Kanye West may or may not have debuted new material featuring the collaboration of Skrillex last night at a surprise show in conjunction adult swim, but nobody seems to care yet. The focal point of the buzz surrounding the impromptu appearance is his mid-concert rant. Most people will make immediate comparisons to his award show rants, like, for instance, his drunken onstage interruption of Taylor Swift.
However, this particular monologue is more like his musical ouvre than his public outbursts. Kanye takes his time on the mic, over music like he was in a studio doing an intro. He stops his rant to change the background melody: “Take the piano down an octave and take out the ‘haaaaah,’” he tells someone. He uses the word “Motherfucker” eleven times.
Digging deeper, what is most evocative of his actual music in this spoken snippet of his performance is the raw ethos that, paradoxically, Kanye spends his lifeblood carefully cooking up.
“I ain't here to apologize to no (one), man,” Yeezy pleads. “It ain't about me humanizing myself. At what point did I become un-human where I had to turn myself back? Or maybe I was demonized.”
He is, once again, showing us the contradiction that is fully arrogant yet somehow shamed, with a macabre element that could have been ripped straight from his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
However, this sort of confession is decidedly tinged with verbal diarrhea. Kanye made what could be called an anti-shout to NBC’s Saturday Night Live: “Somebody said 'do, like, a skit [on SNL] about the paparazzi and ... like humanize yourself?' … Don't ask nothing else of me. .... nah I ain't doing no motherfucking SNL skits ... this my ... life. This ain't no motherfucking joke. That's it," he said.
Needless to say, Kanye may have been a bit sudden, even self-righteous to scoff at the prospect of lampooning himself on SNL, especially considering his facetious appearance last year in a Nike commercial. In addition, as he himself admits, it has very little to do with music.
Perhaps Kanye is a bit childish and tactless with his emotions. But this is what makes him who he is to us. The next time I see Kanye in concert, I hope he’s angrier than he was in this one. The occasional ham-fisted diatribe is part of the musical experience.