November 24th, 2010
11:27 AM ET
In advance of his expected performance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Kanye West hit up the Bowery Ballroom in New York City Tuesday for a set that featured songs off his critically acclaimed album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
The performance was packed with some of the album’s guest stars, including Swizz Beatz, John Legend, Pusha T and Nicki Minaj (whose own album, “Pink Friday,” dropped this week), according to New York magazine's Vulture.
But as interesting as the performance was, it looks like West’s closing speech has grabbed plenty of attention.
West started off with the obvious: “As you know, it's been an extremely hard year for me…But getting back to music, G.O.O.D. Fridays, and the album ... I never thought I'd say this, I wanna thank the magazines for perfect scores across the board. I always felt like I could do anything.”
And while he said he's not "here to talk politics; I'm here to make music" – and also wasn’t interested in being asked any “stupid f--” questions – he did refer to two incidents that have caused a media hailstorm: what shall forever be known as That One Time at the VMAs and the recent media mentions of the phrase he uttered about former president George W. Bush during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“I am very particular with my words, and [with] the emotion that I felt at that time, it wasn’t worded exactly right," West told the crowd last night of his statement. He added that while others were praising him for saying “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” he was thinking, “that’s not exactly what I wanted to say. I was emotional, that was not exactly the way I wanted to word it. But I rode it.”
In fact, he went on, he rode it kinda like Taylor Swift did.
“I rode it. Just as Taylor never came to my defense in any interview and rode the wave," West said. "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."
West then called the interview "Today's" Matt Lauer conducted with the former president exploitative.
"Look at what the media did, at how they exploited [Bush]. They said that he said it was his lowest moment and as a mass, as America, we took that as fact...If you look at the interview he said that was one of his lowest moments... But because 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’s comment could be his lowest moment."
West ended the litany of statements with a note of encouragement. "If you’re a real artist, have no fear," he said, instructing said artists to say and do what they choose. "And if it’s meant to be, the people will stand up, like the people stood up for me this week, 600,000 coming off being the most hated person this time last year."
You can check out the full video of West's statements here.
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