Kanye vs. Kimmel: Supposed ‘rap feud’ the latest bizarre ’Ye moment

September 27, 2013

Kanye West is typing in all caps again.

In his monologue Thursday, late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel said he had received an angry call from the rapper just before the show. The call was prompted by a skit the show aired earlier in the week, in which two children reenact an interview West recently gave to the BBC.

West turned to a familiar tactic to defend himself: a Twitter rant.

“JIMMY KIMMEL IS OUT OF LINE TO TRY AND SPOOF IN ANY WAY THE FIRST PIECE OF HONEST MEDIA IN YEARS,” he wrote on Twitter on Thursday night.

In a series of tweets, he called for the host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to “put yourself in my shoes” and asserted that comic (and Kimmel’s ex-girlfriend) Sarah Silverman “is a thousand times funnier than you and the whole world knows it.”

While introducing the skit Tuesday, Kimmel told viewers that West “said a lot of weird stuff” in the BBC interview.

The skit zeroed in on choice moments in the interview, such as when West talks about the fashion industry’s reluctance to embrace him. “Brought the leather jogging pants six years ago to Fendi and they said no,” West told BBC’s Zane Lowe. “How many [expletives] you done seen with a leather jogging pant?”

West rarely does media interviews these days — “don’t do no press, but I get the most press, kid,” he rapped on his 2012 single “Mercy.” But when he does do interviews (or, let’s face it, speak publicly at all) his statements are inevitably examined closely and sometimes presented hilariously out of context.

A brief — though by no means complete — chronological history:

•In 2010, a Tumblr paired several of West’s tweets with “New Yorker” cartoons, reminding us of Twitter gems like “Why girls from Stockholm be so fresh?”

•Earlier this year, New York Magazine made spiritual posters superimposed with quotes from the rapper. Example: “I am God’s vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.”

•After musing about his career and album “Yeezus” in a New York Times interview, a number of news outlets compiled choice quotes. Social news site BuzzFeed called the interview “truly epic.”

The Associated Press speculates that what Kimmel gleefully referred to as “a rap feud” could be nothing more than a joke, it wouldn’t be the first time a West rant became the subject of widespread attention.

Here’s a slightly less-brief (and likely even more incomplete) history of West’s rant subjects:

Taylor Swift

•The ordering process behind “persian rugs with cherub imagery

Matt Lauer

School cellphone bans

Saturday Night Live

•The federal response to Hurricane Katrina

For his part, Kimmel is known for pulling fast ones on viewers. He recently revealed himself to be behind a viral YouTube video presented as the “Worst Twerk Fail EVER.”

But there’s no indication that West is joking. The rapper resumed tweeting about the tiff Friday, first linking to a post on Slate’s Brow Beat blog that called Kimmel’s skit “lame and unfunny” and echoing several supporters.

Kimmel also posted to Twitter Friday, challenging West to a “rap battle,” with the hash tag #Iplaytheclarinet.

Bethonie Butler is a producer and a reporter on The Post’s engagement team. She oversees online comments and has also contributed to The Style Blog and She The People.
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