And I always find, yeah, I always find somethin’ wrong
You been puttin’ up wit’ my shit just way too long
I’m so gifted at findin’ what I don’t like the most
So I think it’s time for us to have a toast
Let’s have a toast for the douchebags,
Let’s have a toast for the assholes,
Let’s have a toast for the scumbags,
Every one of them that I know
Let’s have a toast to the jerkoffs
That’ll never take work off
Baby, I got a plan
Run away fast as you can
–Kanye West, “Runaway”
I watched the MTV Video Music Awards on my DVR the other night. It was the normal MTV crap that reminds me of why I don’t watch MTV (I’ll spare you the standard, 30-something guy tirade of MTV-doesn’t-play-music-anymore).
But something came at the very end that hit me in the brain. It was Kanye West’s performance of his new track, “Runaway”. Somehow he performed magic, at least on me. I started singing along to the song around the second chorus. I work with a ‘jerkoff that’ll never take work off’ and by toasting this guy, I experienced a pop-infused, fleeting catharsis.
Why the hell am I toasting the douchebags, assholes, scumbags and jerkoffs while I chuckle and smile?
This post isn’t about me trying to put Kayne on a pedestal, but whether you like him or hate him doesn’t matter – the dude is smart. Mark my words, but you’re not just going to find me singing this song. You’re going to be seeing people sing this all over the place.
If you’ll indulge me a bit more, I’ll give you the backstory. At last year’s VMAs, Kanye jumped up on stage in the middle of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video. This created a good meaty meme, a meme my friend and I were more than happy to run with.
So now 2010 rolls around and everyone’s speculating what will go down. Will Taylor fire back? What will Kanye do?
Not only did he admit fault, but he also admitted, ‘we’ve been putting up with his shit way too long’ AND made a great track out of it. Did I mention the performance and stage design was off the chain too? From the lonely piano key dings to the red suit and red sneakers to the white stage, it was hip-hop meets Kubrick.
As Richard Dreyfus told us in Apple’s “Crazy Ones” commercial:
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things…
Again, I’m hardly saying Kanye is up there with Gandhi and Jim Henson, I’m just saying he’s crazy, a troublemaker and you can’t ignore him.