Kanye West, famed American rapper and husband of Kim Kardashian, gave quite the speech right in the middle of his concert in Brisbane, Australia, Monday night. Media reports that he had demanded that a concert-goer in a wheelchair stand up at a previous show had stirred his ire.
West is known for his legendary rants, and this one is full of gems. The gist of it is that West is a "married Christian man with a family," and that he should, therefore, be left alone, even though he is one of the world's biggest celebrities. In the course of the five-minute rant, though, West preaches some truth.
Here are five things Kanye West knows that you might not:
1)There was no actual "wheelchair incident"
The whole reason West felt he needed to go on this tirade is because he felt he was being misrepresented in the media. This weekend, several media outlets reported that West "demanded" that handicapped audience members stand up to listen to his music at his concert in Sydney. The story spiraled out of control, with some claiming that West sent his bodyguard into the crowd to force people to stand. This story spread mostly because Kanye West is a huge egomaniac, which made it seem vaguely believable. The man did name his last album Yeezus, after all.
As shown in the video of the event, however, West did, indeed, pause the song to get people to stand up. But once he realized the fan in question was in a wheelchair, he simply returned to the song.
2) Which show Michael Strahan is on
Michael Strahan, former NFL player and co-host of Live! with Kelly and Michael is also on Good Morning America, as of earlier this summer.
"Michael Strahan is still at the Today show — no, Good Morning America," West said during his speech. The correction was right. Even we didn't know Strahan was on Good Morning America in addition to Live!
3) Being offensive is actually his brand
Kanye West is one of most quotable rappers out there (don't forget that he calls himself a "blowfish"), but he's also a damn good rapper, partly because he is offensive. And he's nothing if not self-aware about it.
"Don't I say offensive shit here and there, like, so wait a second, that's my brand!" West said during his speech. He added this caveat: "What I'm sayin' is, you've got like 12 years that we put in positive music. How many people ever heard one of my songs on their way to work — they heard it, and it made them feel better?"
Got that? Kanye West's raps make people feel better.
4) What "Ben Affleck statements" are
Making fun of Ben Affleck was pretty funny three years ago, but Kanye is still throwing shade. He said, "[If you]make the decision to pick one woman and raise a family, anyone here that's married or that's in a relationship knows that there's enough things workin' against you. I'm not going to make one of them Ben Affleck statements and shit."
It seems likely he's referencing Affleck's 2013 Oscar acceptance speech for the film Argo, in which Affleck told his wife Jennifer Garner that their marriage is "work" but that there's no one he'd rather work with. Did you remember this happened? No? Kanye West did.
5) Violence in America is an important story
About a minute into his rant, West pauses to call out media outlets, saying:
"I want you to run that, right, since this is such big media-press-news and everything that obviously they trying to demonize me for. It's like, ‘Welcome to today's news, ladies and gentlemen.' We've got Americans getting killed on TV, kids getting killed every weekend in Chicago, unarmed people getting killed by police officers ..."
Kanye knows that violence in America is a massive issue. Gun violence. Black-on-black violence. White-on-white violence. Violence against women.
When West talks about "unarmed people getting killed by police officers," he's referencing the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last month, and his point is well taken. Should Ferguson and stories like it be more important than something Kanye West supposedly said at a concert? Almost certainly.