lives easier.”
This is real. He goes on to mention his first pair of Gucci slippers, which is a quote that websites will take out of context again with “look how crazy he is!” headlines. In reality, it’s Kanye’s way of showing that quality has always been important to him, and that he always aims to create, no matter what he is creating, with that sense of quality in mind.
Kanye mentions his hitting of a “glass ceiling” which is more easy ammo for people who enjoy taking shots at Kanye, but he has a point, one that he expressed in detail in the Zane interview. Kanye does not want to be pigeonholed as “just a rapper” because he knows he is capable of doing great in so much else. He mentions the art of being a producer, and he believes that once you can produce, you can produce anything, so why should he stop at music? Further, with all of the high quality products he has already produced, why would the world as a whole want to discourage him from going into other fields? It doesn’t make sense to Kanye and it doesn’t make sense to me. We should collectively want more people like Kanye involved in multiple facets of culture.
- This Groban skit is way funnier than the one that started the beef in the first place:
- Fur pillows are hard to actually sleep on.
- Kanye does actually make awesome decisions in bike stores.
- Black is the new black.
- Kimmel admitting that the little kid skit was not that funny is important.
In this segment, Kanye has a genuine smile on his face, and is completely open. He gets a big laugh with his response to his reasoning behind the Spongebob meme (“It’s the first thing that came to my mind”) and if he was sending his tweets from the toilet (“Yeah, that’s where I think of the best shit”).
Then he stuns with this take down of media:
“When I was writing them, there was a frustration that I was getting out but also, they were really funny to me…and I just thought it was so amazing that I was saying this in real time, in real life, because in my position, you’re not supposed to say anything…
I feel like media does everything they can to break creatives, to break artists, to break people’s spirits. And I feel like I do everything I can to break media…”
This is the real answer as to why Kanye went on a Twitter rant. He wants to break media. He wants to own media. It’s the same logic behind using “HURRY UP WITH MY DAMN CROISSANTS” as a lyric in a song called “I Am A God.” He knows that he can do something and makes millions of people react to it, and he finds that fascinating (as any human being should). Beyond this, he loves the fact that because he isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind he can let loose on anything at any time and make news. So many people with that large an audience curb their character in order to “play the game,” and Kanye is over here saying, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST PLAY THIS GAME INSTEAD? IT’S WAY MORE FUN.”
- Come on Kimmel, you’re better than this leather jogging pants bit.
- Kanye’s ability to name drop the fashion world is fascinating.
- KANYE KNOWS THE STEVE HARVEY EXTRA BUTTONS JOKE ❤
- “All we want to do is make awesome stuff.”
Two main points in this segment.
First, Kanye’s experience with fashion and the idea of “production.” Kanye explains his apparent fixation on leather jogging pants – he proposed the idea six years ago and was shut out by fashionistas, only to see people making millions off them years later. He also breaks down the production behind the Air Yeezys. Essentially, he just made sure they were dope. And he makes a point to say that he could start slapping his name on a line of t-shirts, but he wouldn’t because he wants quality in production. Unfortunately, no real designers will work with him.
Kanye also talks about classism, which I want to leave here and just let speak for itself:
“So when I do an interview in W Magazine, and they take all these ‘classist’ shots at me…it’s not about racism anymore, it’s classism. Paula Deen, she was old school. We don’t do it like that anymore, we’re classists…So classism is what they try to do, like you’re a rapper and your girl is on a reality show so you’re not up here with us. We’re old money. (Kimmel: It’s snobbery) It’s snobbery and I’m not into all that sn-obbery, like seriously. Because we have the loudest voice. We have the loudest communication. And all we want to do is make awesome stuff.”
It is a bummer that they cut the clip here, because the next segment starts right at this cutoff point, and is my favorite part of the entire interview.
This all speaks for itself. This is more important than anything else. This is the reason I love Kanye West. If you criticized Kanye for calling his Zane interview “the first piece of honest media in years,” you were wrong and this is why. Other celebrities don’t lay it all out like this.
Kanye references Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell with his mention of dedicating “10,000 hours to this.” He talks about his desire to continue following his dreams as opposed to saying that his career so far is “a dream come true.” He takes down the societal rules that he believes are made up to control people with low self-esteem. He recognizes that the only true luxury is time with the ones you love.
Kimmel does a great job throughout, letting Kanye go and nodding appropriately.
This is everything I could have wanted and more.
Thank you Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel for the best birthday present ever.