LOS ANGELES – MTV announced the nominees for the 2013 Video Music Awards on Wednesday, but the talk of the town is still the infamous incident during the 2009 show when West ripped the mic out of winner Taylor Swift’s hands during her acceptance speech.
Because the website Gawker.com published an audio recording Thursday they say is Kanye West unloading on Swift, Pink, and the recording industry in general at the Corner Bistro in Manhattan’s West Village, some time after the 2009 kerfuffle.
“I was happy to be in a situation where people couldn't say, oh, I was trying to promote my own song. For the times that I've, like, defended myself... I'm pushing the envelope! I wrote my fu**in' 'Run This Town' verse for a fu**in' month! When I heard Eminem's verse on the Drake s**t, I went back and rewrote my s**t for two days,” a man they say is West says in the recording. “I canceled appointments to rewrite! I fu**in' care! You know what I'm saying? And that's what I'm saying. Because I did that, Taylor Swift cannot win over Beyoncé! Because I wrote my verse in two days, Taylor Swift cannot beat Beyoncé.”
The voice purported to be West’s then pulled the race card: “As long as I'm alive! And if I'm alive, kill me then! Kill me then! As long as I'm alive, you gon' have to deal with it. 'Cause there ain't gonna be no more motherfu**ing Elvises with no James Browns.”
When asked by a woman in his group why he was so angry, the voice on the recording brings up West’s mom, Donda West, who died in 2007 as a result of complications after undergoing liposuction, saying: “My mother got arrested for the f**in' sit-ins. My mother died for this fame shit! I moved to f**kin' Hollywood chasing this shit. My mother died because of this shit. F**k MTV.”
Then, it was Pink’s turn in the crosshairs.
“What the f**k was Pink performing? Don't nobody know that song. Pink performed twice! Two songs? How the f**k Pink perform two songs and I didn't even get asked to perform ‘Heartless,’” the audio continues. “‘Heartless’ is the biggest song of the year! It had the most spins of the first quarter! I don't know that Pink song! But I noticed that she's Pink!”
The eyebrow-raising audio had many expressing their distaste for the artist, who recently referred to himself as “God” and claimed “ego is my drug” in an interview with W magazine. Last month he released his sixth album “Yeezus,” and it quickly became his sixth consecutive number one debut.
“Disgusting” many tweeted, as others questioned how anyone can stand to even be around him.
But according to the PR experts, the audio isn’t likely to damage West’s reputation.
“Although Kanye's behavior appears to be increasingly erratic, ultimately he will always continue to have a strong fan base due to the fact that he's such a talented artist,” said New York-based publicist, Elissa Buchter. “The public is so desensitized to his outrageous comments by now, to the point where its almost become his calling card. A lesser musician may not be able to sustain it however definitely Kanye can.”
And pop culture writer Michael Cohen said simply that it “will never be the end of Kanye West.”
“Fans, including those in the industry, have a love and hate relationship with him. He says really inappropriate disgusting comments that get everyone irritate and remind us just how immature and classless he really is, but then he comes out with an over-the-top album so everyone forgets his last rant,” he said.
And although Swift was said to be deeply upset by the 2009 VMAs humiliation – these days she is the one having the last laugh.
“Two VMA nominations!! If you vote and get us one, I promise to keep a firmer grip on the mic this time ;),” she tweeted following the nomination announcement this week.
Reps for West, Swift, and MTV did not immediately respond to a request for comment.