2009 VMAs: when kanye interrupted taylor swift

remember this?

kanye west interrupting taylor swift at the 2009 VMAs

kanye west interrupts taylor swift on stage at the 2009 VMAs

it’s been ten years since kanye west interrupted taylor swift on stage at the mtv video music awards and spoke these memorable words:

yo, taylor, i’m really happy for you, ima let you finish. but beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!

ima is a reduction of i’m gonna.

in an effort to establish a more complete record of everything that happened, gil kaufman compiled an oral history on billboard.com of what went down (happened) from people who were there.

kanye west and amber rose on the 2009 VMA red carpet

kanye and amber rose on the red carpet before the 2009 VMAs (michael loccisano/getty images)

for example, the vp (vice president) of talent relations for mtv news at the time whitney-gayle benta remembers being surprised about seeing kanye on the red carpet carrying and drinking from a bottle of hennessy…

i was like, “what’s up with u?” and he was like, “i’m here living my best life.”

like is used here to introduce dialogue. living my best life is a fashionable phrase used to show success. it’s the second part of the title of this big hit from last year by duval, snoop dogg, ball greazy and midnight star.

van toffler who was the president of viacom media networks music & logo group

those shows were tightly scripted to a point. but as i would say… “let’s control what we can control, put the combustible elements in the room, occasionally light a match, get out of the room and wait ’til shit happens.”

tightly scripted means there was very little deviation from the plan/schedule. combustible is an adjective (not a noun) that means flammable. get out of means leave. shit means things, actions.

a shit happens t-shirt

the expression shit happens (popular on t-shirts) expresses understanding that we can’t control everything

the director of the 2009 VMAs, hamish hamilton says that…

they’re always a bumpy ride for a director, because u never really know what’s going to happen.

bumpy ride means difficult— like riding on a road full of bumps, rocks and/or holes. the eponymous song by mohombi shows that it can also refer to sexual activity.

former correspondent and producer for mtv news jim cantiello remembered thinking

this is just for female artist, not video of the year — why is he so bent out of shape about this?

bent out of shape means angry, bothered.

a spoon bent out of shape

woman doing yoga with the graphic: blessed be the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape

spoons and bodies can get bent out of shape, literally. yoga can help u not get bent out of shape, figuratively.

hamilton describes his reaction when kanye got on stage…

i wasn’t going to send a bunch of people to rugby-tackle him. i turned around in my chair and I said, “guys, this is tv gold!”

tackle means take to the ground. turn around means face the opposite direction so he could talk to the people behind him.

kanye interrupting taylor swift

awkward confrontations are almost always tv gold

jesse ignjatovic, the executive producer, talks about the strange feeling the night had…

there wasn’t that moment where we were like, “oh, [now] we’re rollin’!” it was one of those nights when it went a little sideways early.

rollin’ (rolling) means functioning well. go sideways means bad, wrong, not how it was planned.

relationships and personalities go sideways in this critically-acclaimed movie

dave itzkoff the culture reporter for the new york times was skeptical about what he saw.

i presumed it was a stunt that was orchestrated in some way and all the participants had to be in on it.

stunt gives the idea that the altercation between west and swift was pre-planned to get attention. orchestrate means arrange, manage. in on it means participating, they knew.



the artist pink confronted kanye about what had happened. former senior correspondent for mtv news james montgomery says

she was pointing in his face and…..giving him her two cents about how fucked up this was and then stormed off.

her two cents is her opinion. fucked up is bad, unacceptable. storm off means walk away angrily.

two pennies (two cents)

two cents=$.02 or an opinion (istock)

taylor swift had to perform live almost immediately after the controversy. jonathan mussman, who was senior vice president of production at mtv, explains

we get her prepared, and thank god she’s a real pro. she got it together,

thank god is the expression–NOT thanks god which is a common mistake. get it together means she reacted well to the adversity, she kept her emotions under control.

meme of ice cube with text that reads: today's gonna be a good day. thank god it's friday.

thank god NOT thanks god. ice cube has a song called it was a good day and a movie called friday

and jayson rodriguez who was an mtv staff writer admits

the VMAs work best when they’re teetering on the brink. but the kanye thing had an aftermath that was darker than intended, and that’s why we still remember it.

teetering on the brink means close to chaos. aftermath refers to what happens after a negative occurrence.

an egg teetering on the brink of a counter

broken egg

an egg teetering on the brink and the aftermath

do u usually watch the VMAs? what did u think about kanye’s interruption of taylor swift? share your answers under leave a reply

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