Awkward Kanye West Moments That Were Caught On Camera

Throughout his career, fans of rapper, record producer, and designer Kanye West have watched him make notable contributions to both the music and fashion industry. But Ye's many accomplishments have often been overshadowed by his controversial antics, such as his repeated celebrity feuds, his uncomfortable remarks about his family, and his public rants. Never one to shy away from his remarks, Ye has become a celebrity known to always speak his mind regardless of the consequences.

Many are aware of Ye's mental health issues, which include his bipolar disorder diagnosis. Still, his personal health issues haven't stopped the media and public from commenting on West's many shocking statements, and unfortunately, Ye's lack of a filter has led to plenty of awkward media moments over the years. From his on-air remark about former president George W. Bush to his social media uploads (which included lengthy commentaries on his family that probably should have stayed private), West continues to surprise everyone with his shocking on-camera moments.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

His infamous interruption

Though it's been more than 10 years since it transpired, no one can forget the infamous incident at the VMAs when Kanye West was seen interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for the best female video award. The awkward moment occurred in 2009 after West unexpectedly hopped up on stage to share his dissatisfaction with the award results and interrupt the "Lover" singer's speech. 

"Yo Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'ma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!" Ye stated. The camera then panned to the "Single Ladies" singer in question, who looked notably surprised by West's unplanned outburst. Still, the embarrassment was much worse for Swift, who was clearly shocked by what had just occurred. 

While this incident seemed to be the initial spark to the on and off again feud between Swift and West, the artists eventually appeared to put a much-needed end to their drawn-out conflict. However, Ye decided to make it clear during a 2020 podcast interview with Nick Cannon that he had no regrets about his outburst, saying, "If God ain't want me to run on stage and say Beyoncé had the best video, he wouldn't have sat me in the front row." Ye also dismissed the possibility that alcohol played a part in his antics, stating, "I was only drinking Hennessy because I didn't want to go to the awards show because it was a set-up."

His on-air comment about George Bush

Though a benefit concert is the last place anyone expects something shocking to occur, this live television event ultimately featured a statement from Kanye West that was truly surprising. In 2005, NBC hosted "A Concert For Hurricane Relief" in an effort to help assist victims of Hurricane Katrina. However, the event ended up taking a shocking and unplanned turn when Kanye West decided to ignore the teleprompter and give an unexpected speech instead. After West reflected on how the media portrays Black individuals, comedic actor Mike Myers spoke briefly to viewers before Ye stated on national television, "George Bush doesn't care about Black people." After the awkward moment, the camera switched away from the duo, though the damage was already done.

Afterward, People reported that West defended his words on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," saying that he's always been "brutally honest since I was a little kid," additionally noting that he hadn't intended to keep quiet about all he'd witnessed surrounding the tragedies of Katrina. The outlet also stated that others like Reverend Al Sharpton and Jay-Z similarly agreed that Ye had the right to free speech. Of course, not everyone appreciated West's opinion. During an interview with Matt Lauer, former president George W. Bush bluntly stated how he felt about the rappers' statement about him, saying, "I resent it. It's not true. It was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency."

Kanye West's comments about slavery on TMZ

In 2018, Kanye West went to the TMZ newsroom for an interview and ended up making headlines after making multiple problematic statements. Most notably, Ye stated, "When you hear about slavery for 400 years ... for 400 years? That sounds like a choice." Later, while recapping the meet-up, TMZ noted that Ye initially came on the celebrity news show to talk about "free thought" and politics (as well as his appreciation for former president Donald Trump). But, of course, with Ye's history of making unrestrained comments and his tendency to speak his mind regardless of the consequences, it's not surprising that this interview ended up delivering some shocking statements.

After Ye's remark on slavery, one of TMZ's employees, Van Lathan, confronted the fashion mogul during the show and make his disappointment in West's actions clear by telling the rapper that his words had an effect. During his response, Lathan stated, "I'm appalled, and brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something to me, that's not real." Though Lathan's words seemingly affected West (who then tried to apologize to newsroom employees face to face), it was clear that the problematic statement cut deep, and the upset Lathan was in no mood to quickly move past the artist's upsetting take on slavery.

His stage interruption at the 2006 MTV Europe Awards

Though the infamous interruption of Taylor Swift's VMAs win is Kanye West's most well-known award crash, it's actually not the first time that the "Famous" rapper stopped an awards show to share his opinion. Back in 2006, Ye decided to jump onstage during the MTV Europe Music Awards to let his fans and viewers know that he was not happy with losing out on the award for best video, despite the fact that he'd already won the honor of best hip hop artist earlier that evening.

During the bizarre occurrence, West went off on an explicit rant exclaiming that he should have won because his "Touch the Sky" music video "cost a million dollars fam, I had Pamela Anderson. I'm jumping across canyons." Additionally, Ye added that the loss made the MTV awards look unreliable, saying, "If I don't win, the awards show loses credibility." West also stated that he'd never watched the winning video, Justice vs. Simian's "We Are Your Friends."

In a follow-up with reporters at the event (who at the time were unaware of West crashing the stage), the two interviewers asked the rapper how he felt about losing out on the best video award after Ye admitted to them that he'd had a "sippy sippy" before the show. West stated that he'd already made his feelings clear on stage and said he'd be happy "as long as they don't edit my part."

His awkward political commentary

In combination with Kanye West's other problematic commentary, the "Donda" artist is also known for his controversial political opinions. Notably, in 2016, during a Saint Pablo concert, West decided to take a political stance by telling the audience that he "would've voted for Trump" if he had voted. In reaction to his words, the crowd offered a heavily negative response, and Politico noted that some concertgoers threw things at the stage. The source added that after his pro-Trump announcement, the artist continued his speech, going further into political commentary.

Similarly, during Ye's short-lived presidential campaign, the "Runaway" artist was caught on camera revealing that his then-girlfriend Kim Kardashian considered aborting their firstborn, North West. In this video, West becomes emotionally distraught after disclosing that his own father wanted to abort him. Immediately after, the rapper repeatedly cries that he "almost killed my daughter."

Continuing to fuel the fire, Ye also went on several rants at a campaign event in Charleston, South Carolina, one of which was a bizarre claim about Harriet Tubman. In a recording, West is seen telling the crowd, "Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people." In reaction to Ye's problematic words, an unseen woman can be heard saying, "Yo, we're leaving right now."

His controversial music videos

Would Ye really be Ye if he wasn't creating controversial music videos in the name of art? From his 2016's "Famous" and its recreations of notable and nude celebrities to his recent "Eazy" music video — which features a claymation Ye with some violent tendencies — these videos definitely leave a lasting impression. Even before the former was officially released, a Vanity Fair article (which got a special look at the heavily guarded visuals) was already questioning what kind of reaction a video featuring nude images of well-known individuals like George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Taylor Swift, and Anna Wintour would bring. While Ye told the outlet that his video was "a comment on fame," other outlets (like USA Today) had a different take after "Famous" officially released.

Similarly, West's recently dropped visuals for "Easy" sparked plenty of outrage due to its violent images, which many considered to be public threats against Pete Davidson. Even before the video's release, West had already made it clear that he dislikes the relationship between Davidson and ex-wife Kim Kardashian. However, many viewers felt that "Eazy" went way too far, with one Twitter user calling the visuals "sick and abusive." Though The Los Angeles Times noted that some considered the video to be artistic expression, the news source added that those in support of "Eazy" were also being criticized; one Twitter user slammed supporters for "defending and excusing this disgusting ... behavior."

Ye's uncomfortable remarks during an interview

During an interview with Hollywood Unlocked, Kanye West spoke to Jason Lee and remained unfiltered as he openly reflected on a variety of topics, from his personal life to politics. There were plenty of surprising moments, and naturally, some statements that were more shocking than others. At one point, while speaking about his divorce, Ye states that he prevented a second sex tape of Kim Kardashian and Ray J from getting out. The Yeezy designer then claimed that Kardashian cried and that her tears "represent how much she's been used" and how people "didn't love her, and they just saw her as a commodity."

Additionally, during his many dives into politics, Ye told Lee that he's "a future president" (this was after his failed 2020 run) and said that even though it might not happen in the near future, "ain't never been a situation I went in that I didn't make better. I'm an industrialist! I opened the first sportswear factory in America since World War II." The "Waves" artist also spoke about U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, claiming that Sanders had "met with Cardi" but "refused" to meet with him. Surprisingly, West also acknowledged and said he "took responsibility" for upsetting people with his outspoken political stances and MAGA hat. After which, Ye added that he felt like people were finally starting to realize that they needed to let him be himself.

His lengthy social media rant

Recently, Kanye West took to Instagram to share a video rant with his fans and followers, detailing his concerns about his children and making some accusations as well. In the series of clips, which in its entirety is approximately nine minutes, Ye complains about his daughter being on TikTok and suggests that Pete Davidson is "antagonizing" him. Ye mostly focuses on his issues regarding his kids, saying that he hasn't been allowed to see them as much as he wants to and that his children aren't following his faith-based values. However, the "Fade" artist also complains about how the media views fathers and airs out his problems with his ex-wife, mentioning "gaslighting" and being "dragged" by the public.

Though the videos were later deleted, West continued to make additional posts complaining about co-parenting and how his children are being raised. Ye also used the platform to call out other celebrities. After making a post directed at Trevor Noah, Ye was temporarily suspended from Instagram. A spokesperson told CNBC that the Yeezy designer had violated their policies by making posts viewed as hate speech, bullying, and harassment. Ye's social media posts also pushed the Grammys to cancel his planned performance for the award show. One of West's reps told The Hollywood Reporter that the cancellation resulted from "concerning online behavior."

His concert rant

While Kanye West is known for being unpredictable, his fans are more than willing to risk the unexpected to see Yeezy perform in person. However, concertgoers that attended Ye's Sacramento stop during the artist's 2016 Saint Pablo Tour probably anticipated more performances and fewer speeches. The concert in question began 90 minutes late and ended up making headlines, considering Ye not only went on a lengthy rant but also canceled the remainder of the show after performing only three songs (according to TIME).

In a video captured by a fan, Ye can be seen up on the screen giving the bizarre speech, which in its entirety is approximately 15 minutes (per The Fader). After initially stopping the show, West began his rant by telling the audience that "y'all been lied to" before going on to complain about the internet and social media. Ye also discussed other musical artists and politics before concluding with the statement, "Get ready to have a field day, press. Get ready, get ready. Because the show's over." Before the video cuts off, the disappointed crowd can be heard protesting the concert's unexpected and abrupt conclusion.

His meltdown after an alleged assault

In early 2022, TMZ reported that the LAPD was investigating Kanye West for allegedly attacking a fan seeking an autograph from the "Gold Digger" artist. According to the celebrity news source, witnesses claimed that Ye "punched the guy twice — once in the head, and once in the neck — and when the autograph seeker went down, his head struck the ground hard." The assault was said to have occurred around 3 a.m. outside of the Soho Warehouse in Los Angeles. A video connected to the incident shows West going off on an unnamed woman who is later stated as Ye's cousin, according to TMZ. The witnesses told the outlet that the argument with the woman occurred directly after the supposed attack on the fan.

In the short clip, Ye can be seen and heard yelling at the woman, "get away from me," as she repeatedly attempts to calm down the rapper. As the two move further away, the woman asks West to take her hand, and as he screams, the woman tells the agitated artist, "I am your family." As they walk away from the camera, the obvious tension continues, and both can be heard arguing as they attempt to leave. Before the video cuts, the man filming them can be heard asking, "Can you please call the cops?"

All the eyebrow-raising moments from Ye's Donda listening parties

While promoting his then-unreleased tenth studio album, "Donda," Kanye West hosted a series of listening parties, the third and final of which happened in Chicago. The concluding party had no shortage of shocking moments caught on camera. According to Billboard, the event, similar to the previous two, was live-streamed on Apple Music but featured a "gloomier, gothic, and more elaborately detailed show" than the others. However, the most talked-about moments came during the performances.

Notably, Kim Kardashian appeared during "No Child Left Behind" wearing a Balenciaga couture wedding dress and veil, meeting up onstage with West, who removed his mask and grinned before the lights went out. The moment caused plenty of confusion for fans, considering by that time, Kardashian had already filed for divorce. Other surprise guests that fans weren't raving about? Marilyn Manson and DaBaby, both of whom appeared on stage for "Jail pt 2," a choice that BuzzFeed News later noted was met with plenty of criticism on social media considering the sexual assault allegations against Manson and the anti-gay allegations against DaBaby. Finally, in true Kanye fashion, the artist caused literal sparks by lighting himself (or more likely a stunt double) on fire toward the end of the show.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

His rant on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

During a 2016 interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Kanye West did what he does best and took control of the conversation, going off on a strange rant while on air. While DeGeneres' talk show typically has the comedic celeb leading the discussions during the back and forth chat with her and her guests, West's appearance on the show definitely changed things up. Considering where things ended, the interview started off fairly standard, with DeGeneres and West discussing Kim Kardashian and Ye's son Saint. However, the conversation drastically changed after she asked him to provide "one example" of his ideas.

That question sparked the approximately eight-minute monologue in which Ye spoke about various things, including the media, musical artists, and his parents, also letting out the occasional curse. "Picasso is dead. Steve Jobs is dead. Walt Disney is dead. Name somebody living that you can name in the same breath as them," the rapper stated before switching to another topic. West also claimed that he has a condition known as synesthesia, saying, "Everything that I sonically make is a painting." Throughout Ye's speech, DeGeneres watched him, appearing stunned but never attempting to stop his rant. Finally, Ye concluded the bizarre speech by saying, "I'm sorry, daytime television. I'm sorry for the realness." For their part, the audience responded to his apology with applause.

His wild Drink Champs interview

During a 2021 interview with Drink Champs, Kanye West held nothing back as he discussed everything from his personal life to political opinions. The interview, in its entirety, is almost two and a half hours long. Given that amount of time, fans already know that Ye certainly didn't disappoint in making some truly eyebrow-raising statements. Bringing up plenty of his previously mentioned political stances and some of his controversies, Yeezy also took a stab at defining classism early on in the conversation.

West stated that he isn't a fan of "the class system," saying that its ideas (like owning a house) are used to control people. Ye followed up this statement by saying that he copies "trust fund kids," taking cues from those who are "being homeless on purpose." The rapper then spoke about traveling and revealed that he is what he calls "half-cinated," or partially vaccinated.

A bit later, West discussed his issues with Drake, claiming that the "Passionfruit" artist was trying to sabotage him by moving into his neighborhood and causing trouble, comparing his allegations about the other rapper to warfare. Much later on, Ye brought up Drake again, this time complaining that the "Nonstop" artist was antagonizing him with his insinuations that he'd slept with Kim Kardashian. While discussing this issue, Ye also admitted that a healer once told him that he was "dealing with resentment from multiple lives of disloyalty."