Photo Credit: Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic
Hip-hop star and notorious speech-interrupter Kanye West went on a rant in the middle of his show at the Big Chill music festival Sunday night in Herefordshire, England, criticizing how he is perceived. "I walk through the hotel and I walk down the street, and people look at me like I'm (expletive) insane, like I'm Hitler," he said, while generating some boos from the audience in a video of the performance obtained by TMZ.
West had started his show 30 minutes late, and apologized for that, saying he had taken the time to make sure the show was great. "Michael Jordan changed so much in basketball, he took his power to make a difference...," the 34-year-old musician said, explaining that he wanted to make a similar difference.
Watch the Throne, West's long-anticipated joint album with fellow superstar rap mogul (and Beyonce's husband) Jay-Z, was released Monday as a digital iTunes exclusive, to be followed by a retail release on Aug. 12.
And the official video for the single "Monster," featuring dead models hanging by their necks, stirred controversy from the moment it leaked online. Addressing the hoopla during his Big Chill performance, West asked the crowd, "Who saw the video before it got banned, before they took it down and before women's groups started saying that a person who lost the most important woman in his life is now against women in some way?" He was alluding to his closer relationship with his mom Donda West, who died in 2007 from complications due to cosmetic surgery.
West's most infamous controversy, of course, happened at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards when he grabbed the microphone out of best female video winner Taylor Swift's hand, and saying that he would let her "finish" her acceptance speech, but in his opinion Beyonce should have won it.
That one action caused far more upheaval in West's life than his various clashes with paparazzi, or even his 2005 comment following Hurricane Katrina that President George W. Bush "doesn't care about black people." West apologized for stealing Taylor Swift's spotlight, but the backlash was extreme, not just from other celebrities, but also from President Obama, who called West a "jackass".
West ended his show in England with a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, saying how "beautiful" she was, but then veering off into a diatribe about how the media treats celebrities. "Thank you for protecting your artists that are still here," he said. "This is for (Alexander) McQueen, for Amy, for Michael (Jackson) and for all the media, can you lighten up on all your artists that are still here?"
But West insisted that one day his misunderstood actions will be understood. "One day the light will shine through and one day people will understand everything I ever did, ever said, was to throw myself on the blade for the sake of someone else, for the sake of people," he said.