FROM Jarvis Cocker’s lampooning of Michael Jackson’s Jesus complex at the Brits in 1996 to Robbie Williams challenging Liam Gallagher to a ‘square-go’ four years later, awards ceremonies have provided fertile ground for feuds over the years.
Kanye West famously dissed Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Awards in 2009, and the narcissistic attention-seeker was at it again during Sunday’s Grammys ceremony, bum-rushing the stage as Beck accepted his Album of the Year award for Morning Phase.
Like many following the event on social media, I assumed Kanye was having a laugh. But appearing later on E!, he said he meant it. “Beck needs to respect artistry and he should’ve given his award to Beyonce,” declared the rapper.
It was one of those ‘did-he-really-just-say-that?’ moments.
Beck plays no fewer than 17 instruments on Morning Phase, and wrote every track on the album. He used just one producer: himself. Beyonce’s new album, on the other hand, was written by 20 different songwriters and made with 16 producers.
It’s a tad unfair to put down Beyonce, who really had no part in all this, but even the fedora-wearing mini-Beck puppet that joined the great man himself on stage at Meadowbank Stadium in the summer of 2006 has displayed more artistry before my eyes than a woman who is, admittedly, very very attractive, and has a very very good voice. And yes, I’ve seen Queen Bey live a few times, too.
Among those who came out in defence of Beck was Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson, who said it was Kanye who was “disrespecting artistry”, and that he made a “mockery” of musicians.
The Edinburgh-born singer went on to describe his behaviour as “rude”, and advised Kanye to “grow up and stop throwing your toys around”.
Well put, Shirley. Kanye is, in the words of his own country’s president, ‘a jackass’.