It's Kanye West's 35th birthday and we just didn't know what to get him. After all, what do you buy for the guy who just sold a pair of sneakers on Ebay for upwards of $90,000? You buy him nothing. Instead, Kanye, we treat you to this list of your five biggest missteps thus far in your career. It's our hope that as you round the corner into the latter half of your third decade, you can do so with less focus on scandal, and more focus on your music--which is pretty great.
- Dating Kim KardashianTempting as it is to pretend this just isn't happening, it appears that Kanye and reality nuptial queen Kim Kardashian are romantically involved. Not that we don't wish them both happiness in their own right, but the track records here for attention-grabbing for the sake of attention-grabbing aren't great. Relationships that work aren't played out in front of cameras. (Do you really need the reminder, Kim?) And now they're already talking about getting married? Help us. Or at the very least, promise if you do get married, it will happen far, far away from any cameras.
- Colossally awful tweets Most Twitter accounts ought not to be taken too seriously, and Kanye's certainly falls into that category. It's served as a place for ranting against those who pair hoodies with sport coats, and sometimes offers wise advice, like reminding his 7 million followers "no alcohol before tattoos." But it's also been the perfect place to put his outsized ego on display. "God chose me. He made a path for me. I am God’s vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live," he wrote in 2009.
- Abortion commentaryIf ever there was a subject not fit for discussion in 140-character increments, it's the abortion. But that didn't stop Kanye, who actually never said whether he supported it or not, but rather commented on the price of the procedure. His remarks were so outrageous, the fact that they were written on Twitter is almost beside the point. On this occasion, West never apologized.
- 'George Bush doesn't care about black people'
He just said WHAT? West went off-script during a portion of the Hurricane Katrina telethon, offering up his opinion of how the then-president was treating African-Americans in the wake of the storm. Did it open up the dialogue about the treatment of Katrina victims? Certainly. Did it do so in a way that would be most productive? Doubtful. Instead of the storm being the message, Kanye was. In Bush's recent memoir, he wrote that the implication that he was racist was "the worst moment of my presidency."
- And the No. 1 biggest misstep: 'I'ma let you finish'This stage-crash heard around the world barely warrants any additional explanation (but in case you just joined planet Earth and need a rehash of exactly how Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards, go here). Despite several apologies (one, likening himself inexplicably to Ben Stiller in "Meet the Parents") this is likely going to follow West around the rest of his life. On the upside, this awful display of manners has given us many years worth of comedy. A Tumblr page devoted to "Kanyegate"? Yes, please.