Earlier this year, after Miguel tore down the Saturday Night Live stage, like he almost tore off a few girls’ heads at the Billboard Music Awards, I wrote that his performance was a reminder of the potentially great artistic heights that the SNL stage affords. Few rarely take advantage.
Kanye always uses SNL as a chance to stretch out. It’s like he surveys the guests that came before him that season and makes sure he outdoes them. Remember his performance of “Runaway” in advance of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy?
It was heavy-handed, self-serious and pompous – but it was Kanye.
Heading into this past weekend’s turn on SNL, Kanye had been popping up on the blogs. Apparently, dude went on a tirade at an Adult Swim performance, which included this snippet:
"I ain't no mother---ing celebrity. I ain't running for office. I ain't kissing nobody's mother----ing babies. I drop your baby and you sue me and sh--," he shouted. "I'm trying to make some music that inspires people to be the best they can be. I don't want nobody to ask nothing else of me. Don't ask nothing else of me. Mother----ers chasing you down, 'bout to make you crash and sh--, and all they want is one n---a to laugh and sh--," West went on about the relentless paparazzi. "Hell nah, I ain't doing no mother----ing 'SNL' skits; this my goddamn life. This ain't no mother----ing joke. That's it. Stop that sh-- right there."
Seeing the mother of your unborn child on the cover of countless gossip rags with salacious headlines (“Kim’s Greatest Fear: He’s Gay,” read one) would drive even the most stable man to fits of inner rage. 'Ye’s always been extra, though, so although he had to go into this Kardashian plunge with knowledge of the inevitable circus, his seems to not be the best disposition for the world’s seedy shenanigans when it comes to KimYe.
Days after his Adult Swim monologue and before his SNL appearance, he showed up on promos alongside Ben Affleck and Fred Armisen. He was ice-grilling up a storm. And given reports of the dark nature of some of the music slated to make his new album (with a June 18 street date), well, we knew we weren’t getting “The New Workout Plan”-era Kanye.
Instead, we got a pitch-black stage with projected images of snarling, rabid dogs (or wolves) in the back.
The song was “Black Skinhead.” Sonically, it was divergent for Kanye. That’s what we expect with his albums: change. He later Twitpic’d the lyrics:
BLK SKN HEAD 2 twitter.com/kanyewest/stat…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 19, 2013
BLK SKN HEAD twitter.com/kanyewest/stat…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 19, 2013
His second and final performance was for “New Slaves,” where a defiant ‘Ye spit the entire song standing absolutely still and dropped enough N-bombs on network television to most definitely have the FCC pattin’ them NBC pockets (“where that money wad at?). And there were more shots at the paparazzi, companies he’s in business with and somebody with a spouse in the Hamptons.
For a dude that once said he was “beasting off the Riesling” and felt the need to quasi-excuse himself while he was interrupting a teenage white girl to go to bat for a video that inspired these type of parodies, this New Kanye is something to behold. We still don’t have an official tracklisting for his new album; just the title (Yeezus) and the artwork.
With 98 percent of these pop (and hip-hop) artists intent on kowtowing to college kids and highschoolers with glow sticks, you have to be excited that maybe the most creative artist of his generation is stalk-raving angry and taking it out on everyone in his music. Tell us why you mad, ‘Ye.