Kanye West is no stranger to feuding. Most recently, he slammed online shoe store Zappos, and they responded with a photo of a plunger in a toilet.
A creative back-and-forth for sure, but the toilet tangle is far from West's most talked-about feud. Here's a look at just six of his more public quarrels.
West vs. the American Music Awards
Awards shows have often been problems for West. In 2004 at the American Music Awards, after he lost the best new artist honor to country singer Gretchen Wilson, West stormed out of the show. He blamed a massive conspiracy against him and told reporters, "I felt like I was definitely robbed. ... I was the best new artist this year." Look, Wilson's "Redneck Woman" was a good song, but musical history seems to prove West was right on that one.
West vs. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama
West isn't afraid to go after even the most powerful politicians in the land. In 2005, West appeared next to Mike Myers on the Concert for Hurricane Relief, a benefit for those affected by the devastating Hurricane Katrina. Myers read his scripted remarks encouraging donations to the Red Cross, but West went completely off script, criticizing racism in the media representation and government treatment of victims, and finally getting cut off when he said "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
West used to feel more positive about President Barack Obama, who like West has Chicago roots, but that changed in late 2013. The rapper told a Philadelphia radio station that he felt used by the president, who criticized his run-in with Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. And speaking of ...
West vs. Taylor Swift
This is probably West's best-known feud, and the one on which it's hardest to defend him. Taylor Swift won the award for best female video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, an honor West felt should've gone to Beyonce for "Single Ladies." Disagreeing with an award is one thing, but West actually jumped on stage, grabbed Swift's microphone, and loudly complained that she didn't deserve the win. His comments, “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time," were almost instantly turned into memes that still proliferate on the Internet. Beyonce herself remained gracious, and when "Single Ladies" did win video of the year, she invited Swift onstage to finish her interrupted speech.
West vs. Justin Timberlake
What's better than one powerhouse musician? Two powerhouse musicians feuding. At a February 2013 concert, West got in a dig against Timberlake's song "Suit & Tie," saying, "I got love for (song contributor Jay-Z), but I ain't (expletive) with that 'Suit & Tie.'" Word got back to Timberlake, and when he sang "Suit & Tie" on "Saturday Night Live" in March, he changed one of the lyrics to be "got rappers acting dramatic." Timberlake later appeared on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and when asked about the lyric change, insisted, "I love Kanye."
West vs. Jimmy Kimmel
Talk-show hosts make fun of many celebrities, but when Jimmy Kimmel aimed a skit at West, the rapper wasn't laughing. In September 2013, Kimmel used child actors to re-enact a West interview, and West reacted angrily on Twitter, where he called the host "out of line" and demanded an apology. He didn't quite get that, but the two celebs did talk it out in a super-lengthy interview on Kimmel's show. "A lot of people think you are a jerk,” Kimmel told West. “I often in my own personal conversations say, ‘No. I know this guy. He is not a jerk.’”
West vs. the paparazzi
Now here's a feud where it's almost impossible not to be on West's side. Who wouldn't want to take a swing at the paparazzi who constantly follow him, and are equally obsessed with West's fiancee, Kim Kardashian, and daughter North West? In his Kimmel inteview, West stated the obvious: "The way paparazzi talk to me and my family is disrespectful." Most recently, the rapper pled not guilty to charges of misdemeanor battery and attempted grand theft after allegedly fighting with a photographer at LAX. In a similar 2008 case, West smashed a photographer's camera and ended up being ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.
First published November 21 2013, 11:48 AM