If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Kanye West, it’s that he’s a perfectionist who doesn’t take kindly to people calling his professionalism into question. So you can imagine how far off the rails he went when he heard angry fans chant, “F— Kanye!” a few weeks ago at the typically mellow, hippie-friendly Tennessee Bonnaroo festival, where the MC didn’t hit the stage until nearly 4:30 a.m.
The criticism, leveled at the rapper when his intergalactic one-man show took almost two hours to set up following the Pearl Jam set directly preceding it, drew a strangely muted response from the usually verbose MC.
Until Tuesday, that is, when ‘Ye let it spill all over his blog in a mostly capitalized rant that skewered PJ for running late and lambasted the Bonnaroo runners for allegedly not working with him to make sure his tech-heavy set would go off with out a hitch.
“I am sick of negative people who just sit around trying 2 plot my downfall,” West wrote. “Why???? I understand if people don’t like me because I like me or if people think tight clothes look gay or people say I run my mouth to much. But this Bonnaroo thing is the worst insult I’ve ever had in my life. This is the most offended I’ve ever been … this is the maddest I ever will be.”
How mad? West said he was typing so “f—ing hard” on his MacBook Air that he was in danger of breaking the super-thin computer. He dared haters to call him any name in the book (“arrogant, conceited, narcissistic, racist, metro,” etc.). But, he warned (and here we’ve removed the caps for your reading pleasure), “Never say I didn’t give my all! This shows no matter how hard you try to be good at something there will be people there to lie about you and bring you down! Like Wayne says, ‘Please don’t shoot me down ’cause I’m flying!’ ”
West said he was really hurt by the fan reaction because all he cares about are his supporters. He also argued that Bonnaroo should have released a statement in his defense, but since they didn’t, he vowed to “break down the walls on this ‘Truman Show’ ” to explain what happened.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon (June 25), festival organizers said, “Over seven years of presenting the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, we have successfully presented hundreds of the top artists in the world. Our world-class-event production team strives to accommodate the needs of every performer. We will continue to present the highest level of production while representing the best interests of our audience, staff and performers.”
According to West, he went back and forth for more than a month with the festival runners over whether or not he would be able to fit his enormous set on the stage. “One day they would say yes … We’d send them our specs and then they’d say OK … Then they would send specs back that didn’t fit the stage,” he wrote. After a few unkind words about the professionalism of the festival, West said organizers tried to give him a daytime slot that would not have worked with his extensive lighting setup. “It’s not called ‘Glow in the Dark’ for no reason, squid brains!” he explained. “My people worked out a compromised stage plot and a 3 a.m. time slot, and I agreed. Fast forward to the day of the show. My production manager tried to load in for 24 hours before I went on stage but the festival wouldn’t allow us to do anything until Pearl Jam left the stage. Pearl Jam ended one hour late!”
The rapper didn’t address rumors that he
insisted on playing late so as to avoid competition from other artists, but understandably said that at 3 a.m. he was “racing against the sun.” Five minutes before taking the stage, West said he was told it would take nearly another hour to load all the pyro. So he abandoned some elements of the show and took the stage, which, he noted, was littered with trash thrown by fans who he claims broke one of his onstage screens.
Due to a stage slick with liquid, West said he couldn’t perform all his moves. He also said that he had to cut a few numbers because of the late hour and his desire to do his big production number “Stronger.”
“It broke my heart that I couldn’t give these fans ‘Stronger’ at its greatest form,” he wrote. “By the time I got to ‘Stronger’ it was daytime and it broke my heart. I’m sorry to everyone that I didn’t have the ability 2 give the performance I wanted to … Sometimes I go 2, 3 days w/no sleep working on my performance … I have to ice my knees after every show and they hurt when I walk through the airport … having an expensive stage cuts my payday in half … call me what you want but never say I didn’t give my all!!!”