Reporting Shannon Carlin
The performance took place at Adult Swim’s Upfront event at Roseland Ballroom in New York City, where the network teased their fall lineup. Kanye previously performed at the Adult Swim Upfront in 2008, where he was a couple hours late. This time, however, he actually started early, and performed for roughly 90 minutes inside/behind a translucent pyramid overtaking the stage, reports Billboard. Unsurprisingly, there were also projections of his own face as part of the stage design.
West performed old favorites like “Jesus Walks” and “All of the Lights” alongside new tracks off his upcoming album. Among the new tracks debuted was his auto-tuned love song to girlfriend/baby mama Kim Kardashian, which ‘Ye previously performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) Ball on May 6. On it, he sings, “Baby, you’re awesome/ Don’t let nobody bring you down.” The song ends with ‘Ye singing, “I’m awesome.”
Most videos of the performance have since been pulled from YouTube (under a copyright claim by IFPI, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), but a few stragglers remain, including the below video of the aforementioned “Awesome” track.
Besides the new songs, the noteworthy part of Kanye’s performance was an intense rant from him, on the topics of celebrity culture, paparazzi, his upcoming Saturday Night Live performance. The full text of West’s speech is below (watch the video here). One part to point out, in considering that West himself is about to be a father: “I ain’t kissing nobody’s motherf***ing babies. I drop your baby and you motherf***ing sue me and shit.”
“I ain’t no motherf***ing celebrity… There’s one thing about me, I’m a terrible, terrible terrible celebrity. I don’t know if you really know there’s one thing about me but I’m the worst kind of, the worst kind of celebrity. All I do is make real music. All I do is sit in the studio and make real shit. And that’s it. And that’s motherf***ing it. That’s motherf***ing it!
So I don’t want no people running up on me with cameras, trying to like sell pictures and s*** to magazines, asking me dumb ass questions, throwing me off my focus and s***. Harrassing you all motherf***ing day. I ain’t no motherf***ing celebrity.
It’s so funny. Somebody asked me, ‘when you do SNL, are you going to do a skit about the paparazzi and shit. And like humanize yourself? I ain’t hear to apologize to no motherf***ers, man. It ain’t about me humanizing myself. At one point did I become un-human where I had to turn myself back. Or maybe I was demonized, or maybe I was treated inhumane and not human in that type of situation. I ain’t no motherf***ing celebrity. I ain’t running for office. I ain’t kissing nobody’s motherf***ing babies. I drop your baby and you motherf***ing sue me and shit. I’m trying to make some music that inspires people to be the best that they can be. And I don’t want nobody else to ask anything of me! Don’t ask nothing else of me.
motherf***ers chasing you down, about to make you crash and shit. And all they want is for a nigga to laugh and shit. Hell nah, I ain’t doin no motherf***ing SNL skits. This is my godd*** life. This ain’t no motherf***ing joke.
No release date has been announced for Kanye’s follow-up to 2011’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Dark Fantasy. But after a mysterious tweet from the rapper featured the date June 18, many wonder if the album will be out next month.
Kanye will take the SNL stage for the show’s season finale this week with host Ben Affleck.