Kanye West, Storytellers
Kanye West always has something to say, but during his stint on Storytellers, he claimed to be speechless — at least for a moment or two.
Early in his set — which aired Saturday, featuring hits like "Touch the Sky" and "Stronger" and a number of selections from his latest album, 808s and Heartbreak — West suggested that he wouldn't be very good at telling the intimate stories that went into making these songs because "some stuff is too personal." He even apologized to the producers.
But then West went on to deliver a sermon about perseverance, forgiveness and, of course, his own awesomeness. He rambled on so much, in fact, that the producers had to edit out many of his comments to keep the show at its 90-minute running time.
Notable omissions from the show? His diss of Radiohead — who apparently snubbed West at February's Grammy Awards — and his defense of Chris Brown, the singer who was arrested on Grammy night in relation to a felony battery case.
Brown's name reportedly came up in a string of names during West's freestyle in the middle of "Amazing." "Can't we give Chris a break? I know I make mistakes in life," West said, according to Rolling Stone.
What made it to air may not have involved the R&B star, but that doesn't mean West's statements weren't controversial. "We have to be amazing sometimes, and I know I don't always state popular opinion," West said. "Michael Jackson, amazing. Michael Phelps, amazing. O.J. Simpson, amazing, is he not? What he did, when he did what he did, wasn't he amazing, though?"
The majority of West's "stories" came out through other freestyle raps in the middle of his hits. Other topics of conversation included acceptance of others. "If a black man that came from Chicago and was taught to stand far away from gay people because you don't want to be accused of being gay [talked to a gay man] — what would he learn? What would I learn? I learned that people in Chicago were wrong and I been an ass---e all along."
And West's biggest regret? "My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live," he said.
Now there's the Kanye we know so well.
Did you watch Storytellers? What were your favorite sound bytes?