Maybe he was possessed by the spirit of late Wu-Tang rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard. That's one explanation for why Kanye West crashed the stage at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Copenhagen, Denmark, Thursday night and launched into a profanity-laced tirade after losing out on the Best Video award. After the show, however, a somewhat loose-looking Kanye gave a very different reason for his bum rush: He told MTV UK correspondent Tim Kash it was due to drinking before the show.
"I had a little sippy sippy," he said. He added that, after the show, he planned to do "a little more sippy sippy."
At the awards ceremony, West, who won the Best Hip-Hop artist trophy, was not content to sit idly by as Justice vs. Simian's arty "We Are Your Friends" took home top honors over his own big-budget "Touch the Sky."
Unlike the Simian video — which features images of people falling through floors, lying passed out as a forest of beer bottles is set up around them and milk and cereal are poured on them — Kanye argued during his bum-rushing rant that his high-concept clip should have won because, "[My video] cost a million dollars. Pamela Anderson was in it. I was jumping across canyons and sh--." If his Evel Knievel-honoring effort doesn't win, Kanye argued, "the awards show loses credibility. Nothing against you, but hell, man."
This isn't Kanye's first awards-show tirade. In December, he spouted to MTV News about the Grammy Awards, saying, "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' "). He also previously attacked the American Music Awards backstage at the event after losing Best New Artist to Gretchen Wilson.
Kanye's latest rant, which drew gasps from the audience, continued at a press conference after the show, according to reports from MTV UK. West told the media he was upset because he had the best video, admitting, "I haven't seen [the Justice vs. Simian video]. Possibly it could have been quite good, but no way better than 'Touch the Sky.' That is complete bullsh--. I paid a million. Obviously it's not all about the money, but the response it got transcended everything, it really made great TV. It took a month to film; I stood on a mountain; I flew a helicopter over Vegas. I did it to be the king of all videos and I wanted to walk home with that award."
He chalked up the Justice vs. Simian win to some "spread the love bullsh--, 'Oh everyone should have an award'. Please, press people, print 'Kanye says f--- that!"
Speaking to Kash afterward, in classic Kanye fashion, rather than apologizing for raining on Simian's parade, West said he hoped his intrusion would not be edited down or chopped up, but played in its entirety. "I just went up there and I talked my sh-- onstage," he said. "Just as long as they don't edit my part, I'll be good."
West had kinder words for host Justin Timberlake, who beat him out in the Best Male category. "Obviously Justin should have won," a momentarily humbled West said. "He's on fire and he's an inspiration to me."
Alas, Kanye had to settle for one award, while Timberlake took home two, including a nod for Best Pop artist. Other winners included the Red Hot Chili Peppers (Best Album), the Killers (Best Rock), Christina Aguilera (Best Female), Muse (Best Alternative act), Depeche Mode (Best Group) and Rihanna (Best R&B). Gnarls Barkley won Best Song for their ubiquitous hit "Crazy" as well as the Futuresounds award, a best new artist nod voted on by musical peers. The show also featured performances by Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, the Killers, Snoop Dogg, Keane, Muse and Finland's finest, Lordi.
Perhaps as a sign of her enduring cultural influence, Madonna was the butt of two comedy bits during the show, with British comedian Avid Merrion spoofing her performance of "Hung Up" at last year's awards and Borat taking another poke at his creator Sacha Baron Cohen's former dinner companion with the line, "My only concern is that the singing transvestite will not a be good father."
MTV Europe Music Awards winners:
- Best Video: Justice vs. Simian, "We Are Your Friends"
- Best Song: Gnarls Barkley, "Crazy"
- Best Album: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium
- Best Female: Christina Aguilera
- Best Male: Justin Timberlake
- Best Group: Depeche Mode
- Best Pop: Justin Timberlake
- Best Hip-Hop: Kanye West
- Best Rock: The Killers
- Best R&B: Rihanna
- Best Alternative: Muse
- Best U.K. and Ireland Act: The Kooks
- Futuresounds Award: Gnarls Barkley
[This story was originally published on 11.3.2006 at 8:46 a.m. ET.]