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Kanye West: What I Learned from the Taylor Swift Incident

Kanye West: What I Learned from the Taylor Swift Incident

Kanye West drops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show for his first sit-down interview in more than a year on Tuesday (October 19).

Here’s what the 33-year-old rapper had to share about the infamous incident at the 2009 VMAs between him and Taylor Swift:

On what he did immediately after the fallout: “I left America. I stopped doing music all together. I just took some time. I went to Japan just so I could get away from paparazzi all together. Then in November I moved to Rome and just lived there and when I came back to the states I moved to Hawaii. I lived there for about six months and just worked on music.”

On his decision to get away from the spotlight: “It was the first time that I got to stop since my Mom had passed. I had never stopped and never tried to even soak in what all had happened … It was time to take a break and develop more as a person as a creator and focus more on my thoughts and my ideas and what I wanted to bring to the world.”

On his “whole world completely crash[ing]“: “I feel like in some ways I’m a solider of culture. I realize that no one wants that to be my job and I’ll never go on stage again. I’ll never sit in an award show again. Will I feel convicted about things that really meant stuff to culture that constantly get denied for years and years? I’m sorry I will. I cannot lie about it to sell records.”

Just Jared on Facebook
Photos: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
Posted to: Ellen DeGeneres, Kanye West

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  • Ms Bar Jolie Gaga

    Why does he feel the need to go on an apology tour? DId he kill her pet dog or something? Did he kill someone? Seriously, this is ridiculous. What he did was rude but if should have taken about 5 minutes of discussion when it happened and that’s it!!! Taylor should know this is the best thing to have happened to her career. Otherwise, she would still be known for singing songs that sound like Tampax commercial jingles. Get a grip everybody. Geez.

  • Ms Bar Jolie Gaga

    Moved to Hawaii and Rome because he interrupted a Taylor Swift speech? Seriously!!? And to think there are kids going to bed hungry at night. Argh!

  • zoz

    You can watch the interview on YouTube. He said he moved away to get some peace. Those aren’t the questions Ellen asked. Just what Jared wrote. He looks dashing.

  • TS

    Sounds like he learned nothing.

  • Annie

    Why is he still going on and on about this? Chances are, if he had simply said sorry, and then not had any other incidents where he was rude everyone would have forgotten about it.

  • Bill

    it was all a PLANNED!!!!!!!!!!

    Think about.

    1- The majority of people outside of his fans didn’t like Kanye before because of incidents like the MTV European Awards rant, the Grammy Speech, and the George Bush/Katrina comment.

    2- Taylor Swift was already successful but her projected numbers for her new album are INSANE. Speak Now is projected to go platinum in it’s debut week. That has only been accomplished TWICE in the last 6 years (2005- 50 Cent and 2008- Lil Wayne). In other words going platinum in a debut week DOESN’T happen in this new technology age. Her last album debuted with around 590,000 copies, the Kanye incident helped boost her sales tremendously.

    3- The MTV Video Music Awards were becoming irrelevant. The ratings peaked in 2002 and were going down every year after that until the 2010 award show. The 2010 award show was the first year since 2002 to have higher ratings than the year before. In other words the 2009 Taylor/Kanye incident boosted the 2010 show with 2.5 million more viewers.

    Kanye didn’t lose anything, MTV brought him back as did SNL after both said he would never appear on there again and his fans could care less about Swift plus the majority of people already didn’t like him.

    He did cost himself potential opportunities but as along as his album does well (projected to hit the 1 million mark in about 2 1/2 weeks) new opportunities will present themselves.

    it’s all about numbers.

    Taylor and MTV have seen major major boosts in numbers and a lot of people don’t like Kanye (Nothing new) which is the way Kanye likes it.

    Somewhere Kurt Loder is rubbing his hands together doing his best villain laugh while bringing in the MONEY.

  • Luke

    I agree with Bill, everyone won something.

  • Lisa

    He said way more than this. While yes he is an asshole, Taylor is one of the most overrated stars out right now. Yes she is beautiful, young, and “innocent” but really, I wished Kanye would have yanked the microphone from he on the last show because her vocals are atrocious. But whenever the fairy dust wears off people will see she’s not that great and is only beloved by everyone because she sells tons of records.

  • Amy

    Dude Taylor Swift already forgave you. So did the rest of us. WHY ARE YOU STILL TALKING ABOUT IT? My god, I have never seen a bigger attention-seeker. This guy is milking this incident for his own publicity. Just pathetic. I knew I always hated him, and I always will. I hope his album sales go down the toilet.

  • Iffy Miffy

    He is still talking about it because it’s free PR. Douche. If he actually had learned anything he would have said sorry and that would have been it. Instead, he is just using it over and over again for free PR.

  • Cristobal

    @Ms Bar Jolie Gaga: No celebrity is responsible for anyone else children. Get a life. I am tired of people making it someone’s problem, who has money, to take care of other peoples kids. You give up your money.

  • Cristobal

    If you all actually pay attention both him and Taylor are still talking about it since interviewers are still asking question them about it. Taylor was just interviewed by Billboard Magazine where she was asked question and people on that post slammed her about “still talking about it”. You can argue that both parties need to leave the issue alone, but I think that he has learned his lesson and toned down. What he did to her was rude, but he did fall of the radar after.

  • http://sarasheqeri sara

    i cannot believe people still talk about that

  • bobjustbob

    Such a conceited idiot. This guy talks like he came out with the cure for cancer and/or is saving the world!! He needs to STFU and get over himself. Cripes, he’s a rapper (and many are MUCH better than him at that, he’s not half as good as he himself thinks he is), he’s not a God except in his own egotistical narcistic mind. So unlikeable.

  • ROC

    If you feel so strongly about so many injustices in the world, then put your money where your [LOUD] mouth is and do something POSITIVE to change it. Don’t go on award shows to force your point-of-view on others and ruin the moment for the fans that love the entire experience. You talk so much crap about haters, yet you’re doing the same.

  • Julie

    He was incredibly rude and wrong to do what he did to anyone (I don’t like Taylor’s music, voice, at all). Ruined that special moment in her life forever, can’t get a do over. That said, it seems he’s repeatedly been sincere in his apologies, so he gets some man-up credit for that. Interviewers should stop asking about it,he should avoid talking about it, and other award shows shouldn’t attempt to put them on stage together, only brings up bad memories for all concerned.

  • chocolatecookie


    i agree with you..i cant stand people like him he makes me sick..and i already didnt like him before the swift incident.

  • Cyril

    omg is ellen the new oprah?

  • DarkEmpress

    i never want to hear about this incident again! STFU!

  • Dan

    The only tragedy I see here is how much money is spent traveling. He’s acting as if the incident caused him to make peace with himself and move to South Africa and do humanitarian work, but instead he just spent tons of his cash living it up.

  • Frida

    Clearly this man thinks he’s more important than he really is.

  • Whatever!

    I hate Kanye and I seriously wish he would have committed suicide. The world would be a better place without his dirty ego. By the way, what kind of name is Ye? Is it some black ghetto thing?


    AGREE! hes nothing but a piece of sh-t he should have done the right thing and left it alone he sucks a musician what the big deal about him is i dont know he should have gone with his mother the world would be a better place without him and his trashy music just another low life chocolate brownie living off the good white stuff

  • julie

    love you kanye, only because of your ignorant haters, lol, go kanye!

  • no fan

    cant stand this loser go back to south africa

  • Jasmine

    There’s something wrong with society. We linger on useless shit like this.

  • fdfs

    Comments #22, 24 and 25 were all written by the same racist a-hole.

  • Helga

    Will I feel convicted about things that really meant stuff to culture that constantly get denied for years and years

    hahahahahahahahah kanye as a soldier of culture is an oxymoron

    AND he even managed to squeeze a race card in there. oh, kanye, you poor poor child. so sorry for you kiddo.

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