Lauren is a former Deputy Editor of The Root.
Did someone ask Kanye West to bust out into an a cappella rendition of "Gold Digger" on a recent Delta Airlines flight? It doesn't matter, because he was giving his fellow passengers a little taste of Kanye, whether they wanted it or not. At least he censored the curse words.
Captions by Lauren Williams
When the former president said last week that Kanye's 2005 claim that he "doesn't care about black people" was one of the lowest moments of his presidency, many people were left scratching their heads. But not our Kanye. He "understands," but only because since then, he says, people have unfairly pegged him as a racist, too!
Kanye West — like so many other misguided men these days — got it into his head that some women really wanted him to send them photos of his genitals. Surprise: The photos were leaked on the Internet. And now anyone who can type "Kanye West's penis" into Google can see all his business. Funny, there's a line in his latest single, "Runaway," about this very thing. Was art imitating life, or the other way around?
Some rappers definitely should not be on Twitter (are you listening, 50 Cent?). We're not sure if Kanye is one of them, however, because while his millions of followers fuel his out-of-control ego, his ridiculous tweets are the height of entertainment. Example: "Fur pillows are actually hard to sleep on."
It was the "I'm really happy for you, and I'ma let you finish" heard 'round the world. If people didn't know Kanye West before, they knew him after the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, when he interrupted country star Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for best female video because he thought Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" should have won. The backlash was severe and Kanye was contrite, but these days he's decided that he's partially responsible for Taylor's success.
Kanye has some bad luck at the VMAs. In 2007 he was filmed backstage complaining because a less-than-stellar Britney Spears opened the show, while he was relegated to performing on a side stage instead of on the main stage. Plus, he failed to take home any awards. "Give a black man a chance … ," he ranted. "They don't want a f—-in' black man in that position."
Perhaps MTV stuck Kanye on a side stage in 2007 because of what happened at the 2006 European VMAs, where he crashed the acceptance speech of English rock band Simian, who had just beaten him out for best video. "[My video] cost a million dollars," Kanye yelled into the stolen mic. "Pamela Anderson was in it. I was jumping across canyons and sh—."
You're not a real celebrity until you're arrested for smashing a paparazzo's camera. Kanye West became a real celebrity in 2008. Belated congrats!
When Entertainment Weekly gave his 2008 Glow in the Dark Tour a respectable B plus (yes, a B plus), Kanye flipped out. "Never come 2 one of my shows ever again," he wrote on his blog. "You're not invited and if you see me … BOW!!" Of course, when the same magazine named his album The College Dropout best of the decade in '09, all was forgiven.
We think this 2006 Rolling Stone cover speaks for itself.