kanye west: the job of an artist is to tell the truth, not to be liked
The singer explains the meaning behind controversial track 'Famous' during the debut performance of his brand new album.
Kanye West was back to his old tricks this weekend during the first live performance of his brand new album, The Life of Pablo. Ye' took to the stage at the Paradise International Music Festival, in Manila, Philippines, to get a few things off his chest regarding his beef with Taylor Swift, that night he interrupted her MTV Music Video of the Year speech back in 2009, and the latest controversy surrounding his new track "Famous", in which he raps the lines: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous."
"What I wanted you to know the whole time -- you know, in the spirit of Nina Simone, in the spirit of real artists -- this is the song that broke the writer's block for me because it's something I wanted to say so bad that they told me I couldn't say," Kanye told the audience in Manila. "That night when I went onstage was the beginning of the end of my life. Lady Gaga cancelled the (2009 joint Fame Kills: Starring Kanye West and Lady Gaga) tour the next day. You know what night I'm talking about -- when I just said what everybody else was thinking. So if I get in trouble for saying the truth, what's being said the rest of the time? And I had to fight every day of my life when the whole world turned against me for saying out loud what everyone else felt, but that's the job of an artist, of a true artist: not to be controlled by any finances, not to be controlled by perception, but only to be controlled by their truth -- what you see, what you feel, and say what you fucking feel. You don't know, it's really overwhelming for me to perform this song for the first time and for you all to react to it in that way. That I fought to make that the first single off of Pablo. If you don't mind I'd like to do this song one more time, can I do it one more time?"
Elsewhere, Ye used the opportunity to perform a brand new freestyle track, "I Don't Want To Be Liked" -- a musing on his reputation and the importance of sticking to the truth, no matter what.