On Top of the World? Yeezy's Recent Breakdown


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Courtesy GettyImages.com


Kanye West is no stranger to controversial behavior. Despite a successful career as an American hip-hop artist, West often speaks his mind to the public, for better or worse. During Hurricane Katrina, for example, West stated that former President George W. Bush did not care about black Americans. Of course, West's most infamous remark came during the 2009 Video Music Awards, during which he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech. So, it’s no surprise that West is acting out again, as another outburst has been long overdue.

During a concert in London on Feb. 23, West began a lengthy rant against his fellow musical artists, targeted mostly at Jay-Z for his involvement with Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie.” West also spoke out against the Grammys, shouting, “Remind me again why we in this sh—/ Remind me again why the Grammys can s— my d—.” Of course, West often uses his concerts to burst into freeform rap sessions, critiquing the world around him with on-the-spot lyrics.

As West proceeded to finish the concert with his hit “Touch the Sky,” the rapper began by singing that he was on “Top of the world!” Gradually, each cry became more distorted, as West’s lyrics morphed into sobs, and his sobs morphed into screams. Eventually, after leaning on his haunches and belting into the microphone, West staggered off stage, but not before slamming his microphone to the ground. The rapper’s peculiar reaction quickly went viral across the Internet, with various reporters speculating about his behavior.

West’s breakdown is unsurprising, even if his recent hysterics are rather amusing. Harsh criticisms and temper tantrums often punctuate West’s career, adding a touch of color to his performances. For West, perhaps the stress of celebrity life is straining his connection with reality. With his tendencies to break down during major life events — his wedding and upcoming parenthood with pregnant girlfriend Kim Kardashian, Hurricane Katrina, music awards — this seems very plausible.

Of course, West’s claim that he is “everybody's hero, villain, savior and sinner” during an interview three years ago with Matt Lauer also proves that he is delusional. At most, he is nothing more than a successful rapper and inspiring artist. However, it may just be that West uniquely deals with his stardom. After all, it would be rather unsurprising if acting out is West’s personal release from the pressures of the public eye.


Philip Wythe

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