*Kanye West delivered a paparazzi rant during a “secret show” in New York’s Roseland Ballroom on Wednesday night – an event that turned out to be Adult Swim’s upfront presentation (where a network unveils its new programming slate to advertisers). [Scroll down to watch.]
According to the Huffington Post, he appeared in the middle of an all-white pyramid as video of a storm was projected onto the structure’s screen walls, a blend of sharp visuals of lightning strikes with blaring claps of thunder.
First, Kanye gave his Madison Avenue audience a string of hits, including “Jesus Walks,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” “All of the Lights,” “Clique” and “Mercy,” which opened the show. New music was also a small part of the show — early on he previewed an electro bounce track that sounded like a slightly more uptempo, 8-bit version of “Numbers on the Boards,” a song Kanye produced for Pusha-T.
Later in the set, he played through what the internet has started calling “Awesome,” a ballad with extremely simple lyrics that seems to be an ode to his pregnant girlfriend Kim Kardashian. Here’s a sampling of the lyrics:
“Stop everything you’re doing now/ Because Baby, you’re awesome / Don’t let nobody get you down / Because you’re awesome / You don’t need to listen to your manager … / You must be tired of running through my mind / Can I come inside? … I’m also awesome … / I’d rather do nothing with you, / than something with somebody new / Because Baby you’re awesome.”
Then came some more music, and then the rant, which followed “Runaway.”
HuffPo’s Kia Makarechi wrote out “our iPhone-typed transcription of the rant, with ellipses noting gaps in coverage”:
“I don’t know if you know there’s one thing about me, but I’m not a celebrity,” West sang/said. “I don’t know if you know there’s one thing about me, but I’m a terrible, terrible celebrity. I don’t know if you know there’s one thing about me, but I’m the worst kind of celebrity … Because I only make real music … I’m only up in the studio to make real sh-t … I don’t want nobody coming up to me with cameras and sh-t … Selling pictures to a f–king magazine … Asking me dumb f–king questions … Because I’m not a motherf–king celebrity … I only make music that inspires you to be the best you can be — And I don’t want anyone to ask anything else of me.”
West was directly referencing an unfortunate run in with the paparazzi in Los Angeles, where he hit his head on a parking sign while avoiding being photographed. The rapper, who was with Kardashian, lunged toward a photographer and (quite reasonably) blamed the injury on the paps.
“Saturday Night Live” was also on West’s mind. He’s due to perform on Saturday, but bristled at the idea that he should use the opportunity for a charm offensive.
“Someone asked me, ‘When you do ‘SNL,’ are you going to do a skit about the paparazzi and humanize yourself?'” West said on Wednesday. “What the f–k do I have to apologize for? When did I become inhuman? Or was it them demonizing me and harassing me that made me less than human?”
“Motherf–kers chasing people down and making you run into sh-t, and all they want you to do is laugh and sh-t,” West said before yelling, “Hell no I ain’t doing no ‘SNL’ skits, this is my goddamn life, and it’s not a f–king joke.”
He also informed the crowd that he isn’t into kissing babies. “I drop your baby and then you sue me,” he forecasted of future baby handoffs.
Wednesday’s show was teased as a “secret show” by West’s collaborators, but media and advertising folks were provided with a flyer that had West listed as the performer hired by Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
Watch Ye’s rant below.