Three things to take from last night’s debut of The Jay Leno Show: 1.) Jay Leno remains unfunny. 2.) It was really Kanye West‘s night. 3.) Despite his flaws, Mr. West remains one hell of an entertainer… and alive and well.
The last 24 hours have been an absolute nightmare for the Chicago rapper, and rightfully so. What he did to Taylor Swift at Sunday’s VMAs was arrogant, inexcusable, and downright pathetic. President Obama summed it up perfectly when he called West a “jackass.”
That said, Kanye has done this thing before. Remember the whole “George Bush hates black people”? What about when he went all Taylor Swift on Justice a few years back? Bonnaroo, anyone? The fact is, Sunday’s night stunt was just Kanye being Kanye.
There’s no denying his ego and self-referential attitude. But for as bad as these traits may be, they are also a part of Kanye’s charm. Sure, he’s a “jackass,” but he’s our “jackass.” His personality makes him captivating, his comments make him a thrill to write about, and his confidence has helped him become perhaps the decade’s greatest entertainer.
So, while you can say Sunday’s incident was the final straw and call for a mass boycott all you want, know this: Kanye’s career is far from over. In fact, if his Leno appearance and performance say anything, the rapper, well, to quote his song, is only going to get stronger.
Accompanying Rihanna and Jay-Z’s on “Run This Town”, (sorry Hova, but this was Kanye’s night!) West’s performance was nothing less of spectacular. Emotionally raw and incredibly passionate, the 90 seconds worth of rhymes saw a rapper falling back on the only thing he could truly rely on with 100% certainty: his talents.
If anything, West now again has something to prove. Last night was only a taste. A few months from now, after a “career break”, shit will go down.
And we’ll all be there with open arms…