Targeting Beyoncé and Jay Z, President Barack Obama, Google, radio and other entities, rapper Kanye West at a Sacramento concert gave his latest onstage rant and truncated his show, alienating fans and sparking angry and bewildered reactions online.
“Kanye just ended his show with a mic drop. I think he was on for what, 30 minutes??! . . . And then ranted,” tweeted audience-member Frances Wang, a reporter for the city’s ABC affiliate, KXTV. “Crowd booing and yelling . . . Lights just turned on. People in the crowd look shocked. Disappointed. Starting to leave the arena. . . . he showed up an hour & a half late, sang 3 songs, ranted, ended show.”
West, 39, currently on his Saint Pablo tour, arrived 90 minutes late Saturday, to his concert before 13,000 fans at the Golden 1 Center, said The Sacramento Bee, which noted he had no opening act. After either two songs (“Famous,” “Father Stretch My Hands”) or three, according to differing reports, the rapper began a roughly 17-minute tirade captured by multiple audience videos.
In an expletive-filled stream-of-consciousness lecture, he told the crowd, “A lot of people here tonight felt like they lost. You know why? Because y’all been lied to. Google lied to you. Facebook lied to you. Radio lied to you,” he declared, according to a 1,600-word transcript by the music magazine The Fader.
Cursing MTV, West wound through a nearly indecipherable path of thought in which he asked radio personality DJ Khaled not to have him killed and that “Obama couldn’t make America great because he couldn’t be him to be who he was. Black men have been slaves. Obama wasn’t allowed to do this,” he said, giving a scream, “and still win. He had to be perfect.”
He pivoted to Beyoncé, saying of, apparently, the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards held in August that the pop songstress “is winning the video tonight for ‘Formation’ over [Drake’s] ‘Hotline Bling’ and [his own] ‘Famous.’ They told me beforehand so I wouldn’t run on stage. . . . Beyoncé, I was hurt because I heard that you said you wouldn’t perform unless you won Video of the Year over me. . . . I’ve been sitting here to give y’all my truth even at the risk of my own life. Even at the risk of my own success, my own career. Jay Z, call me, bruh,” he said, referring to Beyoncé’s music-mogul husband, adding, “Aye, bruh, I know you got killers. Please don’t send them at my head.”
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He ended with a taunt: “Get ready to have a field day, press. . . . because the show’s over,” he said, dropping the microphone.
“This [expletive] crazy,” rap icon Snoop Dogg said of West later in an Instagram video in which he watched footage of the rant. “Have you heard this . . . ?”
Members of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings who attended the show tweeted their astonishment. “Robbed us blind smh [shaking my head],” wrote Willie Cauley-Stein. “Craziest thing ive ever seen in entertainment. 2 songs . . . rant . . . walk out smh,” added Anthony Tolliver.
Attendees are receiving refunds from Ticketmaster.
West was booed by fans Thursday when he announced he did not vote in the recent presidential election but that he would have voted for Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Also Sunday, West reportedly canceled his show in Los Angeles’ Forum arena hours before his scheduled concert. TMZ.com said the Forum show had been a rescheduled date from the Nov. 3 show the artist attended, but also cut short and walked offstage.