Last Friday, I decided I wanted to go see the Yeezus Tour. So I called up my friends at Def Jam and by the grace of Yeezus, about an hour later, I got the last pair of tickets they had left.
Through all the chatter, I heard so many things about Kanye’s show. I heard secrets from the inner circle, I heard stories about what happens when you watch Kanye’s show with someone on crutches. The coolest little Jewish girl I know told me the Yeezus album sounds better live. I heard the show was weird, I heard the show was good. I heard the show was awful, I even heard that Jesus was spotted smoking a joint outside of one of the arenas.
So by the time Friday rolled around, I realized that it was time to see the show for myself. I was sick of seeing the Yeezus tour via 20,000 pictures and 10,000 15-second videos all uploaded on Elliott Wilson’s Instagram page.
With my tickets in hand, I headed to Madison Square Garden, quickly realizing that I should have dressed a lot warmer. Once there, I was blessed to see what very well may have been A Tribe Called Quest’s last performance. Then, Busta Rhymes burst onto the stage to perform “Scenario,” but instead of rapping he just barked, growled and hopped around on stage like he was in his twenties again, and wasn’t packing those extra 100 pounds of success. God, I miss Busta with his locks.
After the Tribe left, some eerie Friday the 13th-style music played while they put together Kanye’s set. Once the lights went out and Ye’s set began, I quickly realized that this was going to be a strange show. The beat to “On Sight” came on and it reminded me how much I hate that song, but to my surprise, as Yeezy crept onto the stage in full Rey Mysterio swag, I discovered I was the only one in the building who didn’t know the words to that song. I guess it’s provocative, because the people got going.
After the first Mask of Yeezus, which included “New Slaves,” “Black Skinhead” and “Power” mixed with “Cold As Ice,” I knew today would be spent listening to Yeezus on Spotify.
Act 2 Yeezy switched masks and now swagger-jacked Ax and Smash from WWE’s Demolition. The show went on without a hitch. Ye barked a few orders to his stagehands to dim the lights, play the bass, put the other image on the screen and things of that nature.
That’s when he went into my favorite song off of Yeezus, “Blood On The Leaves.” As an insider, I was loving that Kanye still has to ask for Ebro’s permission and support to release a single. After getting the crowd hyped up by saying New York doesn’t want to hear “Blood On The Leaves” tonight, the place erupted, setting the perfect mood for what happened when Ye turned his attention to Hot 97’s HNIC saying, “Ebro watch this, because I’mma need this look after ‘Bound 2.'” With that, the building proceeded to turn up!
At one point during “Blood,” Ye yelled at the tech team because they had too much smoke coming from the mountain behind him and they were “messing up the people’s Instagram pictures.”
At this moment, I felt appreciated and it was clear that Ye was in a talkative mood.
A 20-minute rant began and he totally crapped on the fashion industry.
He started by saying that his life resembled the Hunger Games: Catching Fire. He seemed to really love Lenny Kravitz’s part in the movie and explained how he wanted to be Lenny, explained how Lenny was the first Ni**a in Paris and how Lenny has the best taste in the world, but because he’s a nice guy he never objected when he was shunned by the fashion industry. Ye said the fashion world is trying to do the same thing they did to Lenny to him and he seemed really hurt by that. Ye told the story of Marc Jacobs giving him a chance, explained how he was let go after selling out everything he designed at Louis Vuitton… Then to the crowd’s dismay, he kept going:
“Fuck fashion, what’s the worst they going to do tell me they not going to help me again? What’s the worst they going to do? Tell me I can’t go to their show again. What’s the worst they going to do? Tell me because I am a musician I don’t have any ideas for clothing?”
Ye also went on to say that he’s the “Tupac of the Fashion Industry.” That’s when it became crystal clear we had just witnessed a dissertation on Kanye West’s first world problems.
Despite all I had heard prior to coming to the show, I thought it was quite possibly the best I’ve ever seen live. It was more than just a rapper on a stage with a live band. It was more than just dance routines and wire tricks. It was a presentation of the genius that Kanye was now forcing down people’s throats.
As Ye continued to rant, he killed the experience for a lot of people around me. Many who were probably struggling to pay their cable bill, pay rent, or buy a few Christmas gifts for their loved ones. While Kanye went and complained about how the guy who makes $10,000 skinny jeans told him he couldn’t go see anyone else’s show, I found myself wanting better “problems.”
Kanye’s show was eye-opening, very personal and a complete joy for me to witness. It’s an experience that whether you love Ye, which the girl next to me screamed 37 times – I counted – or if you hate him, you should definitely try to check it out. It’s epic! More shows should be this elaborate and creative.
But Ye needs to save the rants, because like most of the people there, I left thinking, “Damn, even Kanye West’s problems are better than mine” – Instead of feeling like I just witnessed genius at its finest.
Xilla is the Sr. Entertainment Editor for GlobalGrind.com as well as CEO of the number 1 relationship blog BlogXilla.com/M2TB.com. He has been featured in XXL, The Source, Essence, LA Times and is considered one of the premiere bloggers in the industry. Follow him on twitter @BlogXilla
PHOTO CREDIT: WENN, Splash