Kanye wins criticism, no Moon Man for VMA actions

Leslie Ethridge

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If you just so happened to be connected to the world for the past week, you know what happened at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Taylor Swift, in all of her beauty and grace, became the first country artist to ever win a VMA. She was humble as she walked up to accept the honor of Best Female Video, beating out the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Lady Gaga and Beyonce.

While the queens of pop sat respectfully in their seats all smiles for the 19-year-old Swift, she began her speech, announcing that “she never thought this could happen.”

Enter Kanye West, who apparently also never thought this could happen. Or, for any matter, should happen. And, with the restraint of a five-year-old, he appeared on stage, grabbed the microphone from Taylor Swift’s hand, and proceeded to announce, “Now Taylor, I’m really happy for you—I’m a let you finish—but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. Of all time.”

And in response to all of the booing that soon followed, West responded with an obscene, middle-fingered gesture.

To this, I ask: Really, Kanye? How could you be so heartless?

One of the kindest people in the entertainment industry, Swift holds a reputation for class, sincerity and poise. Not only is she widely respected, but her talent is evident in her singing, songwriting and ability to play the guitar.

Her second album, “Fearless,” has sold over 3.79 million copies since it was released in November 2008, making it the most popular album of 2009. Her fan base is enormous, with over 1 million followers on Twitter and over 2 million friends on Facebook.

In contrast, West is arguably one of the greatest rappers of all time. He may not be as near and dear to your heart as Biggie Smalls, Tupac or Jay-Z, but he has talent. Not just a rapper, but also a producer, West introduced the world to his own style of hip-hop, selling over 3 million copies with his debut album, “The College Dropout.”

Since then, he has not ceased to amaze critics and fans, with “Late Registration” and “Graduation” holding the highest first week sales in Def Jam Records history.

With all of this knowledge, it’s hard to understand why West would want to bring Swift down. Even if you aren’t a fan of Swift, it’s difficult to imagine why he would want to disrespect such a kind, beloved person.

Might it be that “808’s & Heartbreak” didn’t do as well as he had hoped, only selling 1.5 million copies to Swift’s nearly 3.8 million?

Or maybe it’s Kanye’s dislike of country music stars— remember when he dissed Gretchen Wilson for winning the Grammy for Best New Artist in 2004?

Perhaps, though, the most plausible explanation is West’s inflated ego.

The Swift incident isn’t his first offense, and despite his many apologies for his past actions, Kanye still cannot get his ignorant outbursts under control, which range from “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” “Let’s not forget that the [paparazzi] killed Princess Diana” and “If I don’t win Best Rapper of the Year, we’re gonna have a problem.”

You may contend that West has been paid off by MTV to complete such acts for publicity, but all signs point to every moment of minor turrets to be his own marketing campaign.

And now, his hoard of the spotlight has honestly begun to affect his fan base. Once deemed a respected and talented rapper, West’s reputation is now tainted by the fact that he can’t seem to shut his mouth.

He may be one of the most talented people in the biz, but no one wants to listen to another celebrity who can’t seem to check his ego, or emotional baggage, at the door.

All in all, West really needs to get it together. His excuses for his gaffes, from “I had a little sippy sippy” to “I’m just a busy, talented artist,” make it evident that some things, specifically everything West has to say, are better left unsaid.