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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 10/30/2007

The World According to Kanye

By Liz Kelly

I have completely flip-flopped on Kanye West. I like him. And not as a musician really, though I can dig a little "Touch the Sky" from time to time when it pops up on the old iPod. What I like about Kanye is his never-say-die approach to self promotion. When faced with adversity, Kanye does not go quietly into that good night. No, as seen in the footage below, captured at August's Video Music Awards, this guy is a one-man Kanye West activist. (Although his tirade is laced with profanities, most have been bleeped, but this is still NSFW. The good stuff starts at 00:41.):

Is he really so blindly self-absorbed or is this all some kind of Andy Kaufman-esque persona created to keep his name in the press? The first few times Kanye's mouth made headlines, I dismissed him as a loudmouthed egomaniac. And so he is, but the odd thing is that the longer he keeps this thing going, the more endearing he becomes. Kanye believes in himself with the faith of one who will not be dissuaded from his mission. It's childlike or pathological or delusional, but increasingly interesting.

Somehow, being the crybaby of the rap world is working for him. The September release of West's latest album crushed a same-day release by 50 Cent (who had vowed to quit rap if West beat him in album sales). West also launched a blog this fall where he opines on everything from music to fashion to limited edition White Stripes cameras.

And now West has distilled his worldview into a volume, available now for pre-order on his site. West describes the book, "Thank You and You're Welcome" as, "an entertaining volume of 'Kanye-isms' -- the creative, humorous and insightful philosophies and anecdotes used in creating my path to success. It captures the same wit, playful irony, and piercing insight found abundant in my lyrics."

The only problem? It doesn't drop until January 2 -- too late for stocking stuffers.

Timeline: Kanye West's Outbursts

By Liz Kelly  | October 30, 2007; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Comments

I think Kanye West is very strategizing. He's doing the Muhammad Ali thing. You know, "I am the astronaut of boxing. I'm in a world of my own."

"I'm so pretty. I'm so pretty. I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was. Can't nobody beat me. Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee."

That's the stuff that makes people talk about him in the press. Letting his ego run rampant is a part of the PR plan and it's working like a charm.

That same charisma Ali had, Kayne has, and I like him and his rants; they are funny, especially the tantrums. Give a black man a chance, man!

Posted by: Georgge Bush Don't Like Black People | October 30, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

i think the kaufman parallel is pretty accurate, though i find andy kaufman annoying.

Posted by: not bluto | October 30, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

though I meant to say i think kanye's just an idiot.

Posted by: not bluto | October 30, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Kanye's thoughts on being passed over for MTV's Video of the Year award: "It's complete bullsh--. I paid a million ... it took a month to film; I stood on a mountain; I flew a helicopter over Vegas ... I did it to be the king of all videos."

If book does as advertised and imparts the "creative, humorous and insightful philosophies and anecdotes used in creating my path to success," we should all have a frontal lobotomy and start drinking heavily right now.

Posted by: MisterBear | October 30, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

He seems to have developed that arrogant, foot-in-mouth, you need to shut the h3(( up and sit down disease.

I don't knock him for achieving the success he's dreamed of but the cry baby, race card bit is stale now and someone should tell him that he doesn't deserve every award, the video with Pam was not hot! He just irritates me to no end.

Posted by: petal | October 30, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I like Kanye West but in order to keep liking him, I had to stop reading and listening his all interviews.

Posted by: Lisa1 | October 30, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

see... it's not often you see someone do something that 'should be done' with the soapbox that is their celebrity status...
Kanye's blogpost this morning railing against the price of egg mcmuffins at LAX constitutes just such an act - and i find it unfortunate that TMZ wasnt there to capture his commentary live (because - generally - a little eggmcmuffintime on TMZ tv between the spots complaining about the poor treatment of paps by celebs and the long periods of lauditory praise of themselves would be great.

Posted by: Quintilus Varus | October 30, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I think his self-promotion is entertaining. "Graduation" is awesome though. I listen to it constantly.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 30, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

and now for something completely different...

Looks like "Twin Peaks" is being released on DVD... good news for us that love a good mystery show and can't wait for Lost to return!

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