Kanye West got mad at Jimmy Kimmel, and the Internet exploded (#NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK). As you probably heard, Jimmy Kimmel did a sketch where a child reenacted West’s recent BBC Radio 1 interview, and Kanye proceeded to let loose a stream of classic, hilarious Twitter vitriol. Kimmel responded on his show last night, saying he was happy to finally be in a “rap feud,” and generally dismissing West’s comments as completely absurd.
I briefly met Kanye a few weeks ago, while assisting during Fashion Week. The man is kind of an emblem of what people who hate Fashion Week hate about Fashion Week: the self-importance, the money, the expensive denim, the concern about sleeping on fur pillows. Kanye of course loves fashion, with his leather black jeans on and all, and seeing him wasn’t a huge surprise. What was a surprise was that I, a measly intern who has done nothing mean to the 21st century, met Kanye West, and he was so nice to me.
I’m a massive fan, so even if Yeezy had pushed me aside with a “Don’t talk to me. Don’t ever talk to me,” I would have still been thrilled and called my mom and peed a little. But Kanye was warm and gracious. He shook my hand! Kanye West has touched my hand! He thanked me three times when I told him that I thought Yeezus was beautiful (feminism notwithstanding)! He smiled! Kanye has the best smile ever. He didn’t even just throw out a perfunctory thank you; we interacted for at least three minutes. Three whole minutes! Thank you Shayne Oliver of Hood by Air, because your show’s existence allowed me to meet Kanye West.
The other people I talked to who met Kanye said he was really nice as well. He talked to a teenage boy for at least ten minutes, asking the boy what he thought of the differences between his and Jay-Z’s tour. He happily posed for pictures with some of my friends. He smiled! He hugged!
“Sweet” is not a word that most people would immediately use to describe Kanye, especially right now. “Douchey” is surely more accurate. He starts a fight club, Brad reputation. But Kanye was nice to a random, anonymous fan, and that’s important. He didn’t know that I would have any kind of platform to talk about his niceness. He easily could have had security swat me away, and it wouldn’t have affected him in any way, ever.
At the time, I thought that maybe the Kardashians were making Kanye go on some cute and cuddly rampage. He had just done that adorable interview with Kris Jenner, an interview that gave the world the timeless quote, “I’m supposed to be a musical genius and everything, but I can’t really work the car seat.” Maybe he was happy about his beautiful, compass-inspired child. Maybe he took a ton of Xanax. Who am I to speculate on the inner of emotions of the new Steve Jobs?
But now Kanye is back to being mocked in the press. The thing is, while he’s obviously overreacting, it’s not so terrible that Kanye is offended by Kimmel’s sketch (which wasn’t even very funny). Amanda Dobbins at Vulture put it best. In a piece about how she hopes Kanye’s tweets weren’t just a part of yet another Kimmel internet prank, she says:
Kanye’s outburst was about something more important: how shitty it is to make fun of someone expressing their feelings in a profound, open, and, frankly, much-more-entertaining-than-a-4-year-old way… Kanye’s greatest gift might be the way that he talks about Kanye… The Kanye tweets weren’t a “rant”; they were Kanye being right.
As a very public figure who frequently says and does hilarious things, intentionally and otherwise, obviously Kanye West is going to get made fun of. But perhaps if Kimmel had watched the whole interview, or really paid attention to what Kanye was saying at all (leather jogging-style pants are, in fact, a thing), he would have found a less lazy joke. In comedy, pretty much everything is and should be up for grabs, but picking a portion of the interview where West stumbled over his words and then having a child repeat them it isn’t intelligent or interesting (proving Kanye’s point about Sarah Silverman).
All I really know is that a few weeks ago, Kanye took a little time out of his very busy schedule of recording and being inspired by Le Corbusier and hanging out with his big brother and parenting and getting his Ray J revenge. He took a couple minutes to make my week. The man may proclaim otherwise, but he is a person.