(as always, thanks to Nigel/RealTalkNY for the well-shot clip)

Kanye West put on an amazing show on Tuesday night at the Bowery Ballroom, well worth the demoralizing gauntlet that we endured to get in. And the audience of legends (Spike Lee, Fab Five Freddy, and Sylvia Rhone, LA Reid and Lyor Cohen with girlfriend Tory Burch all standing together), supermodels, socialites (Ivanka Trump and hubby Jared Kushner, owner of the NYObserver), peers (Aziz Ansari, Cons, Questlove), urban hipsters, and rural farmhands certainly spoke to Kanye’s diverse fan spectrum. My absolute favorite part was the 9 minute version of “Lost in the World,” that Ye did with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon (posted separately)….but it’s the 9 minute speech at the end, which will make the most news, because Kanye and his shoulder chip went from celebrating My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’s redemptive success (which really speaks for itself) to…..some other place.

(*starts out jubilant*)
To come back and do 100k the first day, digital alone, to be slated to do 600k first week, I don’t talk about the numbers but what that number says is that the people want me to keep making music…but I ain’t here to do no mf-in politics, Im’ here to make music. I’m not here to talk in no interviews, nobody asking me no stupid ass questions. We had such a great win. Matt Lauer is a not a bad guy, I’m sure….But if you’re a child that’s being abused by your parent, or you’re a girl that’s being abused by your man, the greatest win you can ever have, is for that person to hit you in public! You see?! You see, I told you!!….
(*uh oh….this is getting crazy*)

there was no way for me to justify the way people judged me. When you do things like what happened last year its disrespectful to everyone who’s creative! It’s a smack in the face of everyone who tries to do something real. If I wasnt drunk I woulda been on stage longer!! Like, am I the only one who’s not crazy here?!!! Are you fucking kidding me?? And then they run with it. And don’t call me and tell me what I should do. I’m my own man!! Sometimes you scream on a n—a…my bad.”
(*collective headscratching, and shifting anxiously*)

Everyone wants to villainize people, even if you take the concept of George Bush. There’s no leader in history that has been villainized in that way, and didn’t get killed at war or commit suicide. So anyone that lives thru it deserves one moment of redemption. (light boos) None are without flaw. The shit that people write on blogs is a reflection of what they feel about themselves….that they want to project through the people who are on TV! And now we are a mere surfaces of the energy that they are projecting on us!….”
(*save the people who are TV!*)

Everyone needs a villain, don’t we? We need to blame someone. And for me to be considered a racist for stating a blatant truth, an obvious truth….but the nuances of my words because I am very particular with my words, and the emotion that I felt at that time wasn’t worded exactly right. But everybody came and said, ‘oh my god!’ I’m talking about 5 years ago, I’m not talking about a year ago. I’m talking about Katrina. And everybody said ‘oh my god, Kanye, I love you so much. I hated you until you said that. Now you’re speaking for me. I always thought you were an asshole but now you said something that represents me.’ And the whole time I’m thinking, that’s not exactly what I wanted to say. I was emotional. That’s not exactly how I wanted to word it. But I rode it, I rode it, just as Taylor [Swift] never came to my defense in any interview, and rode the wave and rode it, and rode it. That’s the way I rode the wave of the Bush comment. It’s not about popular opinion, it’s about when you look in your heart and know what’s right and what’s wrong…
(“audience heckler: stop while you was ahead, son…*)

When you look in your heart, look at what the media did. Look at how they exploited [Bush]. They said that he said, it was his lowest moment. And America, we took that as a fact. When you look at that interview, he said it was one of his lowest moments. And he said it about 10 different things. But because of the popularity of me, they exploited that…to make you watch the interview, and make you feel that he was stupider than ever to think that a rapper comment could be his lowest moment. That’s not what he f–king said! That’s not what he said! He said it’s one of his lowest moments. But it shows you the way they try to villain-ize! Everything would have been okay, if they didn’t play the audio that day….none the wiser, none the wiser! They played the audio, they fucked up in front of everybody. They fucked up big time. If you a real artist, have no fear! Say what you want, do what you want, make what you want. If its meant to be, the people will stand up, like they stood up for me, 600-thousand, after being the most hated person this time last year!….
(*oh, that Today Show cabal will rue the day they played that audio. But on the plus side, yes, 600k is a fantastic redemption.*)

Amazing performance though, and my favorite album of the year….in spite of all the rhetoric.

Previously:Kanye West Covers Complex Magazine (December/January 2011)