On Tuesday's Late Night with Seth Meyers, Kanye West truly cracked the Matrix. Without raising his voice or spiraling into narrative curlicues or providing any of the intensity necessary to render this 2+ minute verbal essay on his creative prowess a "rant," West lucidly explained what he's been saying for a while now: He feels stifled by powers that be who expect him to work in a certain way because of his established profile. He feels limited in his permitted expression, particularly when it comes to fashion.
The whole appearance, really, seemed like damage control for his erratic, albeit highly entertaining string of interviews last year. "2013, all the controversy, blah blah blah blah...I'm in the process of breaking down walls that people will understand 10 years from now, 20 years from now," he said.
Of course there was grandiosity. It wouldn't be Kanye if there weren't. He also compared himself to Michelangelo. Again.
Meyers engineered Kanye's second segment around his sense of humor. He showed a clip of an SNL sketch idea written with Meyers that parodied Kanye's awards show etiquette. In it, he interrupts an 8-year-old's victory speech at a pumpkin competition. This dates back almost two years before his infamous interruption of Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs. How prescient and/or inspiring.
Kanye also thanked Meyers for granting him the platform of his talk show. So humble this one, when he isn't talking about himself!
On his sense of humor, West said, "You laugh to keep from crying. Life is like...life is life. There are ups and downs, and they will give an 8-year-old the Best Pumpkin at any given time and you just have to be prepared for these type of things." Words to live by.
He closed the show with a medley of his hits "Jesus Walks, "Touch the Sky," "Stronger," "Heartless," "All of the Lights," "Mercy," and "Black Skinhead." Like the rest of this appearance it seemed tailored to be as user-friendly and crowd-pleasing as possible.
It did not fail. The guy cleans up well, of course. He's a consummate performer. Interviews are among the art forms in which he dabbles, and it's great to see him pull off something this conceptual.