Sunday, March 1, 2009
Kanye Rips VH1 Storytellers
Kudos to VH1 Storytellers for having Kanye West on last night. It was a no brainer in my biased opinion, to have someone like him perform on the show, as he’s highly opinionated and always has lots to say.
Sporting a Raf Simmons donegal tweed suit, a slim-fitting red button down shirt, a bowtie, sunglasses, and white sneakers, Kanye’s swagger was definitely turned up to a hundred thousand trillion as he performed a three hour, 14-song set of his greatest hits and songs from 808’s and Heartbreak in front of an energetic and loyal audience on a Los Angeles sound stage lit up to his liking.
The modern set up turned the soundstage into a futuristic light show that looked like the inside of a spaceship from Kanye’s Universecity. Flanked by a live band equipped with violinists, back up singers in space suits, African-style drummers, and an Auto-tuned pianist, Kanye reminded me a young boy just happy to be alive in a world where he can be free to express each thread of his feelings.
Sweat dripped from Kanye’s shag as he danced, skipped and even crawled around the stage (in search of his heart). Every ounce of passion was poured out into every song. If all of his performances are like this one he might just be the greatest performer out today. Every word he sang flew from his vocal chords like artistic technicolored doves yearning for artistic freedom in a world that has left them so heartbroken.
Though Kanye may be heartbroken in many ways, he seemed so free while performing. It’s as if nothing else matters but what he does on that stage. In between one of the songs he expressed his hatred for an author of who plans to release a demeaning book about his late mother, Donda West. He mentioned how the only thing keeping him from killing the man was the fact that he does not want to go to jail.
Kanye created potential controversy with comments that VH1 decided not to air. He openly dissed Radiohead frontman, Thom Yorke because he was supposedly snubbed by Yorke backstage at the Grammy’s. Also, according to Rolling Stone, Kanye asked the audience to “give Chris Brown a break”.
What did air were Kanye’s acknowledgements of Michael Jackson, Michael Phelps and a strange observation of O.J. Simpson. I don’t know where he was coming from with that last one.
Regardless of what he said I loved his arrogance and I loved his performance. Kanye is one of the most open and true artists of today and it was joy to watch him kill it on VH1. I can’t wait to see him live.
Here’s Kanye performing “Stronger”