Just one week after celebrating his wedding to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West is celebrating again. Kanye turns 37 today, and it’s almost hard to remember the music and social media landscape before he came along.
If there’s one thing that’s simply undeniable, it’s that Kanye’s biggest fan is Kanye himself, so let’s take a look at some of his most outrageous moments from perhaps the most egotistical man in the entertainment industry.
At the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009, Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video to point out (not incorrectly) that Beyoncé had been robbed. As a result, Taylor became a hero to teenage girls everywhere and became a bigger star as a result. Thanks Kanye!
Kanye’s interruptions date back even further than that, though. A few years earlier, Kanye interrupted an acceptance speech by electronica duo J.U.S.T.I.C.E. at the MTV Europe Music Awards, saying “if I don’t win, the award show loses credibility… Nothing against [the winner], I’ve never seen your video but…hell no!”
During a fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina relief, Kanye decided to call out George W. Bush’s admittedly lackluster response to the plight of the victims. By saying that “George Bush does not care about black people,” Kanye gave Bush the perfect soundbite to use as the self-proclaimed “worst moment of his Presidency”–meaning that Kanye considers himself a bigger threat than the largest terrorist attack to ever occur on American soil . Thanks again, Kanye!
In an interview with The New York Times last year, Kanye explained his philosophy on himself succinctly by saying “It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is.”
In the same interview, he also compared himself to many celebrities…
Michael Jordan: “You know, if Michael Jordan can scream at the refs, me as Kanye West, as the Michael Jordan of music, can go and say, ‘This is wrong.'”
Michael Jackson: “I knew when I wrote the line ‘light-skinned friend look like Michael Jackson’ [from the song ‘Slow Jamz’] I was going to be a big star. At the time, they used to have the Virgin music [stores], and I would go there and just go up the escalator and say to myself, ‘I’m soaking in these last moments of anonymity.'”
Steve Jobs: “I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump.”
Also last year, W Magazine queried him about his drug of choice, to which he responded, “My ego is my drug. My drug is, ‘I’m better than all you other motherf*ckers. Kiss my ass!’” In regard to his message, he also added “Now, I just do exactly what I want, whenever I want, how the fuck I want. ‘Fuck you’ is my message.”
Kanye took to BBC1 Radio to proclaim his superiority as well. “We culture. Rap is the new rock ‘n’ roll. We the rock stars. … We the new rock stars, and I’m the biggest of all of them. I’m the No. 1 rock star on the planet.”
Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, he further stroked his ego by stating, “I was put in a classification of ‘just’ a celebrity, but for me, I’m a creative genius, and there’s is no other way to word it. I know you’re not supposed to say that about yourself.” See, he’s learning.
Kanye’s most humble moment of all may have been a blog post he made following a 2009 episode of South Park titled “Fishsticks”…
South Park murdered me last night and it’s pretty funny. It hurts my feelings but what can you expect from South Park! I actually have been working on my ego though. Having the crazy ego is played out at this point in my life and career. I use to use it to build up my esteem when nobody believed in me. Now that people do believe and support my music and products the best response is thank you instead of ‘I told you so!!!’ It’s cool to talk shit when you’re rapping but not in real life. When you meet Lil’ Wayne in person he’s the nicest guy, for example. I just wanna be a doper person which starts with me not always telling people how dope I think I am. I need to just get past myself. Drop the bravado and just make dope product. Everything is not that serious. As long as people think I act like a bitch this type of shit will happen to me. I got a long road ahead of me to make people believe I’m not actually a huge douche but I’m up for the challenge. I’m sure the writers at South Park are really nice people in real life. Thanks for taking the time to draw my crew. That was pretty funny also!! I’m sure there’s grammatical errors in this…That’s how you know it’s me!
Which was followed by Jimmy Kimmel groveling for forgiveness from Kanye a few years later. And so we’d say, “Kanye, never stop being Kanye”–but with an ego like his, that doesn’t seem to ever be likely.