Mr. Kanye West was the headliner at the Paradise International Music Festival in the Philippines (yeah! they get the big stars there too!) over the weekend and you know Yeezy just had to perform songs from his latest album “The Life of Pablo”. And one of the songs he rapped live at the Pinoy show was the very controversial “Famous” – where he spits that nasty lyric about Taylor Swift (“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous”). Kanye’s Filipino fans were in awe when they heard him starting to rap this song. And in view of their “amazing” reaction, Kanye paused the track a few times when that line came in, so he could hear his fan screaming the lyric out loud (with him in silence and feeling so proud of it). Gee! I know that must’ve been cool for Kanye but it felt super awkward at least to me, for the lyric is just misogynist as hell, and super offensive to one of my favorite singers ever.
After finishing with “Famous”, Kanye went on to serve the crowd at the Paradise International Music Festival with a long rant about his controversial song, excusing the lyric by affirming: “I just said what everybody else was thinking”. Later adding; “This is the song that broke the writer’s block for me, because it’s something I wanted to say so bad”. “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, with 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 their finances, not to be controlled by perceptions, but only to be controlled by their truth”. “You don’t know, it’s really overwhelming to me to perform that song for the first time and for y’all to react to it in that way”.
Facts: This was Kanye West’s very first concert of 2016 and his first performance in the Asian country of the Philippines. The 2016 Paradise International Music Festival also included appearances from Wiz Khalifa (Kanye and Wiz’s beef is apparently over), Afrojack, and Austin Mahone.
In related Yeezy news, Kanye’s “The Life of Pablo” has hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200 after officially releasing it on iTunes and Spotify a few days ago. Remember when he promised “TLOP” would only be available on Tidal? Ha.