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After first reporting that West had an “epic meltdown” and threatened to walk off the live show before performing as the night’s musical guest, Page Six released a recording that they obtained of the West rant on Wednesday.
In the explicit clip, The Life of Pablo rapper can be heard complaining about changes that were apparently made to his set, and lumping Swift into the misfortune.
“Look at that shit, they took my f—in’ stage off of SNL without asking me,” he says in the recording. “Now I’m bummed. That and Taylor Swift, fake ass.”
West has been going back-and-forth with Swift since releasing his new song “Famous,” which contains the line: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.” (West claims Swift approved the lyric, which Swift and her team have denied.)
In the SNL audio, West, who went on to perform “Ultra Light Beams” and “High Lights” during the Feb. 13 show, then claims he is “50 percent more influential” than a slew of famous names.
“Bro! By 50 percent, Stanley Kubrick, Apostle Paul, Picasso, f—ing Picasso, and Escobar,” he is heard saying. “By 50 percent more influential than any other human being. Don’t f— with me. Don’t f— with me! Don’t f—with me!”
He continues, “Dead or alive, by 50 percent for the next thousand years. Stanley Kubrick. Ye.”
A source close to West tells The Hollywood Reporter that his reaction was due to set changes that were made 30 minutes before going live.
“He did not yell at SNL staff,” says the source. “This audio was secretly recorded while he was venting his frustration in a private moment with his team.
“He found out his stage design was changed and taken apart under the direction of the show’s lighting director without anyone’s approval. He had spent an entire day rehearsing and a lot of hard work into the performance. Dramatic set changes were made 30 minutes before going live. It should be understandable why he was upset after being completely blindsided.”
The source adds, “Kanye was seen hugging Lorne Michaels just before the goodnights and he stayed afterwards to chat with the staff and the cast, and thanked the producers on his way out the door.”
NBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Listen to the explicit audio clip below.
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