Kanye West, never known for holding his tongue, is railing against MTV after leaving empty-handed from Sunday’s Video Music Awards, charging that the network misled him – and also exploited Britney Spears.
“They exploited Britney in helping to end her career,” West told deejay JJ at New York radio station Z100 on Monday. “When Britney was opening [the VMA telecast], near the end, I felt so bad for her. I said, ‘Man, it’s a dirty game. This game will chew you up and spit you out.'” (Listen to the interview here.)
The rapper doesn’t just take umbrage with the handling of Spears, whose performance has been maligned by critics and fans alike.
West tells Z100 he felt misled and “betrayed” by the network, and has promised to never work with MTV again. The rapper says he’s already cancelled planned appearances on TRL to promote his new album Graduation. Specifically, West takes issue with the way performances were set up – that he should have performed on the main stage and not from a private suite where many artists performed for small groups of fans throughout the telecast.
“I wasn’t mad that I just didn’t win any awards,” West says. “For me, [MTV] made it seem like performing on the main stage was a bad thing, and the suites were just so great. It was my dream when I made ‘Stronger’ to open up the VMAs with a real power performance.
“And I just feel like I got betrayed by them,” the rapper continues. “I feel like they tried to make it seem like I was so into everything that was going on in the show.”
Another sticking point: Pamela Anderson‘s racy introduction on the telecast. (Anderson appeared in a music video for West’s single “Touch the Sky.”) Before West performed “Good Life” from his suite, the former Baywatch star told viewers, “One of the best times I’ve ever had was making out with the next performer in the middle of the desert. I think I had my tongue so far down his throat I could taste his fiancée – and I might need a repeat performance later tonight.”
“I’m engaged, and I feel like it’s disrespectful to my relationship,” West says of Anderson’s remarks, which he claims the network assured him would not happen.
When JJ pointed out that West was being pretty blunt by speaking out against MTV, the rapper responded in a characteristically unapologetic fashion: “I have a connection in the fans’ heart that the press can’t stop.”
There was no immediate response from MTV. Stay tuned.