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Friday, September 27, 2013

Jimmy Kimmel Had It Right About Kanye. Sorry, Slate

by Kari Tervo

So Kanye West is having a Twitter tantrum because Jimmy Kimmel ran a parody skit depicting him in his recent BBC interview as a child. And this guy, Forrest Wickman from Slate, is stepping up to defend him, calling Kimmel's sketch "ignorant and stupid." 


Here's the sketch:

Wickman defends Kanye (we're on a first name basis, me and Ye) on pretty much a literal interpretation of the interview, completely ignoring the context surrounding Kanye and his outsize ego.

Okay, yes: Kanye did mean he was "the biggest of all rock stars" in the sense that "rap is the new rock-n-roll." Yes, I got that. I totally respect Kanye as an artist. But as a person, I think he's pretty ridiculous: Who says that?

Kimmel wasn't making fun of what Kanye said so much as he was making fun of his cocksure confidence. Maybe it's not braggin' if it's true, but who says that? Who needs to say that? Nobody was bagging on his record sales in this interview, and if there are data to bag on his record sales, then it's even funnier to call Ye on his swoll (that's how we talk in rural Michigan).

No, Kimmel was not using one interview and the data contained therein to make fun of Kanye, he was referring to Kanye's entire empire of ego, his history of hubris.

I am of the belief that if you brag, "Everything I do need a news crew's presence," as Kanye did in "Clique," you give up your right to punch paparazzi.

And of course, this is pure speculation, but living as a person in this world, I see things. Pretty quick after Kim birthed that adorable baby, she got a new publicist and dyed her black hair blonde. Why? To separate from her family and the Kardashian empire, to be part of the Kimye empire (Kimye, by Kanye, with special guest star Kim Kardashian). It's pretty clear how the Kanye West wheels turn, and he's asserting that he's the new sheriff in town. Through his wife's business decisions and hair color. That's so gross. And we thought Kris Jenner went beyond the boundaries of good taste.

What's really funny about Wickman's piece is: He defends leather jogging pants. Cuz, you know, all the big stars wear them! This is not only hilarious and sad, it's the lynchpin that Wickman missed Kimmel's point: Leather jogging pants? Kimmel was addressing Kanye's celebrity and its absurd excesses.

So Wickman, sorry. Kimmel's sketch wasn't his prime work or whatever, but who cares. He was putting a petulant person in his place. One who punches paparazzi (yes, this is a different one) after telling them he's worth their attention.

UPDATE: Kanye got into another scuffle with a paparazzo (a third, I think?), related to this very issue! He thinks he's totally justified because the pap, I don't know, put his toe on his driveway or something. Well, someone who brags he is the "biggest of all rock stars" might expect some media attention. Poor little Kanye. We're giving him the attention he craves and insists upon, but not in his favorite ice cream flavor (Chocolate Control Freak). Jimmy Kimmel nailed it on the kid thing. How can Wickman not see Kimmel's point in Kanye's overwrought response?

Kanye, next time we go to the playground (the Champs Elysees), would you like to wear your princess outfit? Or your leather jogging pants? Better look good, cuz there will be photographers.

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