The Brand of Kanye West

If you happened to miss Kanye West’s outburst during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMA’s Sunday night, you have probably seen, or at least heard, about it by now.

Just as Taylor, visibly shocked by the win herself, began to thank her loyal fans, Kanye came out of no where, grabbed the mic, and shouted, “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you.  I’ll let you finish, but Beyonce has one of the best videos of all time.  One of the best videos of all time!”

Seriously?!?  He then handed the mic back to Taylor, as if she was supposed to keep going as if nothing had happened.  My friends and I sat staring at each other as MTV awkwardly flashed to a promo clip of Tracy Morgan then commercial.

While some have questioned if the act was staged, I don’t think that was the case.  However, this got me to thinking about the brand of Kanye West.

This is not the first time his temper has raged in front of a live audience.  How does his PR team allow this to continue happening?  Is being a jerk all part of the Kanye West brand?

His apology to Taylor on his blog would support this conclusion.  Before being deleted, Kanye posted “I’m not crazy ya’ll.  I’m just real.  Sorry for that!!!!”

Today, that comment had been removed, and in its place he posted, “I feel like Ben Stiller in “Meet the Parents” when he messed up everything and Robert De Niro asked him to leave…That was Taylor’s moment and I had no right in any way to take it from her.  I am truly sorry.”

A little better than the first, but he still sounds like a jerk.

Then, on Monday night, he was set to perform with Jay Z and Rhianna on the premiere of Jay Leno’s new show.  Before the performance he came out to talk with Jay.  When Jay asked what Kanye thought his mother would think about the incident, the artist appeared overly emotional.  After apologizing some more, he left the stage to an applauding audience.

So what does all of this leave us with?  Both artists have obviously gained a huge amount of publicity from the stunt.  And all publicity is good publicity right?  Maybe that’s what Kanye’s publicist was thinking…

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