Kanye West and late night host Jimmy Kimmel reached a détente in their so-called feud earlier tonight when West appeared on Kimmel's show to talk about exactly what went down and to patch things up. In addition to explaining his dissatisfaction with Kimmel's sketch about his BBC interview, Kanye also touched on the broader subject of fame and described how the media tries to pigeonhole him as just a hip-hop artist. It was electrifying.
Here are some of the highlights.
On the BBC interview spoof and subsequent tweets
Kimmel told West that "Now I will tell you that the truth is the main reason that I did that is because I like to see kids curse" and also brought up that they've done similar sketches with other artists such as Lady Gaga.
As for his response and (valid) rumors that it was all fake, West said:
"I've never done a publicity stunt in my life. Any time I went up and spoke my mind, whether I put my career in jeopardy or whatever someone so-called said, it was always what I thought was the truth."
But both of them seemed to admit that the flare-up wasn't anything too serious and West noted, "These egos can flare up and we kinda just took it back to high school for a little bit."
Referencing his aggression, Kimmel told West that, "a lot of times I think you bring it on yourself—this kind of misunderstanding about you," adding, "I don't know if you know this: a lot of people think you're a jerk, and I'm often in my personal conversations saying "No, I know this guy. He is not a jerk.' "
On being a genius
West spoke out against the idea that celebrities are supposed to exhibit false humility, saying that doing so just puts up a "glass ceiling" that is more difficult to crack.
I'm not running for office. I'm just here to make good music, make people feel good when they hear my music. And you know, when i did that interview, I was really vocal about a lot of things that' I'd been dealing with over the last ten years and I was put in the classification of 'just a celebrity' because, you know, for me, I'm a creative genius and there's no other way to word it. I know you're not supposed to say that about yourself, and I say things the wrong way a lot of times and my intention is always positive. And I want to bring more things to the world, I want to help the world, I want to make people's lives easier.
He also stated:
I wouldn't even say that I'm a rapper. I'd say that I'm more of a messenger than a rapper. So even when you say 'rap beef' it sort of undermines it.
I could care less about any of these cameras, in all honesty. All I care about is my family, I care about protecting my girl, protecting my baby and protecting my ideas and my dreams. And that's the reason why I went so crazy.
I'm totally weird, and I'm totally honest, and I'm totally inappropriate sometimes. And the thing is: for me to say I wasn't a genius, I would just be lying to you and to myself.
You're gonna love me, you're gonna hate me, but I'm gonna be me.
On being labeled a rapper and working on his fashion line
West spent some of the latter half of his interview (he spoke for eight minutes uninterrupted, actually) talking about trying to work in fashion, and how difficult it is since he's often labeled as just a rapper. "All we want to do is make awesome stuff," he said. "All we want is a real shot." He spoke both to Kimmel, the audience, and directly into the cameras:
A lot of people say, "You have to do music." I'm gonna keep doing music, but what if people told me I couldn't rap? What would've happened? What if people told me I couldn't perform? You know, I'm only 36 years old. I have other goals and other things. And I'm gonna use my platform, every platform, to stand up and say "I want to make something."
No matter how many people tell me "stop believing in yourself, stop saying what you can do, stop affirming what you can do and then completing that in real life. That's the improper way to do it." I refuse to follow those rules, and the way that society is set up and the way that they control people with low self-esteem. With improper information, with branding, with marketing; I refuse to follow those rules!
On the media's coverage of him
Both Kimmel and West sort of marveled at how Twitter allowed their dialogue to play out publicly and in real time (West said there were a bunch of tweets he didn't even publish) and how that plays into how he antagonizes the media.
I just thought that that was amazing man. To crack in a way, just to- I feel like media does everything they can to break creatives, break artists, to break people's spirits, and I do everything I can to break media.
And he ended the show on a strong not with this proclamation:
The way paparazzi talk to my family is disrespectful. We bring something of joy to the world. When people hear my music, they have a good time, and I should be respected as such when I walk down the street. Don't ask me a question about something you saw in the tabloids, don't try to antagonize me, because you know what? It's not safe for you in this zoo. Never think that I'm not from Chicago for one second.