Kanye makes the most out of “The Jay Leno Show” premiere

If all else fails, cry. As a child, the tactic isn’t a guaranteed success, but as an adult it often works wonders. When somebody cries, especially in front of you, it’s nearly impossible to avoid considering their point of view. Kanye West wanted people to believe he was sorry for what he did to Taylor Swift (or, he just wanted people to like him again) and he resorted to the strategy in front of a large TV audience. Hats off to Jay Leno for giving him this opportunity during the comedian’s big premiere. I doubt “The Jay Leno Show” will often venture into these emotional forays, but that wouldn’t be a bad idea. The new program is virtually the same as the “Tonight Show” was under Leno’s reign. That’s why I’d love to see random appearances and pairings of musicians Leno’s made friends with over the years. As a reward for his loyalty, NBC should give Jay some freedom. Did Leno really want Jay-Z as his first musical guest? I doubt it.

Back to Kanye. Since I’ve never had any opinion on the hip-hopper, I’ve been able to take in this whole situation objectively. This whole catastrophe actually arose from a feeling we’ve all had at some point or another: the inability to sit idly by while witnessing something wrong. Kanye’s actions on Sunday stemmed from his passion for an ideal society where quality music is recognized. He’s openly stated in the past that he feels awards shows are rigged. He’s completely right as far as the VMAs are concerned, but a single celebrity’s “stand” is not going change the show forever. Kanye willingly became part of the MTV system when he agreed to enter his music videos and perform at the VMAs in the past. Yes, Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” video was much “better” than Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.” Kanye felt this was an injustice. In terms of art, Beyonce was slighted, but considering this was the MTV Video Music Awards, nothing was out of whack. In his off-the-cuff interview on “The Jay Leno Show,” Kanye says his “dream of what awards shows are supposed to be” in effect caused Taylor Swift’s pain. Given his talent and prior statements, I believe him. But Kanye, these were the VMAs, put on by MTV. You’ve been around for some time now — you know how the game works. Next time you want to make a public statement about the music industry, think it through beforehand. I’m not saying the message needs to be appropriate, but the time and setting better be.


On a night set to recognize musicians past and present, Kanye makes it solely about himself


There’s a formula to most awards shows — especially the Video Music Awards. You would think Kanye West knew that, considering he’s a self-proclaimed expert on pop culture. Case in point: Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” beat out Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” for Best Female Video. However, “Single Ladies” won for Video of the Year. Simple logic states that, if “Single Ladies” is the Video of the Year, it should also be the Best Female Video since Beyonce, as we know, is a dame. But the VMAs don’t work that way. They never have. When MTV lost its edge over 10 years ago, the network turned into an advertising agency instead of an important voice covering all things music. It wouldn’t be good business to have Beyonce win both awards. By spreading the love around, MTV is essentially recognizing the artists that have been the most lucrative to their business. Last night, nobody walked away with multiple trophies — because there’s a formula.

I always assumed Kanye was privy to this knowledge. When he jumped on stage and forced the mic out of Taylor Swift’s hands, the younger generation was undoubtedly excited. More stars! More stars! To those who think of Kanye as a trouble-making crybaby, they could sense he was up to no good. Shouting that his friend Beyonce’s video was “one of the best videos of all time,” he proved he doesn’t “get” the give-and-take ethos of pop culture at all. He’s just as clueless as the millions of adolescents that stayed up late to root for Taylor Swift.

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