Kanye West - Barclays Center - 11/19/13
Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar
All photos: Rogers and Cowan This live shot, from an earlier show, was provided by tour PR
Better Than: Every ill-conceived "I'ma let you finish, but..." joke ever told, shouted down a well in the Hamptons; popping a wheelie on the Zeitgeist.
One wonders: who's the billionaire that called Kanye West on the phone recently to tell him he didn't like the way he's going about things, that he didn't like how he's conducting himself in interviews? Kanye told the packed stadium at Barclays last night about the call just after the midway point of his sprawling, spectacular, and engaging two-plus hour behemoth of a Yeezus Tour show. "He wanted to give me some advice," he told us from his knees, exasperated, masked (more on that in a sec) but nowhere near anonymous. If you've followed Ye's career at all--college dropout, can't be told nothin', unapologetic even while being apologetic, a self-proclaimed God--you know how the call ended.
Not well. No one gives Kanye West advice he hasn't asked for. Because no one, at just 36 years of age, has made it this far, has been this good for this long. (As it turns out, it truly is hard to be humble when you're stuntin' on a jumbotron.) Besides, none of the people who clamor to give Kanye advice "can rock the 15,000 motherfuckers in here tonight!" like he can.
This anecdote-turned-self-help-speech (please stop calling them rants) was one of a few during the night, most with the overarching theme that the assembled mass should, on some Rap Game Tony Robbins shit, always believe in themselves, even when told they shouldn't. At other times, Kanye admonished the crowd for not knowing the various names of inventors he was dropping or who directed The Holy Mountain (which clearly inspired the Yeezus Tour aesthetic). He also told us his creative genius is a curse, not a blessing, because "ALL THESE IDEAS KEEP ME UP AT NIGHT!" (x15)
These jaunts down the unrehearsed avenues of Kanye's mind were everything we've come to expect--brash, egotistical, not fully formed, melodramatic, easily-mockable. Also: fascinating. And not just because they came from a man dressed like this: