Jay-Z has known Kanye West for many years, so when he watched West interrupt Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards, he probably wasn't as surprised as a lot of people.
"He's just a super-passionate person, and of course it was rude because it was [Swift's] moment, but that's the way he really felt. [But] he's been that passionate from his first record," Jay reportedly told BBC Radio.
"He used to jump on tables ... I was trying to make the first Blueprint, he's jumping on tables, rapping, and I'm like, 'Yo, not now.' That was just him. He's always been that passionate."
But while Jay may have understood Kanye's outburst, he wasn't about to give his producer and protégé a pass for the way he behaved during the VMAs, either. And he told him as much when the two appeared the following night on "The Jay Leno Show" (where West would subsequently offer a tearful apology to Swift for his actions).
"[I told him] I think it was rude, [and] that he has to watch his passion. At the end of the day, we're going to celebrate him for his passion more than vilify him [for it]," Jay said. "Because his passion, which caused him to make Graduation and all these great records, is the same thing that causes him to step out of line sometimes. So as he grows, he has to learn how to balance that. And he'll learn that in years to come. That passion right there ... that wasn't fake or staged — it was how he really felt, and it was just inappropriate. It wasn't fair to Taylor."
And now that West has apologized (multiple times, and to Swift personally) for his outburst, Jay thinks it's time for everyone to move on. To him, this whole situation, while unfortunate, has been blown out of proportion
"I mean, it's an awards show, really, and I think it's a bit blown out," Jay said. "He's on the cover of every paper, he didn't kill anybody. Nobody got harmed," Jay said. " I don't think he should lay low, I think he should go on tour and have a brilliant career. It's an awards show."
The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards might have wrapped, but the party is far from over. Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes updates, party reports and much more.