Kanye West on Saturday Night Live: Five Reasons I Will Stay Home and Watch
I don't think we have really gotten in the weeds about my feelings for Kanye West, but know this about me: My name is Deb and I am a West apologist. He is temperamental and sensitive in ways that feel vintage rock star in today's cookie cutter world of celebrity people pleasing. He is arrogant in ways I am frankly envious of. It would be easy to dismiss his declarations of greatness if I didn't so ardently agree with him, but in my humble opinion West is frequently as great, or at least as compelling, as he says he is. In both content and character.
Now after a few leaks from his upcoming work set to be released, (we think) June 18th, he is set to perform this week on Saturday Night Live. These are five reasons I will be staying home to watch the performance:
5. This Saturday Night Live Performance
Before we even get into Kanye West's current headspace, let's take a look in the rearview of what West has already pulled off in the SNL arena.
Remember when this performance started and you thought it was a commercial or it was going to be a pre-recorded SNL Digital Short but it was Kanye's live performance of Power (shout out to Symbolyc One!). West, here giving little care for what performances "look" like on SNL wouldn't be so significant except for the fact that EVERYONE else just performs in the fake subway station or whatever with little regard for using the live medium to do something singular or extraordinary. This is the equivalent of those contemporary paintings you see and say, "Yeah, I mean, my kid could do that."
Well, guess what? Your kid didn't do it, Kanye West did it.
4. West's Open Disregard for the SNL Cast
When West performed Power on SNL he edited the lyric, "Fuck SNL and the whole cast, Tell them Yeezy said they can kiss my whole ass," a line written in response to jokes on the show made by both Taylor Lautener and Taylor Swift when hosting after KANYE-WAS-RIGHT-BEY-SHOULD-HAVE-GOTTEN-THAT-VMA-AWARD-gate. That was some serious restraint shown by a generally excessive communicator, but he seems to really being getting low on the "giving a fuck" because this is the promo he recorded for this weeks show with Ben Affleck, where he seems to hate the very likable Fred Armisen.
West is certainly never an artist to fear confrontation, this added tension is hopefully creating the perfect environment of creativity, pressure and opposition that West really thrives in. It might be uncomfortable for the writers, but I feel like the pay off for viewers will be worth it. (And the Lorne Michaels might get a kick out of it.)
3. West's Open Disregard for the Writers
West has allegedly demanded that the SNL writers leave Kim and Kimye out of the jokes or it will cost his performance. On one hand, you can't censor the writers, Kanye! He has tied their hands on a week where paparazzi caught him running into a pole and his Lambo got crushed by a gate at Kardashian's LA home.
On the other hand, AIN'T NOBODY FUCKING WITH HIS CLIQUE. After his auto-tune love letter aside to Kardashian at his Met Gala performance maybe this is no big surprise. I don't know why we are hating on Kanye so much for standing up for his lady. Chivalry isn't dead after all and Mr. West is going to new extremes to prove it. Ya heard, Seth Myers?
At a surprise NYC show for Adult Swim at the Roseland Ballroom West teased new songs and performed old ones from inside a glowing white pyramid. I don't know what this means about his new aesthetic yet, but I like it already.
His Met Gala performance and the snippets that have leaked online are showing a rather scream-o side of West, this plus his declarations of being God are all creating a rather supernatural vibe. SNL will be the first large-scale opportunity to mix all these elements for public view, who knows who might show up? Rumored collaborators Daft Punk? Actual ghosts? God, herself?!
1. This Rant.
In which West confesses to being a terrible celebrity and asks the public to quit asking anything of him beyond making music.
In response to a question he poses to himself regarding "humanizing" himself he answers, uh ... himself, "I ain't here to apologize to nobody, man. I don't have to humanize myself. At one point did I become un-human and have to turn myself back."
West's aspirations aren't to be human. He can be an angel. He can be a demon. And if I had to guess I think we might be entering the West as alien phase. And for me this sums up his appeal completely. His dreams are so loud and vulnerable they border on vulgar, he doesn't care who they intrude on. Rude maybe, but while we were all busy trying to be better humans, West built a pyramid. Like he always does.
So stick around, they have a great show. Kanye West will be there!
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.