Rap mogul Russell Simmons has vouched his support to Kanye West over the negative publicity he has received after his tantrum toward the “Today Show” earlier this week.
In an open letter, Simmons reflects on West and his career’s ups and downs.
“Your life story took a tough turn with the passing of your mother. Although we grieved with you, we never really knew how much pain you were in. We witnessed your moment at the MTV Music Awards and many of us dismissed it as, “oh that is just Kanye being Kanye.” The hard part of all of this, is that we have all had moments in our lives that have been challenging, painful and hard to overcome, however most of us just hide our emotions and never deal with that inner struggle that we face on a daily basis. As an artist, Kanye, you have always looked inside for your inspiration… always exuding emotions that are in us, but that we never expose. That is what artistry is about… to look inside for what is unique. With your journey towards a higher level of consciousness, a journey that we all are on, you have shown through your art a commitment to greatness.” (Huffington Post)
He also gave West encouraging words over his debacle with the “Today Show.”
“With this power, as you know, comes great responsibility. I am saying nothing you haven’t heard before. When you spoke about President Bush during the Katrina telethon, it was not the particulars of your words that mattered, it was the essence of a feeling of the insensitivity towards our communities that many of us have felt for far too long. It was the image of the president, our president, the President of the United States Of America, peering out the window of an airplane, as the people on the ground were drowning, that hurt us the most. For centuries, our people have relentlessly tread water as hard as they could to stay afloat, and here we were, literally drowning, and it felt like the president was insensitive. There is no need to apologize, Kanye. You spoke from your heart and that is all we will ever ask from you. Don’t be afraid of the press, as your art is your blueprint, thanks to Jay-Z, your big brother, we will always carry our destiny in our own hands. You are are an artist whose art is masterful. You are a servant to this world who, no matter how hard it gets, keeps on giving. Giving gifts that inspire us, challenge us and motivate us to be better family and friends.” (Huffington Post)
Earlier this week, Yeezy hit up Twitter to lash out against “Today Show” host Matt Lauer.
“I can’t take anymore advice!!! I create, I’m creative, I have a good heart, everyone will see and understand one day. Everything sounds like noise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYTHING SOUNDS LIKE NOISE!!!!!!! I don’t trust anyone! Very judged very scrutinized very criticized! I want everyone to know I have lows all the time but I make it through them! Yo I really wonder if Matt Lauer thought that sh*t was cool to play the “MTV” clip while I was speaking about Bush? He played clips of Bush and asked me to look at his face while I was trying to talk to him. I wish Michael Jackson had twitter!!!!!! Maybe Mike could have explained how the media tried to set him up!!! It’s all a f*cking set up!!!! . This is rock and roll life my people… you can’t stop the truth you can’t stop the music and I have to be strong or “they” win!!!! . Sometimes it’s not simple, some days it’s not easy… I just want to create. I love you guys, thanks for the support!” (Rap Radar)
Following his rant, footage from the interview landed online.
“I didn’t need you guys to show me the tape and prompt my emotions to what I’m going to say,” said West referring to Bush describing the rapper’s racist remarks about him during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster. “Pre-looking at his face, I came up here because I wanted to say something to him right after the fact. I don’t really have to do the TV stuff. This is reality, this is the real thing going on. I don’t need all the jazz…I’m here to man up to different mistakes that I made and speak to the moment when I pegged George Bush as a racist…I came here to say I’ve made mistakes and grown as a person and that it’s not as easy as boxing someone into a villain role or into a race role. I did not have the information, enough information in that situation to call him a racist. That might’ve been the emotion that I felt.” (Rap-Up)
Check out Kanye West on the “Today Show” below: