Kanye West Admits His Grammys Stunt Was “Hypocritical,” Hadn’t Even Heard Beck’s Album

Kanye West
Kanye West spoke with The Breakfast Club about his Grammys rant against Beck, admitting he was "hypocritical" in saying the rocker should "respect artistry"  Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Kanye West is having to eat his words — and they’re not going down all that smoothly. During a chat with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club on Friday, Feb. 20, the “Only One” rapper was called out for his behavior at the 2015 Grammys earlier this month, when he dissed Beck‘s win for Album of the Year.

“I think this idea of being better than the next man is the wrong mentality in the first place,” West, 37, told hosts DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God, referring to his issues with the class division in society.

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Charlamagne then interrupted Yeezy, saying he felt like some of the rapper’s recent actions contradicted that statement. “You confuse me when you say stuff like that, though, because you do act like you’re better than people sometimes,” he told the 21-time Grammy winner. “Like, the Grammys is a great example, when you get up and you tell everybody to respect the artistry, but it’s like, you’re not respecting the artistry.”

The Breakfast Club actually named West its “Donkey of the Day” after his Grammys stunt, saying he wants people to respect art — but only the art that he likes. “You don’t have to cape for [Beyonce] every time she doesn’t win an award,” Charlamagne scolded him.

Kanye West and Beck
Kanye West almost interrupts Beck at the 2015 Grammys on Feb. 8.

West admitted on Friday that the radio host was right to call him out for his behavior. “I deserved it, man,” he said of the “Donkey of the Day” title. “That was completely hypocritical.” 

He went on to confess that he hadn’t even heard Beck’s album when he rushed the stage. His first experience of it was this week, when he met up with Taylor Swift at New York City’s The Spotted Pig on Feb. 17.

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“The other day I went to dinner, sat down with Taylor Swift. And ironically, they were playing the Beck album,” he told The Breakfast Club. “Maybe they did it on purpose so I could finally hear it. But I was listening, [and] I was like, ‘Man, this is kinda good. I ain’t gonna lie.'” 

“I hadn’t even heard it, man,” he continued. “I bet you that album is really good…Maybe it was potentially an Album of the Year.” 

Later, he backtracked on that statement a bit, saying, “[Beck] should win an award for what he did — rock album, or something like that — but he shouldn’t have won that award, in my opinion. But who am I to have an opinion?”

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West noted, too, that he got Beck’s number recently and has been meaning to call to make things right with the rocker. “I just keep forgetting,” he said by way of explanation. He argued, though, that his actions actually worked in Beck’s favor, since he positioned himself as the “villain” of the story and got people talking about the singer-songwriter’s Morning Phase album.

Charlamagne then brought up the fact that both times West has rushed the stage to protest an award, he’s done it on behalf of Beyonce. (He first did it in 2009, when he interrupted Swift’s Video of the Year speech at the VMAs.)

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“It’s really ironic that every time it’s Beyonce, for some reason,” West agreed. “You know, why is it Beyonce? Why don’t I go off on, like, whoever’s going off on my wife on Twitter? I think Beyonce is a great representation of an artist working hard, and trying her best, and getting the results from it…We have to respect greatness when we see it.” 

He also argued that people think Beyonce doesn’t need awards because she’s so successful in other ways — a point of view to which he strongly objects. “I think she needs the proper accolades because she’s an inspiration,” he countered.

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