Sep 29, 2009

How could you be so heartless, Kanye?

by Kwaku De-Graft-Duncan

If you have Kanye West and MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) in the same sentence, be aware it is a recipe for disaster. West’s middle name might as well be controversy. One of hip-hop’s attention-grabbing and biggest icons is at it again, and has the media in a frenzy.

On Sept. 13, Taylor Swift won her first award at the 2009 MTV VMAs. It was an incredibly special moment for the talented country pop singer, but it was short-lived. Swift’s acceptance speech was disrupted as West stormed the stage and snatched the microphone from the debutant winner.

“I’m really happy for you, and I’m going to let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time, one of the best videos of all time!” the rapper obnoxiously projected from the stage.

There is no doubt that West’s crazy stunt was disrespectful, disgusting and inexcusable.

However, West could not care less if Beyoncé won because there is a hidden agenda in all of this. In one single moment, West stole Swift’s deserved spotlight and diverged all the attention away from MTV’s award show.

As a result, West catapulted himself to the top of the latest events. In the days following the awards show, he bacome one of the leading trend topics on Twitter. There were also countless status updates bashing and praising West on Facebook. He was the one making headlines, not Taylor Swift, and that is exactly what he wanted.

West issued an apology to Swift, but the damage has been already done. This is not the first outburst West has used in an attempt to promote his work and flaunt his oversized ego.

On Nov. 14, 2004, the hip-hop artist hijacked the stage in similar fashion at the American Music Awards (AMAs) claiming he should have won the Best New Artist, according to

“Upon hearing he has lost the Best New Artist award to ‘redneck woman’ Gretchen Wilson, West storms out of the AMAs in a show of protest. He later tells reporters, ‘I felt like I was definitely robbed ... I was the best new artist this year,’” according to an article from

It is a clear sign that West has a sore-loser complex. He will rain on other artistss parade any chance he gets, forcing all the focus onto himself and his music.

A further example came after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Red Cross organized a fundraiser for hurricane relief. The event was going well until West opened his mouth, bringing more chaos to an already traumatic event, when he stated, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” according to

No doubt the rapper was entitled to his opinion, but his controversial statement overshadowed the good intentions of the Red Cross. Once again all eyes were on Kanye West, and he would not have it any other way.

Then in Sept. 2007, West staged a rivalry with friend and fellow rapper 50 Cent prior to the simultaneous release of their respective albums in a desperate attempt to boost marketing sales. They aggressively used the media to their advantage. They taunted each other on late-night shows and acted out their beef on award shows, according to National Public Radio.

As an established artist, West is obsessed with the attention from the media. He has an insatiable urge to be on top and does not care who he offends or hurts to get there. He may be an obnoxious and an inconsiderate rapper but know that this is typical Kanye West —either love him or hate him.

Contact Kwaku De-Graft-Duncan at

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