This has gone on far enough: Kanye West needs to have a seat.
When Kanye infamously interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to declare “Single Ladies” the best video of all time at the VMAs in 2009, it was shocking, rude, and embarrassing for all involved. It would also set the tone for the next five years of pop culture: Beyoncé was deified after giving her Video of the Year speech back to Taylor, Taylor became a serious force on the world stage, and Kanye became the man who believed every thought, sensical or not, was worthy of a marquee. Even though he spent much of this past year rambling about how he deserved the high fashion industry’s respect for virtually doing nothing, you would still assume that six years would’ve given Kanye some perspective, maybe even humor, about his behavior.
That’s how it appeared at last night’s Grammys, when Beck surprised many when he won Album of the Year. As Beck began his speech, Kanye went up on stage, but then shook his head and got off, with Beck trying to bring him back. It seemed like a joke, and a really good one that showed that Kanye had a playful side amongst all of the Balmain garments. Alas, it was all of huge misunderstanding, because during the E!’s afterparty, Kanye, with Kim Kardashian by his side, went on a trademark rant about the Grammys. It turns out he did want to interrupt Beck, accusing the rocker of not respecting artistry and insisting that he give his Grammy to Beyoncé.
The level of disrespectful is staggering. I admittedly don’t know much about Beck beyond his hit single “Loser”, but he has been in the industry for over 20 years and apparently still making music worthy of peer recognition. It is outrageous to openly question someone’s artistry and integrity when they have a decade of critically acclaimed work on you, and did nothing but be in the same category as Beyoncé to justify such rudeness. Beck did not deserve to have his moment hijacked, and he certainly didn’t deserve Kanye’s ridiculous rant afterwards. It was a sickening display of hubris and childish egotism on Kanye’s part, and he should, but typically won’t, be ashamed.
What makes this even more stupid is that Beyoncé wasn’t pre-ordained to win anyway. She had some serious competition; I wouldn’t have been surprised if Sam Smith actually completed his sweep by taking the award home. As it turned out, Beck was a serious contender. It’s disappointing that she lost, but it’s not the end of the world, and doesn’t diminish the album’s achievement whatsoever. In the grand scheme of things, Beyoncé’s theoretical Grammy would’ve just been one amongst 21 others in her jewel case.
So why does Kanye care enough to humiliate almost everyone involved? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but there is a time and place. He could’ve tweeted, written a blog post, or given an interview, like he eventually did. It still would’ve been tacky, but at least he wouldn’t have forced us all to drown in his misguided feelings about someone else’s award loss. But to go on stage during an acceptance speech, again? To take away from someone else’s moment, a crowning achievement even, just to express your confusing outrage? That is unacceptable. Kanye West can have 100 Grammys to his name, and he still wouldn’t have the right to treat his peers this way.
Do I think that Beyoncé and her self-titled, game-changing album deserved this year’s Album of the Year Grammy? Yes.
Does that give Kanye West the right to storm the stage during an acceptance speech again to protest her loss? Hell no, and I am officially over these antics of his. Either grow the hell up, or back up your family and head to Paris where maybe, just maybe, you will be tolerated. Don’t count on it, though.