Hell froze over during last night’s Grammy Awards: Kanye West and Taylor Swift made amends.
Kanye famously interrupted Taylor at the 2009 MTV VMAs after she won Best Female Video over Beyoncé. The incident had serious repercussions for both artists: After his co-headlining tour with Lady Gaga was canceled, Kanye spiraled into a deep depression, re-locating to Asia and then Europe, all of which culminated in his self-reflective opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Taylor, meanwhile, ascended to pop superstardom. Six years later, the two artists shook hands publicly for the first time.
However, what would the Grammys be without a bit of controversy, and Kanye couldn’t help himself from pulling a Kanye. After Beck was announced as the winner of Album of the Year, Kanye walked up on stage as if he was going to interrupt Beck’s big moment. He waved him off, turned to the audience, and smiled.
Beyoncé and Jay Z’s reaction was priceless.
As revealed after the show, however, Kanye was in fact upset over Beck’s win. Speaking to E! News, he digressed on why Beyoncé should have won.
“If they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. Flawless Beyoncé video, and Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé. And at this point, we tired of it! Because what happens is, when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music. It’s disrespectful to inspiration. And we as musicians have to inspire people who go to work everyday, and listen to Beyoncé and they feel like it takes them to another place. Then they do this whole promotional event, and they’ll run the music over somebody’s speech, an artist, because they want a commercial advertising. No, we not playing with them no more. And by the way, I got my wife, I got my daughter, and my clothing line, so I’m not gonna do nothing to put my daughter at risk. But I am here to fight for creativity, that’s the reason I didn’t say anything tonight.”
Update – February 9th, 6 a.m.: In an interview with US Weekly, Beck explained why he’s not bothered by Kanye’s comments
“I was just so excited he was coming up. He deserves to be on stage as much as anybody,” Beck told Us Weekly. “How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?” Asked about West’s comments that Beyoncé should have won, Beck replied, “Absolutely,” adding, “I thought she was going to win. Come on, she’s Beyoncé!”