Jimmy Kimmel can officially join Taylor Swift and George W. Bush on the list of people Kanye West is not cool with.
“I always wanted to be in a rap feud,” Kimmel joked of the dispute in his “Jimmy Kimmel Live” monologue Thursday night. The dispute was sparked by a bit Kimmel did on his late night show poking fun at the rapper earlier in the week.
It all began with an amazingly quotable interview West recently did with BBC Radio 1, where he candidly discussed just about everything from his invention of leather jogging pants (Fendi totally screwed him over), to his favorite thing (“dopeness”). Kimmel was interested in West’s thoughts on his own success.
“Rap is the new rock ‘n’ roll. We are the rock stars … and I’m the biggest of all of them,” West said in the interview.
Kimmel spoofed the interview in a Tuesday skit with two bratty children acting out parts of the monologue in a bit that lasted a total of two minutes and 50 seconds and was fairly unmemorable. Until West took to Twitter.
In an all-caps tirade, West tweeted Kimmel was “out of line” for making fun of “the most honest piece of media in years” and went on to take explicit shots at Kimmel about his face, his ex-girlfriend Sarah Silverman and, inexplicably, supposed relations between Kimmel and actor Ben Affleck, launching what has to be my favorite hashtag of all time: #NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK.
According to Kimmel, West also called him and told him in a vaguely threatening way he should publicly apologize. Instead, Kimmel took the opportunity to turn the entire exchange into another monologue poking fun at West. The rapper looks silly at best, deranged at worst, and Kimmel was handed fodder for a great monologue on a platter.
So at first glance, it may appear that the level-headed Kimmel bested West in this weird battle, but I think West has once again played us all for fools and remains the champ of messing with the media.
Obviously, there’s speculation that the whole thing is a hoax, especially since Kimmel pranked the entire internet mere weeks ago with his “twerking fail” video, which featured a stunt woman catching aflame while “twerking,” but Kimmel swears that if it’s a joke, he’s not in on it.
But whether it’s a prank or not is sort of irrelevant. We’re all still playing right into West’s hands. If not for this feud, the hype over this BBC interview would have died, and we’d have all moved on to discussing how that blonde from “The Big Bang Theory” got engaged or Zac Efron’s latest rehab stint for a cocaine addiction. But we’re not.
While we think we’re laughing at West, who is scheduled to perform at Nationwide Arena on Nov. 8, by retweeting his rant or hate-watching his interview, we are just helping him get his name out there even more. I knew nothing about this BBC interview prior to reading about his Kimmel dispute, but now I watched most of the four part saga and follow West on Twitter. We are helping the media-savvy mogul do, for free, what celebrities pay big bucks for: promote his brand.
So yes, he might seem foolish when he punches paps, names his daughter North and calls Jimmy Kimmel a manipulative media mother-effer, but I think he’s the one manipulating us. Even at this moment, as I try to explain how West, who recently deleted the tweets, is the real manipulator, I am just another media person writing about him, therefore continuing the conversation on West.
Well played, Mr. West, well played.