(WTNH) Almost six-years after Kanye West crashed an awards stage to share his thoughts on who really deserved to win a top honor, he’s in the news after Sunday night’s Grammy Awards broadcast for basically doing the same thing. This time it was Beck, not Taylor Swift who got “Kanye-d,” and for a bit it seemed like West was doing it as a self-mocking gag. Until it didn’t.
Kanye didn’t go as far as he did with Taylor Swift, who was actually making her acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the 2009 VMA’s when he cut her off, making “I’ma let you finish” a T-shirt-ready phrase that resonates to this day. West insisted Beyoncé was the one who deserved the award. Swift, a teenager at the time, was clearly taken aback but kept it together.
Fast-forward to last night’s Grammys. As Beck was announced as surprise winner of the album of the year award — beating out Beyoncé, among others — here came Kanye again. This time he arrived on stage before Beck, who was clearly stunned about winning, had begun his acceptance speech, and it looked for all the world like West was making fun of his infamous VMA moment, mock grasping at the award before returning to his seat.
Many viewers got the little “in” joke. It was kind of clever, showed West had maybe developed a sense of humor about himself. You know, personal growth and all that.
Well, not so much. Backstage after the show, he said this, not jokingly, to the E! network: “I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more. And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé.”
“Because when you keep on diminishing art….you’re disrespectful to inspiration” (emphasis added).
Beck responded as gracefully as someone in this situation possibly could, saying “I still love him (West) and think he’s genius. I aspire to do what he does.”
Shortly after his Swift diss at the 2009 VMA’s, it was announced West was going to rehab for alcohol addiction. He’d been photographed on the red carpet before the show, drinking cognac straight out of the bottle. Maybe an alcohol problem explained what he did then, or maybe it was a PR stunt. After last night, when he made comments even more deeply insulting to another “real” artist who many fans believe also deserves the genius label, I’m inclined to believe the latter.