Just a few weeks after igniting a bitter feud with Jimmy Kimmel in response to the late night host’s spoof of his BBC Radio 1 interview, Kanye West set aside his anger and sat down with comedian on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday (Oct. 9). The results were illuminating.
One objective of the meeting was clearly to end talk that Kimmel and West had faked the anger as some sort of publicity stunt. “A lot of people — most people, maybe– think this is a publicity stunt you and I cooked up. But this isn’t, right?” Kimmel asked West after welcoming him to the stage.
“Yeah, I mean everyone out there in the TV world, real world, whatever world you stay in, needs to know I’ve never done a publicity stunt in my life,” West replied. “Anytime I went up and spoke my mind and put my career in jeopardy or whatever someone so-called said, it was what I thought was the truth without reading through a teleprompter or whatever…I don’t follow normal rules of celebrity or what their publicist tells them to say, so I don’t do publicity stunts period. So don’t ever think that.”
West further admitted that he allowed his pent-up anger over several things to explode on Kimmel because the two knew each other on a personal level. “Well, this is the one person I know,” he explained. “So I can go and let out everything that I feel about every single bogus weekly cover, every single bogus skit, every single rumor…everything that people feel is okay to treat celebrities like zoo animals…it kinda just went and elevated from a call that we just had as men…we kinda just took it back to high school for a bit.”
Kimmel admitted that the unwanted scrutiny the rapper receives from the press is brought on by West himself. “I think you bring it on yourself, this misunderstanding about you…I don’t know if you know this, a lot of people think you’re a jerk,” he told West. “I often, in my own personal conversations, say, ‘No, I know this guy. I know he’s not a jerk.'”
Throughout the interview, West seemed very aware of the reputation he’s built for himself, however undeserved he felt it was. “All I care about is my family. I care about protecting my girl, protecting my baby, and protecting my ideas and my dreams. And that’s the reason I went so crazy,” he said.
On the topic of his proclamation of his own genius, he said, “I’m totally weird and I’m totally honest and I’m totally inappropriate at times. And the thing is, if I didn’t say I was a genius, I would just be lying to you and to myself.”
It was a conversation that seemed to have several goals. Kimmel seemed to have asked West on so he could explain away the harmless intentions of the offending sketch, while also apologizing to someone he seems to have a personal relationship with. He also allowed West several opportunities to jump on his soapbox and rail against the injustices he feels he’s faced in his career. Several points made were quite eloquent and astute, especially his discussion of how much he feels the public and the media will allow him to aspire to, in contrast to what he actually aspires to. One point that lost us though? His plea for girlfriend Kim Kardashian to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“I want to shout out to stars of the Walk of Fame real quickly cuz they said something about they’re not going to put my girl on the walk of fame because, you know, she’s a reality star,” West said. “It’s like people are so, so dated…There’s no way that Kim Kardashian shouldn’t have a star on the Walk of Fame.”
What did you think of the Kimmel/West summit? Do you think Kimmel was too apologetic? West too offended? And, honestly, does Kardashian deserve a star? Let us know in the comments below.