November 12th, 2010
11:39 AM ET
After firing off critical tweets of the “Today” show earlier this week, Kanye West announced Friday via Twitter that he won’t be performing on the NBC program on November 26, as was previously planned. (Update, 1:13 p.m.: A representative for "Today" confirmed to CNN that West has canceled his concert.)
“I’m not performing on the Today Show for obvious reasons,” West tweeted, then going on to say how happy he was that “the world got to see just a small piece of ‘the set up.’”
What West refers to as “the set up” are the elements of his pre-taped interview with Matt Lauer that caused him to launch into a Twitter rant this week. “Today” aired the video on Thursday.
The topic of discussion during the interview was to be the relationship between West and former President George W. Bush and his upcoming album, but things got sour when the artist felt like he was being attacked.
After responding to Lauer’s question of whether or not West regrets uttering that infamous phrase, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” during a telethon for Hurricane Katrina, Lauer asked West to take a look at the video clip of Bush reacting to the statement in a "Today" interview.
“Don’t even listen this time. Just look at his face when he’s commenting about you, just look at him,” Lauer told West. “This is the most emotional he got during my entire three-and-a-half-hour interview. What would you say to him if he were to meet with you face to face?"
West responded, “I don’t need you guys to show me the tape in order to prompt my emotions. Pre-looking at his face, I came up here because I wanted to say something to him right after the fact. You don’t have to do the TV stuff with me….I don’t need all the jazz.”
West continued his criticism on his Twitter account, and, since that interview has aired, was back at it this morning.
“I want you guys to look at that footage and start to put everything together now,” he said. “It’s very simple to call someone angry or spoiled or the one thousand names I’ve been called but it’s harder to try to take a look at what’s really behind the curtain... They made a mistake... they thought they could pull it but they couldn’t!”
In response to West’s claims that he was “set up” – the artist also tweeted that he didn’t appreciate “Today” rolling the clip of his (also infamous) interruption of Taylor Swift’s MTV VMAs award acceptance speech in 2009 – Lauer said that nothing was done out of the ordinary.
“It’s something we do everyday. When a guest is talking about a location or an incident, we run video of that location or that incident. There’s nothing improper about it, noting unusual about it whatsoever," Lauer told "Today's" viewers.
Despite the back and forth, West has added that he has no ill will towards the "Today" anchor.
“And I don’t hate Matt Lauer...We don’t promote hate,” he said. "That’s the whole point!!! I promote love and truth! All positive energy ...all smiles. Much love to Matt and the whole Today Show. I accept ya’ll future apology in advance LOL!"
According to his tweets, West is currently in Abu Dhabi to perform.
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