Kanye West faked out the world during Sunday night's Grammys ceremony, bum-rushing the stage as a stunned Beck accepted his Album of the Year award for Morning Phase (which he won over Beyoncé's self-titled 2013 LP). The smiling rapper seemed to be deliberately – and playfully – referencing his infamous 2009 VMAs incident, in which he grabbed Taylor Swift's award for Best Female Video and ranted about how Beyoncé deserved to win. But during E!'s post-Grammy show, West explained that his halfway Beck interception was a protest in itself, as The Fader reports. "If they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us," the rapper said. "Flawless Beyoncé video, and Beck needs to respect artistry, and he should have given his award to Beyoncé."
Beck handled the jab like a champion. "I was just so excited he was coming up," he told US Weekly during the Universal Music Group after-party. "[West] deserves to be onstage as much as anybody. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?" The alt-rock icon also confirmed he wasn't offended by the rapper's post-Grammy comments: "I thought she was going to win. Come on, she's Beyonce! . . . You can't please everybody, man. I still love [West] and think he's genius. I aspire to do what he does."
Elsewhere in his Grammy night rant, West lashed out at the awards ceremony as a whole. "At this point, we tired of it!" he said. "Because what happens is, when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you're disrespectful to inspiration. And we as musicians have to inspire people who go to work every day and listen to that Beyoncé album, and they feel like it takes them to another place. Then they do this whole promotional event, and they'll run the music over somebody's speech, an artist, because they want commercial advertising. No, we not playing with them no more."
As TMZ reports, West clarified his comments upon arriving in New York City on Monday. After being asked by a reporter if he intended to imply that Beck wasn't an "artist," the rapper said, "I wasn't saying Beck; I said the Grammys. Beck knows that Beyoncé should have won; you know that." When asked if he had even heard of Beck "before yesterday," West added, "Come on, man. I love Beck! But he didn't have the Album of the Year."