Kanye Interrupts / Imma Let You Finish

Kanye Interrupts / Imma Let You Finish

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Overview

Kanye Interrupts, also known as “Imma let you finish,” refers to an on-air mishap that occurred during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. During the speech, Kanye West suddenly went up to the stage and took the microphone from Swift to declare that Beyonce had “one of the best music videos of all time.”

Background

The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards[1] ceremony was broadcast live at the Radio City Music Hall on September 13th, 2009. When country singer Taylor Swift won the Best Female Video award for her song “You Belong With Me,”[2] Kanye West came up on stage and took the mic from her to proclaim “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time…one of the best videos of all time!” before being booed off the stage. He handed the mic back to Swift but MTV cut to commercial before she could continue.



West was reportedly asked to leave the venue[5] immediately after the incident. Later that evening, West wrote an apologetic blog post in all caps on his official website but the post was deleted within hours. Later in the evening, Beyonce won the Video of the Year award for “Single Ladies” (Put a Ring on It)[3] and instead of giving her own acceptance speech, she invited Taylor onstage to finish hers.[4]

Notable Developments

September 13th: Response on Twitter

During the event, many celebrities commented on West’s acts on Twitter, including Pink, Katy Perry, Ricky Martin and Dane Cook. The Twitter response was covered on several news sites and gossip blogs that night and the next morning including People Magazine[7], Oh No They Didn’t![6], MTV[8], New York Daily News,[9] and CNN.[10] Throughout September 14th and 15th, 2009, Kanye West was a top trending topic on Twitter, with 293,024 tweets about the rapper within the hour after the incident.[11]

While the topic was trending, an ABC News reporter Terry Moran tweeted that President Obama had called West a “jackass” for his behavior at the awards ceremony while off the record. Though it was quickly deleted, news of the tweet was shared on Politico[15] and Huffington Post[16], while TMZ[17] posted the audio of the statement on the 15th.

September 14th: Kanye West’s Official Apology

Though his original blog apology was deleted, many news sites were able to capture it and share it including the Los Angeles Times[12], MTV[13], and Spin.[14] The humor site Very Tasteful also turned the post into an autotuned song. On September 14th, West made an appearance on the premiere of Jay Leno’s prime-time talk show. The interview was covered by the Huffington Post,[18] Mashable,[19] Rolling Stone,[20] and MTV.[21] On air, West said he was ashamed of himself, stating that he’d like to apologize to her in person.



The following morning, Taylor Swift appeared on daytime talk show The View, where she stated that West had not done anything to get in contact with her.[22] However, right after her segment Swift reportedly received a phone call from West[23] in which he apologized and she accepted.

Notable Examples

Immediately after the broadcast, freelance graphic designer Patrick St. John uploaded a mashup of West’s rant with a speech on healthcare President Barack Obama gave on September 9th, 2009 which was interrupted by Representative Joe Wilson shouting, “You lie!”



The video was later featured on the O’Reilly Factor and in the New York Times.[24] As of May 2012, the Obama mashup has more than 4.7 million views and has sparked nearly 500 other Kanye Interrupts videos.[25]




Image Macros

Shortly after the ceremony, viewers began photoshopping stills of Kanye West into other things and 4-pane dialogues between West and Swift on stage. Furthermore, his hyperbolic rant was turned into a snowclone:

“Yo X, I’m really [adjective] for you and Imma let you finish, but Y is the best Zs of all time. OF ALL TIME.”

By September 14th, Kanye West-related threads appeared on 4chan as well as on gaming forums IGN[27] and Neoseeker.[28] Additionally, a Twitter account KanyeInterrupts[26] was created which tweeted phrases in the snowclone format, the single serving site Is Kanye West A Douchebag?[29] was registered and image macros began appearing on Tumblr with the tag “Imma Let You Finish.”[30] The following day, the single topic blog imaletyoufinish.com[33] was registered. Later that week, two single topic Tumblrs were created: Kanyegate[31] on the 15th with a Yo Dawg related image and Kanye Interrupted[32] two days later using a photo of Mozart.



Between September 15th and 18th, various compilations of these images were featured on Urlesque[34], Mashable[35], MTV,[36] and the Daily Mail.[38] Also that week, their popularity was analyzed by tech blog Gigaom.[37] On September 17th, 2009, Imma Let You FInish was chosen as the Urban Dictionary Word of the Day.[39]




2012 BET Awards

Kanye West’s notorious interruption came to a full circle years later at the BET Awards ceremony on July 1st, 2012, when rap artists Jay-Z and Kanye West were called on to the stage for the Video of the Year award with their 2011 collaborative album Watch the Throne. Jay-Z expressed his thanks first and then handed over the microphone to Kanye West, shortly before interrupting his speech by saying “Kanye, Imma let you continue, but…”



Jay-Z’s witty jab at West instantly drew a round of laughter and applause from the audiences. Kanye also laughed at the joke and then replied: “I’m trying to defend your girl!” A moment of revenge for Taylor Swift and a sweet redemption for the scandalous rapper, Jay-Z’s interruption gag at the ceremony was widely covered by various music news sites and blogs, including MTV[40] and BET[42], as well as other mainstream news outlets. On the following day of July 3rd, social media metrics firm Trendrr.TV[43] released an infographic chart (shown below) indicating that Jay-Z’s humorous comment led to a notable spike in the volume of BET Awards-related tweets up to more than 101,423 tweets.



2013 MTV Movie Awards

At the 2013 MTV Movie Awards held on April 14th, 2013, when actor Will Ferrell was given the “Comedic Genius Award,” actress Aubrey Plaza walked on stage and attempted to steal his gold popcorn bucket from his hands (shown below). While grabbing the bucket, Ferrell asked “What’s happening?” and “Are you okay?” to the young actress, before she returned to her seat with the words “# the to do list” written on her chest.



Immediately after, Plaza was asked to leave the premises by MTV producers. The following morning, Plaza thanked Kanye West on Twitter for advising her to perform the stunt. Within 24 hours, the tweet received over 760 retweets and 940 favorites.




That day, several Internet humor sites and entertainment news blogs compared Plaza’s interruption to Kanye West’s during the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards, including NY Daily News,[44] US Magazine,[45] Perez Hilton,[46] and E! Online.[47] Also on April 15th, the viral content site BuzzFeed[48] posted a breakdown of the event, which included several screen captures and animated GIFs (shown below).



Search Interest



External References

[1]MTV2009 Video Music Awards

[2]YouTube – Taylor Swift – You Belong With Me

[3]YouTube – Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)

[4]MTVBeyonce Brings Taylor Swift On VMA Stage After Kanye West Rant

[5]MTVKanye West Asked To Leave VMAs After Rant Against Taylor Swift

[6]Oh No They Didn’t! – Celebrity Twitters Love Taylor Swift

[7]People – Taylor Swift Wins Best Female Video – Upsetting Kanye West

[8]MTVKaty Perry, Pink, Hayley Williams Bash Kanye West’s VMA Rant

[9]New York Daily News – Kanye West upstaging Taylor Swift at MTV Video Music Awards is the latest celebrity Twitter rage

[10]CNNAnger over West’s disruption at MTV awards

[11]Mashable – 300,000 Kanye West Tweets Interrupt Twitter

[12]LA Times – Kanye West apologizes to Taylor Swift

[13]MTVKanye West Apologizes To Taylor Swift For VMA Rant

[14]Spin – Kanye West Apologizes for Upstaging Taylor Swift

[15]Politico – BC’s Moran removes tweet with Obama swipe at Kanye

[16]Huffington Post – Obama: Kanye Is A “Jackass”

[17]TMZObama Caught on Tape Calling Kanye ‘Jackass’

[18]Mashable – Kanye West On Jay Leno: I’m Ashamed

[19]Huffington Post – Kanye West On Jay Leno: Apologizes To Taylor Swift

[20]Rolling Stone – Kanye West Calls His Taylor Swift VMAs Outburst “Rude” on “Leno”

[21]MTVKanye West Tells Jay Leno He’s ‘Ashamed’ Of VMA Outburst

[22]Rolling Stone – Taylor Swift Recounts Kanye West VMAs Incident on “The View”

[23]TMZKanye Sees Taylor’s View -- Calls to Apologize

[24]New York Times – The Inevitable Wilson-Kanye Mashup

[25]YouTube – Search results for “Kanye interrupts”

[26]Twitter – @KanyeInterrupts

[27]IGNITT: Kanye West Interrupts things

[28]Neoseeker – ITT: Kanye Interrupts Things

[29]Is Kanye West a Douchebag?

[30]Tumblr – Posts tagged “imma let you finish”

[31]Tumblr – Kanyegate

[32]Tumblr – Kanye Interrupted

[33]Ima Let You Finish

[34]Urlesque – ‘Interrupting Kanye’ Meme Takes Over the Internet

[35]Mashable – Top 10 Kanye West Interruption Parodies

[36]MTVThe Top 10 Best Kanye West Interruption Meme Pics!

[37]Gigaom – Meme Analysis: Kanye Interrupts, the Internet (and Obama) Listens

[38]Daily Mail – Kanye West’s MTV rant at Taylor Swift sparks wave of internet virals

[39]Urban Dictionary – Imma Let You Finish

[40]MTVJay-Z Jokingly Interrupts Kanye West After BET Awards Win

[41]DailyMail – Jay-Z interrupts Kanye’s acceptance speech… three years after West ruined Taylor Swift’s big moment

[42]BETBET AWARDS 2012: HIGHLIGHTS

[43]Forbes – BET Awards: Media Cover Jay Z And Whitney, Fans Tweet About Chris Brown [Infographic]

[44]NY Daily News – MTV Movie Awards 2013

[45]US Magazine – Aubrey Plaza Kicked Out

[46]Perez Hilton – Will Ferrell Got Kanyed

[47]E! Online – Aubrey Plaza Tweets Thanks to Kanye

[48]BuzzFeed – Aubrey Plaza Pulled a Kanye

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