Kanye West is talented, and not many will dispute that. But he’s also a raging ego-maniac, and not many will dispute that, either.
West is notorious for comments he’s made about himself over the years, including but not limited to comparing himself to Michael Jordan:
“I realize that my place and position in history is that I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. “It’s me settling into that position of just really accepting that it’s one thing to say you want to do it and it’s another thing to really end up being like Michael Jordan.”
He’s also made some arguable claims about others in the industry:
“The greatest, biggest pop-cultural figure of all time, arguably bigger than Jesus Christ, is Michael Jackson.”
West made headlines in 2009 when he interrupted young country star Taylor Swift–who was onstage to receive her award for Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards–to grab the mic from her hand and declare that while her video was good, Beyonce had one of “the best videos of all time”. Beyonce was one of Swift’s fellow nominees in the category.
He’s shocked audiences for years with his absurd rants and high opinion of himself, and now it seems the general public isn’t alone in recognizing his jackassery. The prez himself says that while he thinks Kanye is talented, he prefers Jay-Z, and said so to David Samuels of The Atlantic.
“Although I like Kanye,” Obama continues, with an easy smile. “He’s a Chicago guy. Smart. He’s very talented.” He is displaying his larger awareness of the question, looking relaxed, cerebral but friendly, alive to the moment, waiting for me to get to the heart of the matter.
“Even though you called him a jackass?,” I ask.
“He is a jackass,” Obama says, in his likable and perfectly balanced modern-professorial voice. “But he’s talented.”
Obama first mentioned his feelings towards the rapper back in 2009, right after the Taylor Swift incident.
“The young lady seems like a perfectly nice person. She’s getting her award. What’s he doing up there? He’s a jackass,” he said.
No word yet on how Kanye feels about all this; he’s been busy taking Kim Kardashian out on the town. But I have a feeling we’ll hear about it soon enough.