I checked KanyeUniversity.com Thursday before I wrote my post, Kanye West King of Pop Story A Hoax. When I first heard the story reported on a radio station, I believed it. But I did not want to report the story as fact until I did some research.
Fortunately, my good sense lead me to check around to see if I could find a valid source. As I blogged Thursday, when I learned that the quote came from the satirical site ScrapeTV.com, which is fashioned like TheOnion.com, it was apparent that the whole thing was a tasteless joke. Additionally, I didn't see this story picked up by any of the major entertainment news sources.
Ironically, sometime after I wrote my blog, Kanye discussed the subject on his site. As I suspected, he denied that he referred to himself as the new King of Pop. He heard the issue come up on radio which prompted him to respond.
"I WAS JUST LISTENING TO WENDY WILLIAMS AND HEARD SOME QUOTE ABOUT ME SAYING I'M THE NEW KING OF POP," Kanye wrote. "NOT ONLY DID I NOT SAY THAT, I HAVEN'T SAID ANYTHING. IT MAKES ME FEEL BAD THAT OBVIOUSLY I MADE PEOPLE FEEL THAT I WOULD BE CORNY ENOUGH TO SAY SOMETHING SO WHACK AFTER THE PASSING OF AN IDOL, A LEGEND AND MORE THAN THAT A HUMAN BEING WITH FEELINGS AND FAMILY."
Kanye went on to express his shock about how easy it is to spread a false rumor. "IT SCARES ME TO THINK WHAT PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE, WITHOUT EVEN A SOURCE. ANY RANDOM PERSON CAN TYPE SOMETHING ON THE INTERNET AND THEN THE WORLD BELIEVES IT."
He added that he has stopped doing press, TV or promotions in general. "I'VE STOPPED CHASING AND BUYING INTO FAME," Kanye said. "FAME IS LIKE CIGARETTES WITH NO SURGEON GENERAL WARNING. IT DESTROYS MOST PEOPLE AS IT DID TO THE TRUE AND ONLY KING OF POP. WE EXPLOIT OURSELVES AND EAT OUR OWN EGOS 'TILL THERE IS NOTHING LEFT. I HAVE A FEELING THAT THIS WON'T BE THE LAST FALSE STATEMENT WITH MY NAME ON IT, BUT THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME I DEFEND MYSELF. I'M DONE."
Even though Kanye says he will stop defending himself, I am glad that he clarified this issue. What's most important is that he acknowledges he made people feel that he could say something this extreme.
What is interesting is that he has been making more of an effort to tone down his outbursts. He offered a similar rational response in April when South Park portrayed him as a gay fish. Even though he has a boisterous personality and believes his hype, he is clearly tired of the negative media coverage.
I think, that while humbling, Kanye is employing the right type of damage control techniques necessary to change the public's perception of him. Even though he is an incredible artist, has set trends, and produced and recorded numerous hits for himself and other talented artists, his controversies come to mind first for many.
It is going to take a while, but I hope he stays focused. He really is too good of a talent to have his art lost in the mix of salacious headlines.
Keep ya head up 'Ye.