This entry is going to be quite long, so pack your patience!
In part because of what I blogged about below, I made sure to miss the MTV Video Music Awards. It has nothing to do with the artists.
I just feel that MTV is not the "be all end all" for music videos anymore as they only show about 3-5 hours of actual music video programming a day. Don't worry, none of the other video music stations are any better at this point.
I didn't bother to watch.
Last night, I'm between watching the Bears and Packers and online when I see a slew of comments about Kanye West. "Fuck Kanye West", "Kanye West is an asshole" and the like.
Within a half hour of the show's start time, Taylor Swift went on stage to accept her Video Music Award for Best Female Video for "You Belong With Me" and Kanye did...this.
3 million hits later, it's been the only thing people have been talking about relating to the VMA's and it got me to thinking.
Could this have been staged? I originally thought I was crazy, too. However, there's a lot more to this story than meets the eye.
Kanye West has showboated his way through awards shows since at least 2004 when he was up for Grammies as an artist for the first time. Nothing has changed in those five years. He has badmouthed MTV and the artists that play on MTV year after endless year and they keep inviting him to awards shows. Why? Because he likes the attention and MTV wants that attention.
My personal feeling is that Kanye probably did it because the producers asked him to do something crazy and spontaneous. Why else would they have let him on stage? He wasn't up for that award. Had it been any random person, they would have been escorted out before they even had a chance to finish. Security would have been there. But, he's Kanye and MTV loves Kanye.
Why do I think the producers did it? There are many reasons actually.
1. Look at the reality programming on MTV. The Real World, The Hills, and the like all exist for drama. Everything is edited in such a way to paint a picture and tell a story, because nobody wants to see a bunch of 20 somethings scratching their asses and doing nothing...they want to see drunkenness, sex, and fighting!
2. Something like this happens at MTV awards shows all the time to give people something to talk about. Just think about the Eminem/Sasha Baron Cohen situation. But MTV would never just fake something, right? Jerry Springer was a part of MTV's Spring Break way back when to promote his new movie Ringmaster when a fight broke out on his show. Days after it aired, Newsday posted an article with the party in question admitting that they put on a staged act.
3. Kanye gave The Insider something to put on their show the next day. Listen to the people that are there going about their business.
4. Beyonce's being seen as a classy lady. I totally believe that she is. She's the queen in shining armor for Taylor Swift and everybody was applauding what she did. However, she's worked in the business long enough to know how Kanye is and she probably has the bargaining power to work with who she wants to...so why is it that she's re-releasing I Am...Sasha Fierce with one of the singles off of it featuring Kanye West? I don't know. Maybe, I'm selfish. Badumbumchhhh...
Jay-Z knows how Kanye is and how he acted last night, embarrassing his wife and yet...he still let 'ye perform on The Jay Leno Show.
Still far-fetched? OK, maybe it isn't staged, but MTV allowed it to happen.
Kanye West has continued to do this at every single awards show, many of them related to MTV. Why keep inviting him when you know he's going to do this? It's MTV and they want the attention. If they don't have that "coffee talk moment" the next morning, it's perceived as a failure.
Personally, I see it as a failure that they can't do an awards show on the credibility of the artists that they play.
A one liner history lesson of the last decade of VMAs:
1999: Lil' Kim's boobylicious dress.
2000: Tim Commerford's climb to the rafters.
2001: Britney dancing with a snake.
2002: Eminem and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
2003: "The kiss."
2004: Welcome to Miami...booooooring.
2005: Fat Joe and G-Unit.
2006: Panic at the...fuck was that?
2007: The worst comeback of all time!
2008: The best comeback to the worst comeback of all time...and purity rings!
In just about every year, you wind up seeing at least one thing that you'll wind up talking about that may actually have nothing to do with the music at all.
It's the #1 show they have every year because of this and...big surprise, their ratings increased this year by 17%.
MTV has plenty to gain from this and from what I've seen...they already have.