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One for the Road

Kanye West, Sensitive Soul
John Doran , June 24th, 2008 00:00

Quietus Editor John Doran gets drunk, falls over, destroys phone, makes noise like "broken panther" and has Proustian recall of two run ins with rap muppet Kanye West.

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It being my birthday last weekend I went out for a drink. The landlords of one of my favourite drinking establishments, The Mucky Pup in Islington, finally managed to pry my fingers off the bar at 5am on Sunday morning. After a dimly remembered cab ride home which featured much shouting about David Soul, it turned out the spare set of keys were not in their usual hiding place and fearing the three line whip of my sister, my brother in law and my girlfriend if I rang the bell I decided to go to sleep on the door step. I was rudely shaken awake two hours later by Paul who was on his way to work. I had my laptop pulled up to my chin like a particularly rubbish, plastic and silicon duvet and was making a noise "like a broken panther". While thrashing round in the grip of some particularly demented night terror, I'd managed to smash my phone in such a way that I deleted all of my text messages.

Along with the messages from my girlfriend and pals I'd lost a load of work related texts, the best of which was an mini epistle from my friend Simon Price, New Romantic and man of letters. It basically referred to a time when I'd gotten up Kanye West's nose so badly that he stopped his gig at the Hammersmith Apollo, two nights running, and got the crowd to boo me. As strange as it sounds the fact that an obscure music writer like myself managed to get under the skin of the world’s leading ’conscious’ rapper should tell you quite a lot about him. When reviewing the album Late Registration I gave the album a not particularly vicious three out of five for Playlouder and made what I thought was the fair observation that the self-styled college dropout chose to be mediocre as it helped his sales figures. I mean, why choose snippets from various rare records to make something entirely original when you can just add your own lyrics to a record that’s barely been altered. From Shirley Bassey to Curtis Mayfield, West’s choices were embarrassingly gauche - not that this seemed to matter to the lovers of Tesco or Walmart hip hop world wide, when his production work for other rappers such as Common was far better. So it was with no little surprise when Pricey, texted me with the following message: “You aren’t going to believe this. Kanye West has just stopped his show at Hammersmith Apollo and flashed up these words in ten foot tall lights: “Late Registration is mediocre” John Doran, playlouder. And now everyone’s booing you!” Of course my heart filled with joy. Hammersmith Apollo? Sold out two nights on the run? Over 16,000 people? That’s probably the most readers I’ve ever had for one sentence.

To upset Kanye West once may be regarded as good fortune, to do it twice is pretty much a red letter day...

......The full version of this article is available in Point Close All Quotes: A Quietus Music Anthology. Buy it now in the Amazon Kindle store.

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