We take a look back at some of the moments that have defined Kanye West’s often tumultuous relationship with the media.
Kanye West has always been well aware that the press is a necessary evil when it comes to gaining success. But as his presence in music and his other ventures have grown (his affiliation with Kim Kardashian not withstanding), so has the demand for pictures and coverage of him. The constant prying into his life and being hounded by photographers, paired with the feeling that he is not taken seriously has caused some differences to occur between the media and Kanye.
Yeezy has not been shy in voicing his dislike for the paparazzi, feeling that they encroach on his life as well his loved ones. He has been a staunch believer that stars in the public eye are often treated like zoo animals. He has also often publicly vented his frustrations over his difficulties in extending himself creatively in the fashion field. All this has resulted it some very public outbursts (over the past year specifically, but not limited to, as this list shows), or what we know as “rants”. Furthermore, the photographers have not be afraid to aggravate West, leading to altercations which were both provoked and unprovoked.
Sit back and take a look at some crazy incidents involving Kanye and the media!
Kanye West’s hateful relationship with the paparazzi has been pretty long-standing.
Back in 2008, West displayed the same temper at the press, this time with an accomplice. When Ye entered LAX Airport to board a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii, he was being snapped by a TMZ photographer, so the rapper grabbed his camera and smashed it onto the floor. Another paparazzo began to film the incident as there were shouts for the police. Road Manager and bodyguard, Don Crowley, intervened and also threw a camera to the ground.
Subsequently, both West and Crowley were arrested at LAX for felony vandalism. Yeezy was later charged with battery and grand theft, but the charges were thrown out as West got off with 50 hours of community service.
2. Kanye Has Words With A Photographer Whilst Out With Amber Rose 2009
Whether it has been with Kim Kardashian or Amber Rose, Kanye has always been protective of his personal time.
Before entering a shop with Rose, he goes up to a photographer and repeatedly warns him “don’t follow me!” Nevertheless every movement of Kanye with his then-girlfriend Amber Rose was documented as he took her shopping.
A safe escape for the paparazzi, but definitely a painful one for Kanye.
Back in May 2013, Yeezy was walking with his very pregnant fiancée only to be unpleasantly greeted by a bunch of photographers. The rapper had been spending the day house hunting with Kim, and was out to get lunch with his lady. Although not a crazy run-in with the paparazzi, Mr West and Kim kept their heads down to avoid the flashes from the photographer, only for Kanye to walk straight into a “Wrong Way” sign. It can happen to best of us, but most of us aren’t being photographed while it occurs.
He started to go for the photographers who continued to take photos of him and shouted, “Stop fucking taking pictures”, after which he continued to walk into the restaurant.
July was clearly a bad month for Kanye. This footage from TMZ was taken on Kanye’s way into LAX, on his return in the same month, he would then attack a photographer.
On his way into LAX after being dropped off by his driver, he gave the TMZ photographer a piece of his mind who told Yeezy, “I love your work”. Although Kanye appreciated the compliment, he went off into a small rant telling him, “I don’t want to hear paparazzi talk to me or anyone I know”, covering the camera lens with his hand. However, persistent as they are, the paparazzo continued talking while West walked off, so the rapper turned around to push his camera away.
Yeezy got himself probably in the most trouble he has been in yet with this altercation.
Exiting LAX Airport, Kanye lost it when a paparazzo began asking him questions, a big no-no if you’ve been reading this list. The photographer, named Daniel Ramos, was filmed trying to catch the star’s attention shouting, “Kanye! Kanye! Talk to me, Kanye!” This resulted in West walking towards Ramos, who said, “Now come on, Kanye, I don’t want to fight with you”.
But West launched into one with Ramos, “I told you, don’t talk to me, right. You’re trying to get me in trouble so I step off and have to pay you like $250,000”. He then ran over to the photographer and tried to wrestle him to ground in an attempt to take his camera.
$250,000 may not be the price that Kanye has had to pay, yet. Though, after Ramos filed a lawsuit against West who pleaded no contest in court, he was sentenced by the judge to two years’ probation for the misdemeanor battery conviction. The rapper must also attend 24 anger management sessions and perform 250 hours of community service. Ramos is also suing Yeezy for damages and was quoted as saying, “I was only doing my job, and he broke the law”.
Photographers chose to plant themselves outside the rapper’s house at 4 AM in the morning, definitely not the way anyone would like to be greeted at the time of the day. Understandably annoyed, and not one to keep quiet, Yeezy replied “Shut the fuck up” when welcomed with a “Good Morning Kanye”. One of paparazzo’s even tried to enter his garage!
In the end, West ended his rant at the photographers with, “SHUT THE FUCK UP! You bully! You mosquito bully! Pick a profession with some type of respect to it”. You tell them Kanye!
Whilst the paparazzi may have been expecting to aggravate West, and get a camera knocked over, Kanye kept it real and told them the reason behind his behavior in probably the most civil conversation you’ll get between a photographer and Yeezus.
Simply getting gas from the gas station for his Lamborghini (like we all do), he gave his side of the attack on the paparazzo that happened outside LAX earlier in July 2013.
Speaking to the photographers he said, “That’s the day I found out that my grandfather was not gonna make it. He passed two weeks later”. It seems like they had caught him on a better day as Yeezy seemed more forgiving of the paparazzi, “I know you guys are gonna photograph me. I know it makes a cool photo. I got a cool ass car and shit. I got a dope ass outfit on. It’s all good and shit.”
This whole interaction wasn’t without a “shut the fuck up” to another photographer though.
8. Yeezy Feuds With Jimmy Kimmel September 2013
Kanye sure did go off on Jimmy Kimmel. This all began after the rapper did that pretty epic interview with BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe. Known for his spoof and providing comedy entertainment, Jimmy Kimmel re-created part of the interview with two young kids sipping on milkshakes acting as West and Lowe.
Not everyone found this riff so funny, at least Kanye didn’t. Offended by the video he responded by launching into a rant on Twitter in an ALL CAPS tirade (featured above).
Jimmy Kimmel was light-hearted in his responses over Twitter. He eventually cleared it up when he invited Kanye onto the Jimmy Kimmel Show. On the show, Kanye was pretty mean-faced and straight talking, saying he felt betrayed by Kimmel who he considered a friend, “this is the one person I know!” He also proceeded with a full rant about his ambitions in fashion and the usual. The two eventually straightened it out, at least on the show, as Kimmel presented West with a pair of leather running shorts.
The Chicago rapper may really not like the style of LA’s photographers, but he was more than impressed by the French press. Appearing calm, Kanye even praised the photographers. He told them, “I like how you guys, like, move out here. You’ve got like total respect for yourselves, have respect for the people that you’re photographing.”
He even took the time to shake the hand of a woman who wanted to know who he was!
This will probably go down in history as one of Kanye West’s most entertaining interviews ever. Yeezy is a little unpredictable, you never quite know when/if he’s going to lose it.
But he lost in spectacular style when Sway suggested to West that he didn’t need the help of big companies to extend his creativity. “Why don’t you empower yourself, and do it yourself?”, he asked.
In response the rapper completely lost his temper, which was followed by this:
“How, Sway!? You ain’t got the answers, Sway! I been doing this more than you! You ain’t been doing the education! You don’t have the answers, though, because you tryna give me advice about something. You ain’t spend $13 million a year tryna empower yourself…What’s the name of yo clothing line? We don’t know… I just told you I lost the money ’cause I didn’t have the knowledge of how to do it the right way!”
Luckily, Sway is a true professional and kept calm throughout the interview, adding a “I love you bro”.
We’ve all seen this clip many times, but it will never get old, so here it goes…