Times Kanye West Was Over The Top

"Wait 'til I get my money right ... then you can't tell me nothing, right?" These lyrics are from Kanye (Ye) West's 2007 hit "Can't Tell Me Nothing," released off of his third studio album, "Graduation." In many ways, the "Jesus is King" rapper was predicting the future. West had his moment when Forbes declared him a billionaire in 2020, crediting a chunk of his fortune to his Yeezy collaboration with Adidas. Since then, no one has been able to tell him nothing. He's expanding his empire, and doing it the Ye way.

But West didn't have to be a billionaire to start forging his own path. Long before he was minting millions from selling sneakers, West was independent and uncontrollable. It all started at the 2005 Grammys, when — upon bagging the Best Rap Album award — West's speech said, in part: "Everybody want to know what I would do if I didn't win. I guess we'll never know."

West introduced himself to the world in an authentic, witty way, and he has consistently kept that energy going throughout the years. Time and again, however, West's hard-hitting views on politics, the press, fellow artists, and even his own family have landed him on the wrong side of pop culture. These are some of the top moments Ye West was over the top.

Kanye West's Taylor Swift hiccup

Taylor Swift was over the moon at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, accepting the award for Best Female Video for "You Belong With Me," when Kanye West walked on stage and cut her short. The result? A popular catchphrase, "I'mma let you finish," which was re-enacted by West's former partner, Jay-Z, at the 2012 BET Awards, per MTV. "Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time," West proclaimed, in reference to the "Halo" singer's track "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)," via Entertainment Weekly

Just like the audience and the crew backstage, however, Beyoncé Knowles was taken aback. According to Van Toffler, the former president of Viacom Media Networks, the moment took a toll on Knowles, who let the tears flow when she was backstage in the company of her father and then-manager, Matthew Knowles. "I didn't know this was going to happen, I feel so bad for [Swift]," she said (via Billboard).

West revealed in an interview with Nick Cannon that his act was a result of instructions from God. "If God didn't want me to run on stage and say, 'Beyoncé had the best video,' he wouldn't have sat me in the front row," he clarified. His explanation is, however, tainted by the fact that, prior to the show, he had been downing a bottle of Hennessy.

His statement to George Bush after Hurricane Katrina

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the southeastern United States, affecting Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi (per National Geographic). According to World Vision, the tropical cyclone — one of the worst ever experienced, in a tie with 2017's Hurricane Harvey — caused damages to the tune of $161 billion and resulted in 1,800 deaths.

Following the catastrophic occurrence, "A Concert For Hurricane Relief" — featuring a number of famous faces, like Leonardo DiCaprio and Lindsay Lohan — was aired on NBC. Kanye West and actor Mike Myers took to the task at hand and were a couple of the many celebs urging the public to make donations. While Myers followed the script as written, per the Chicago Tribune, West had plans of his own. "George Bush doesn't care about Black people," he declared, after critiquing the bias shown toward the Black community by federal emergency response services.

Former President Bush did not immediately address West's outrage, but he did write about it in his book that he published after he left the Oval Office, called "Decision Points." In an interview about the book with "Today," the former president discussed West's concerns and the rapper's show of remorse during an earlier appearance on the show. "Nobody wants to be called a racist if in your heart you believe in equality of race," Bush said.

His beef with Kris Jenner

That Kanye West had a tumultuous relationship with certified momager Kris Jenner is no news. The matriarch of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, famed for her sleek ways of damage control, found herself right in the thick of West's since-deleted Twitter rants, per People. "Kriss [sic] don't play with me you and that calmye are not allowed around my children Ya'll tried to lock me up," one tweet read.

The tweets kept streaming in, with West sharing screenshots of conversations with Jenner, claiming he was ready to divorce Kim Kardashian, and accusing the mother-daughter duo of trying to get him confined. West came to an unforeseen summit by christening his would-be ex-mother-in-law with a new nickname (via Newsweek). "They tried to fly in with 2 doctors to 51/50 me I been trying to get divorced since Kim met with Meek at the Warldolf [sic] for 'prison reform' I got 200 more to go. This my lady tweet of the night ... Kris Jong-Un," he tweeted.

A little over a year later, West went on a series of Instagram rants, targeting Jenner and her family after his divorce from Kardashian. This time, however, he declared a truce by changing his avi to a picture of Jenner and writing on his Instagram Story: "I posted Kris with thoughts of peace and respect. Let's change the narrative," per Bustle.

Ye West's comments about his daughter, North

During Kanye West's airpool karaoke on "The Late Late Show with James Corden," he shared his thoughts on Kris Humphries' 72-day marriage to Kim Kardashian. However, unbeknownst to him at the time, his own woes with Kardashian were next.

Ye's July 2020 Twitter rant included blunt jabs aimed at Kardashian and references to their first child, North West. "I put my life on my God that Norths mom would never photograph her doing playboy and that's on God I'm at the ranch ... come and get me," he wrote (via People). At a South Carolina presidential rally (via ABC), Ye let it be known that, had he had his way, North wouldn't have been born. "[Kardashian] said she was pregnant, and for one month, two months and three months, we talked about her not having this child. She had the [abortion] pills in her hand," he disclosed.

In November 2021, Ye released a thanksgiving prayer in which he expressed regret over revealing such a private detail of their lives. "I embarrassed my wife in the way that I presented information about our family during the one, and thank God, only press conference," he voiced. This wouldn't be his last admission of guilt, however. He also had regrets about the unfair treatment of Kardashian and her then-boyfriend, Pete Davidson. With more drama involving Ye and the Kardashian family (including an exchange with Khloé Kardashian) still doing rounds, more apologies could be coming.

His support of Donald Trump

Kanye West's fans had a hard time playing defense when he showed up to a 2018 meeting with former President Donald Trump at the White House wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat (per The Washington Post). During the visit, West, who'd taken a Republican stance, addressed a number of issues, including mental health and America's murder rate.

Of his bold choice, West said, "You know they tried to scare me to not wear this hat, my own friends, but this hat, it gives me power in a way." People later reported that West gifted the former POTUS a hat that simply said "Make America Great." It wasn't the first time West had worn a MAGA hat in public, either. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the "Bound 2" rapper previously did the same on "Saturday Night Live" in a skit that was never broadcast.

In January 2019, West affirmed his support for Trump through a string of tweets, including "Trump all day," per People (via USA Today). Of course, West would go toe to toe with Trump on the 2020 ballot, with both of them losing to President Joe Biden.

The rapper's competition with Pete Davidson

Pete Davidson may have gotten more than he signed up for when he began a relationship with Kim Kardashian after her appearance on "Saturday Night Live." A little birdie whispered to Us Weekly that the would-be couple kept it professional on set, and only hit it off after they'd wrapped up filming. The relationship between Davidson and Kardashian was fast-paced, and within no time, the former was sporting numerous ink marks dedicated to his new-found love, per People. A whirlwind romance with Kardashian — who eventually became legally single (according to TMZ) — brought along with it the wrath of Kanye West, who publicly wanted his family back.

A mostly one-sided online war ensued between West and Davidson, who maintained his calm until he couldn't anymore. Somewhere between a graphic video dubbed "Eazy," a deleted faux Instagram post announcing the death of 'Skete' (per the Los Angeles Times), and rapper Kid Cudi catching strays (via Complex), Davidson finally found his petty side and fired back by sharing a text exchange with West. The pair went back and forth, with Davidson targeting the "Good Life" rapper where it hurt the most. "In bed with your wife," one text read (reported the Daily Mail).

When the relationship with Kardashian ended after its nine-month run — coincidentally timed with the birth of Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson's surrogate child — People learned that Davidson had opted for trauma therapy.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

That 'White Lives Matter' moment

Kanye West's relationship with the Black community continues to deteriorate, and his latest statement — bringing "White Lives Matter" T-shirts to Paris Fashion Week — has the culture up in arms. According to Page Six, West had a moment with the crowd, wearing a "White Lives Matter" T-shirt like a badge of honor, before Yeezy models took to the stage. He dived into a number of subjects, including his ex-wife Kim Kardashian's 2016 Paris robbery, and his relationship with his ex-manager Scooter Braun.

"White Lives Matter" was established to counter the popular "Black Lives Matter" movement, and has been adapted by many, including the Ku Klux Klan, per ADL. As such, celebrities like Jaden Smith opted to walk out of his show. "I Had To Dip Lol," Smith tweeted.

West made an appearance on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," where he defended his stance in a way only he could. "Well as an artist, you don't have to give an explanation. But as a leader, you do. So, the answer to why I wrote 'White Lives Matter' on a shirt is because they do."

His comments on slavery

Four years ago, Kanye West caused yet another social media uproar when he paid a visit to TMZ's offices. The 75-time Grammy nominee got chatting with TMZ staff in a 12-minute clip that was uploaded to the publication's channel. Yet again, West defended his decision to wear a MAGA hat, touched on getting liposuction, hinted at a short-lived drug addiction, and took it a notch higher with a comment about slavery.

"He said grounded in reality. This reality has been forced upon us. It is a choice. Just like when I said slavery is a choice. The reality, we can make our own reality," West said in response to a TMZ staff member's disagreement with some of the rapper's statements. "When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years? That sounds like a choice," he'd earlier expressed.

Two year later, at West's South Carolina press conference (via the Associated Press), he threw a verbal punch at abolitionist Harriet Tubman. "Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves. She just had the slaves go work for other white people," he claimed.

Ye West's shade of Amber Rose

Long before Kanye West let go of the woman of his dreams, Kim Kardashian; cozied up to actor Julia Fox, who checked out at the first sign of a red flag, per the Evening Standard; and dated Kardashian doppelgänger Chaney Jones, he was head over heels in love with Amber Rose. According to an interview with the New York Post, West caught sight of Rose on a Ludacris video and gave her a call. One thing led to another, and for a while, the pair was an 'it' couple.

During a 2015 interview with "The Breakfast Club," West insisted that their relationship only happened because Kardashian was stalling. "If Kim had, like, dated me when I first wanted to be with her, there wouldn't be an Amber Rose," he commented. "I had to take 30 showers before I got with Kim."

Though the remark was amusing in the moment, it took an objective approach in the comfort of his own home for "The Breakfast Club" host Charlamagne tha God to rethink West's revelation. "The comment was funny and we laughed and then, you know, somebody moved on to something so quick but I just wanted to interject and say, 'Well, people could say the same thing about Kim,'" tha God opined in a conversation with Vlad TV.

The Passion of Kanye West

Kanye West has graced the covers of many big name magazines, and he's even sometimes conquered otherwise thought-impossible feats, like landing the cover of Vogue. Years before West and Kim Kardashian made the cover of the popular publication, the artist was on a solo mission to get as creative as possible with his shoots.

In 2006, he may have taken his "Jesus Walks" single literally, because he posed on Rolling Stone as Jesus. Dubbed "The Passion of Kanye West," the issue featured West in a pensive mood, sporting a crown made of thorns and light trickles of blood. Rolling Stone maintained that West's cover was simply an artistic expression, not targeted at any entity, per ABC News.

That West has often seen himself as a god-like figure is no secret. In 2013, he released a song titled "I Am a God," though during an appearance on BBC Radio 1, West had quite a tongue-lashing for his critics. "When someone comes up and says something like, 'I am a god,' everybody says, 'Who does he think he is?' I just told you who I thought I was: A god!" he shared.

The time he urinated on a Grammy

At the very peak of any musician's career is a Grammy award. So valuable is recognition by The Recording Academy, that an award from the establishment — alongside a Tony, Emmy, and an Oscar — constitutes entertainment supremacy. As of 2022, there are only 17 EGOT winners, per The Wrap.

When all's said and done, a Grammy is a big deal, but Kanye West may have lost sight of this fact in 2020, when he posted a video of himself going to the bathroom on the coveted award. "Trust me..I WONT STOP," he wrote on Twitter. He then likened himself to Moses, and wrote he was sent to save the music industry. West further shared his contracts with Universal and lamented about artists getting the short end of the stick. "They allow us to have a little money from touring get some gold chains some alcohol some girls and fake numbers that feed our egos," he wrote in part. 

West's act of rebellion attracted the attention of songwriter Diane Warren, who called him out for being uncivil, per Variety. In an unexpected turn of events, West went on to win a Grammy for his 2021 album, "Jesus is King" and has subsequently picked up two more golden gramophones. 

His music video for Famous

Kanye West has always been celebrated as a genius. More than that, the "Gold Digger" rapper knows he's one. There's a whole Netflix documentary, "Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy," that confirms this theory. Statistically, Billboard solidifies West's impact as an artist, complete with four No. 1 hits and 20 Top 10 tracks, in addition to 141 other entries on the charts.

Some of West's creative works, however, have raised eyebrows in the past. In the video for his song "Famous" (released as part of his seventh studio album, "The Life of Pablo"), West broke the internet with visuals of him in bed with a couple of naked celebrities, including Donald Trump, Caitlyn Jenner, Rihanna, Anna Wintour, and Taylor Swift, to mention but a few.

According to Vanity Fair, the controversial piece of art was shot over a three-month span under the supervision of West himself. He was undoubtedly proud of his most daring work yet. In fact, West let the publication know that a few more celebrities wanted in. "Guess what the response is when I show it to them? They want to be in the bed."

Ye West versus fans with disabilities

Anything can happen at a Kanye West concert, and the performer consistently defies expectations, and not always in a good way. For example, the "Good Morning" rapper stopped one of his concerts in Sacramento to rant about the Carters, Hillary Clinton, and the music industry, before canceling the live show altogether, per Time. And while that incident was one of the more extreme cases regarding West (he subsequently canceled the rest of the tour and entered medical treatment following that outburst), West has treated his fans poorly before. 

In 2014, during West's concert in Sydney as part of the "Yeezus" tour, the "All of the Lights" rapper asked everyone to stand up. "I can't do this song, I can't do the rest of this show until anybody stand up," he declared. West's attention was then drawn to two fans who were seated. "Two people left, they don't wanna stand up," he observed, amidst boos from the crowd. Eventually, the rapper registered that his fans couldn't get up because they were in wheelchairs, though he never apologized for calling them out.

Kanye West's chain of antisemitic remarks

A text exchange shared by Kanye West in early October 2022 between himself and fellow rapper Sean Combs prompted a series of admitted antisemitic remarks by the former, as documented by Forbes. Combs was calling West out for his "White Lives Matter" t-shirts and stance, and in turn, the "No Church in the Wild" rapper wrote in part (via TMZ): "Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me."

True to his word, West further voiced his thoughts on Revolt TV's "Drink Champs" podcast. "Jewish people have owned the Black voice," he alleged (via ADL), while further claiming, "The Jewish community, especially in the music industry ... they'll take us and milk us till we die." West was additionally accused of making false statements about George Floyd's death and is set to face a $250 million lawsuit filed by the Floyd family. N.O.R.E, the host of the podcast, has since apologized on "The Breakfast Club" for airing the now-deleted episode.

In addition to Twitter and Instagram locking West's accounts, several longtime fashion collaborators began an exodus amid ongoing backlash over the artist's controversial comments. Balenciaga first pulled the plug, per WWD, while Page Six reported that Vogue also cut ties with him. As of this writing, the stakes have continued to get higher for West, with his partnership with Adidas — the deal that thrust him right into the billionaire club — being placed under review, as the company stated to CNBC.