With the release of his fifth album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” Kanye West reminds fans that, along with being a grade-A fame magnet and constant tabloid target, he makes pretty good music. But where does his Twitter feed and VMA non-speech rank in the pantheon of greatest hits and biggest misses?
4. Unaware: Kanye West donated his time to the Live 8 concert in 2005 to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, but he used his time to misinform instead. ’Ye told the crowd (and the millions watching) that AIDS is a “man-made disease.”
3. Bonnaroo Snafu: Concerts often start late, and rap shows are notorious for it. Kanye West, though, might have set the record at Bonnaroo in 2008. West, who moved his set back to 2:45 in the morning to accommodate his stage-light show, then proceeded to wait until 4:30 a.m. to get underway.
2. I’mma let you finish … : We all know the story. Taylor Swift, MTV Video Music Awards, drunk Kanye, Beyonce had the greatest video of all time, etc …
1. The Telethon: The best performance that Mike Myers has given in the last decade was not turning to West after his “George Bush don’t care about black people” comment on a hurricane relief telethon and say, “asphinctersayswhat?”
4. @KanyeWest: Yeezy joined Twitter earlier this year and immediately became the most interesting person on the 140-characters-at-a-time site.
3. “808s and Heartbreak”: Forget whether the album is any good. West is as vulnerable and open here as a rapper can be, and the record answers the question “Can Auto-Tune have soul?” in the affirmative.
2. “Through the Wire”: West’s first breakthrough single is moving, personal and, by the end, triumphant despite being released at a time when hip-hop was boastful first and thoughtful second.
1. Redemption at the VMAs: If acceptance is the end of grief, Yeezy finally got better at this year’s MTV VMAs with a stunning performance of “Runaway.” “A toast for the douchebags,” indeed.