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Kanye West Says Beck Should’ve ‘Given His Award to Beyonce’ at the Grammys

And the Album of the Year winner didn't entirely disagree

UPDATE: Kanye West has clarified his Grammys opinions this morning in New York City. Speaking to TMZ, who asked if he thought Beck wasn’t a true artist, Kanye said, “No, I wasn’t sayin’ Beck, I was saying the Grammys. Beck know that Beyoncé should’ve won. You know that.” TMZ then wanted to know if Kanye had heard of Beck up until last night, to which he replied, “C’mon man, I love Beck! But he ain’t have Album of the Year.” Well, there you have it. 

Kanye West rushed the stage last night at the 2015 Grammys — an action that at first looked like a jokey throwback to that time he interrupted Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. As Beck went up to accept the award for Album of the Year for Morning Phase, Kanye kinda-sorta went up after him, but quickly backed down. “LOL/PHEW,” everybody thought (everybody meaning Jay Z). Turns out, though, that Kanye was actually more or less serious in his actions. Speaking to E! after the show, he flat-out said that Beck should’ve given his Grammy to Beyonce because “he needs to respect artistry.” 

The Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more. ‘Flawless,’ Beyoncé video. Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we tired of it. Because what happens is, when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in their face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration. 

But turns out Kanye has grown a bit since 2009, explaining why he excercised impulse control this time around: 

We as musicians have to inspire people who go to work every day, and they listen to that Beyoncé album and they feel like it takes them to another place. Then they [the show’s producers] do this whole promotional event, they’ll run the music over somebody’s speech, the artist, because they want commercial advertising. Like, no, we not playing with them no more. By the way, I got my wife, my daughter and my clothing line, so I’m not going to do nothing to put my daughter at risk but I am here to fight for creativity. That’s the reason why I didn’t say anything tonight.

Beck, for his part, responded in an interview with Us Weekly, and it sounds like he didn’t mind Kanye’s near-interruption. “I was just so excited he was coming up. He deserves to be on stage as much as anybody,” he said. “How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?” In response to Kanye’s assertion that Beyoncé deserved to win, Beck was surprisingly good-natured about the entire thing, saying, “I thought she was going to win. Come on, she’s Beyoncé!”