Chances are you saw this, but just in case you didn't or want to relive the exact moment when Kanye West became the most despicable man on earth, here it is:
(And just in case it gets deleted from DailyMotion -- I didn't even fuck with fascist YouTube -- you can download the file.)
I've also taken the liberty of transcribing the speech, just because his words become infinitely more asinine in print:
“It definitely feels good to be home, here at the Grammys. You know, we snuck in about four years ago, four or five years ago, and now we basically made this our new place of residence. And um. When working on a hip-hop album in a state, you know, where the music game they say, like, you know, you can’t sell records, so, a lot of people said hip-hop was dead, not just Nas, but you know a lotta people just said the art form wasn’t poppin’ like that anymore. You know, I wanted to, I wanted to cross the genres and show people, you know, how we could still express ourselves with something fresh and new and that’s what hip-hop has always been about. You know, comin’ out with new sounds and stuff, so. I always tell Common, like man you gotta time the albums out better, you know, you can’t drop ‘em the same year as me, man. You gotta, this is, this is my award. (Music comes on) Um, I wanna...and for Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse...come on, you gonna play music on me? For Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse, if I don’t get to get up here for Album of the Year, you deserve it just as much as me. I deserve it, too. And, just to say somethin’ about my mother, I appreciate all the support, I appreciate all the prayers, it would be in good taste to stop the music then. Um, I appreciate (the audience full of assholes cheers), I appreciate everything and I know you really proud of me right now and I know you wouldn’t want me to stop and you want me to be the No. 1 artist in the world. And Mama, all I’mma do is keep makin’ you proud. We run this.”
Look, I'm no fan of this guy. I think he is, at best, overrated and under-clever. If he stopped running his mouth this second, it'd be too soon. Still, when his mom died three months ago, I felt for him. Just on a human level, that sucks for someone who was as openly close to his mother as Kanye was. However, when he performed "Hey Mama" earlier in the Grammy Awards ceremony last night, I thought it was pretty cheap. He's mourned her publicly since she died and it seems that unless he's going to add something new to his discourse, that performance pushed his grief over into the territory of shtick. Still, it's nothing I'd bitch about too loudly. Kanye West thinks his mother's death is the most important recent current event, and given the circumstances, his egocentrism is, for once, understandable. His medium is, after all, pop music: big, repetitive gestures are a major avenue of self-expression.
But his acceptance speech just destroyed everything and confirmed to me that it is all shtick: he was probably going to say something about his mother again, but the way in which he did it -- to get them to stop playing music that he'd already bitched about -- seemed like he was just playing the dead-mother card. After bragging ineloquently for a minute straight about how wonderful he is (oooh, how genius: crossing genres! No one's ever done that before, except, you know, everyone who made any impact on hip-hop since its conception some 30 years ago!), after all that, he had the nerve to be shocked that people didn't care what he was talking about? Put it on an album, Kanye! (You know he will anyway.) And then for him to mention his mother and say, "it would be in good taste to stop the music"...what, I wonder, does Kanye West know about good taste? He just said that he deserved the Album of the Year award! He just said that Common shouldn't release an album in the same year as him! He was wearing a fucking Croakie for god's sake! Good taste had no place on that stage!
Mostly, it just seemed like a cheap way to invoke his mother's memory. I have no emotional connection to the woman, and I thought it was a disservice. Shame on him.
But at least all the gratuitous mommying gave the cameras an opportunity to point to Ne-Yo's mom, blog favorite Miss Lorainne:
Honestly, that kind of makes everything worth it.
After the jump, some more bitching. Duh.
I almost love how defiantly out-of-touch the Grammys were this year. In the past, the ceremony has acted like a dad in skinny jeans: desperately desperate and uncomfortable, at once. Not so this year: there were dueling pianos twinkling Gershwin and some passably cute guy playing jazz. There was Jerry Lee Lewis and John Fogerty and Little Richard. There was Tina Turner, whose mannerisms seemed to belong more to a giant felt version of Tina Turner who'd greet confused kids at the mall alongside giant felt versions of Dora the Explorer and Barney.
There was a purposeless Beatles tribute. By now, isn't celebrating the Beatles like extolling the virtues of water or singing from the mountains how wonderful oxygen is or complaining about how boring the Grammys were (OMG, they were sooooooooooo fucking boring that by the time will.i.am came on stage all spangly and incoherently and medleyly, I thought extended inactivity had led my brain to hallucinate it)? Like, we know already! And I'm not sure how shit like this...
...as, uh, interesting as it is to look at, does anything to comment on the Beatles' legacy. We know, we know, we know.
I love that something as irrelevant as an album of Joni Mitchell covers by Herbie Hancock won Album of the Year! The Grammys just do not give a fuck! You know who else doesn't give a fuck?
ReRe. This woman constantly walks around like a parade float from the '50s. Why? BECAUSE SHE CAN. Call it fuckless chic.
And speaking of chic, I know people found Carrie Underwood to be a mess, but I thought her trashy Barbarella thing was so fucking hot.
Like, duh, of course she had ridiculous hair. She's in country music! Embrace, embrace, embrace.
And speaking of embrace every time I see Beyoncé looking extra thick, I just want to wrap my arms around her tree trunks.
For one of the biggest stars in the world to not just have but show off thighs like that is a really positive thing for people who base their body image off of what they see on TV. I know that sounds ridiculous, but whatever. Our world is ridiculous. And don't get me wrong: I know that Beyoncé's figure is still an unattainable ideal for so many, but at least she gives girls more hope than someone who's stick thin. Now, the hope might be for a dinner tonight consisting of ribs, but whatever: hope is hope.
And speaking of stars, why the hell did Alicia Keys get to open the show, while performing with Frank Sinatra and then, later on, get to perform all over again?
She needs to change her name to Alicia Keysus, because for real, as far as America's concerned, she's Christ on a piano bench.
Before they announced Cher's name and the shot of her was still long, I totally thought she was Chaka Khan.
And then, once closer, I wished that she was Chaka Khan.
You know, some people (like Tyra or Beyoncé) wear wigs to pass off the appearance of real hair. Cher, on the other hand, wears hair hats. Seriously, she doesn't even try to pass off as real whatever she plops on her head. I kind of dig her lack of pretense.
Cyndi Lauper is becoming more like Edith Massey each time I see her.
No disrespect. I think it's a good look, frankly.
Fergie, whose performance didn't drive me the least bit rabid, now appears to be the perfect cross-breeding of Natalie Maines and a crasin.
For me, the highlight of the night by far was the Time's performance:
Morris Day has uncovered the key to aging gracefully: wearing sunglasses. Seriously: never let them see you sweat, and never, ever let them see your crows' feet.
The live "Umbrella"/"Jungle Love" mashup that followed was meh, but at least Rihanna looked hot.
It was the perfect combination of Parade-era Prince and the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. The piles of sexual ambiguity made my loins hurt.
Oh, and I totally think she fucked Jay-Z now.
It's only when you've known someone intimately that you'd feel comfortable telling them to get away from you in front of millions of people. That's my theory, anyway.
So yeah: the Grammys sucked! I can't believe I watched the whole antiquated thing. It was a perfect reflection of just how clueless big business is about music in 2008. But you know what's terrible? Nothing got me more excited than the promo for this:
I guess we're all going to hell.