Kanye Explains Why He Didn’t Freak Out About Losing To U2

Rapper/producer says the night's other victories outweighed his losses.

LOS ANGELES — Backstage after Wednesday’s Grammys, Kanye West was all hug and kisses, smiles and high-fives.

It’s expected behavior for that scene, but not from the man who just lost Album of the Year (and Record of the Year: see “Mariah And Kanye Win, But In The End U2 — And Curveballs — Rule Grammy Night” ) after loudly declaring, “If I don’t win Album of the Year, I’m gonna really have a problem with that” (see “Kanye’s At It Again: ‘If I Don’t Win Album Of The Year I’m Gonna Have A Problem’ “ ).

So what happened?

Well, his show-stealing performance, for one.

“I would have been more disappointed if I didn’t have a good performance and I had won Album of the Year,” West said. “The performance, that’s what it’s about, the entertainment and people having a good time. I just want to see the black colleges right now. I just want to go onto MySpace right now and see what people are saying.”

West, who did win three golden gramophones (Best Rap Album for Late Registration, Best Rap Solo Performance for “Gold Digger” and Best Rap Song for “Diamonds From Sierra Leone”), also offered an apparently satisfying reason for Album of the Year going to U2′s How to Dismantle and Atomic Bomb (see “Kanye Still Pretty Sure About A Grammy, But There’s A Catch” ).

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“Um, can we say vote splitting?” he said, referring to the concern he addressed the day nominees were announced: that he and Mariah Carey would split votes between the urban music fans in the Recording Academy.

“But that is my boy, Bono,” he continued. “He has taught me a lot about carrying the fame with grace. And the first thing I thought is, ‘Let’s go back to the studio, let’s go.’ It’s good for me, I’m happy, because I have accomplished so much in the last two years, all the way from running the [G.O.O.D.] label to being the artist that you [go to when you] run out of things to do. So now it’s like, ‘OK, we didn’t get the Album of the Year. Let’s go [try again].’ John Legend, Jon Brion, anyone named John, let’s go.”

Perhaps next time he can use the other two notecards he made for Wednesday in case he returned to the podium. After the first one, which read, “THANK YOU LIST,” he had “PEOPLE I FORGOT” and, for Album of the Year, “I TOLD YOU SO!,” he revealed backstage.

All Up In The Grammys

Rub elbows with Kanye, Gwen and Kelly Clarkson on the Grammy green carpet, see West’s epic clip for “Touch the Sky,” get the real Mimi story from Mariah and much more.

West, who crashed MTV News’ interview with John Legend, said it was actually Legend’s win for Best New Artist that he was most excited about. And between his and Legend’s other wins, both their performances and the “Touch the Sky” video debuting earlier that day, the smiles and high-fives were easily justified.

“If you mix the entertainment level of ‘The New Workout Plan’ with the art level of like the black-and-white ‘Heard ‘Em Say’ video, that’s what you get with ‘Touch the Sky,’ ” he boasted of the clip. (See Kanye’s “Touch the Sky” video on Overdrive.)

As for Legend, his Grammy wins also made him anxious to return to the studio.

“This has inspired me,” he said. “I want to top this last album. I want to do better. I’m inspired, I’m ready to write. I’ve been on the road for a long time, I’m ready to get back into the studio.”

And like they have for his mentor, the Grammy wins are working magic for his ego.

“I am more famous now,” he said. “And that means more money!”

The show’s over, but there’s still plenty of Grammy goodness right here on MTVNews.com. Check out photos of the hottest green-carpet and onstage moments, find out what went down at the celeb-packed parties, and share your thoughts on the performers, winners and losers. Plus watch videos of all the nominees on MTV.com and check out exclusive video footage from the big night on Overdrive.

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