From Bold and Brazen to Apologetic

On Friday, the gossip mags and blogs were having a field day with the announcement that Kanye West had proclaimed himself the next ‘King of Pop.’ I’ll admit that for about the first three seconds after I heard the news, I was a little bit shocked and offended that someone would have the balls (and lack of tact) to steal MJ’s crown so soon after his death, but I quickly got over this and became amused. Kanye was at it again… and I don’t know. For some reason, his brazen declaration worked. Of course, this was the man on all those ridiculous subway ads last summer: be kanye 3

I love the campaign because no one seemed to know what the heck it was advertising. Some kind of sex-enhancing or mood-altering tablets? Date rape? Kanye West? Kanye’s style? (1)

So I was kind of used to Kanye’s shenanigans… even if I don’t really listen to his music at all. And if anyone can get away with such a ridiculous publicity stunt, it very well might be him. (2) After all, MJ did crown himself with the title in the first place.

But after all that, it turns out that Kanye now says he never claimed that he was the ‘King of Pop,’ and I for one am disappointed.

**UPDATE (September 14, 2009): Geeze. Kanye did it again. Alright, so I didn’t watch the MTV VMA’s. I actually just got back from a show at the Cake Shop, but thanks to Twitter and the trending topics, I quickly learned of the Kanye West / Taylor Swift debacle on the awards show tonight. In another bold move, Kanye interrupted the young award recipient, mid speech and proclaimed Beyonce’s video the best of the year, leaving Swift to silently stand on stage for what must have seemed to her to be an eternity before she handed the mic over without saying another word and walked off stage. Nice one, Kanye.

I like how spot-on my initial blog entry title was back in August.

So, to recap… brazen:

Kanye grabbing the mic from a confused and still awestruck Swift

Kanye grabbing the mic from a confused and still awestruck Swift

Then… apologetic:

Wait... is this really an apology?

Wait... is this really an apology?

I’m getting sick of his antics.

(1) Turns out it was Absolut Vodka, which isn’t mentioned anywhere at all on the poster.

(2) Not necessarily on the basis of his music (I don’t listen to it, so I can’t really testify as to how great or groundbreaking or painful it may be), but just based on the fact that he is pretty much an icon at this point. My 54 year-old, unhip librarian mother knows about him, and that’s saying a lot.

* To find out more about my take on the whole Michael Jackson thing, head on over to the blog my fellow NPR interns and I hosted a few months ago.  Note, I wrote this post before his death. Now, sadly, even hearing the opening notes of one of his songs makes me cringe from over-exposure.


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"He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him from loneliness, introversion, the dust of the library; it opened the door of his body and allowed his soul to step out into the world to make friends."

- Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being


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