Pop Culture

Kanye West tells Jimmy Kimmel he's treated like a 'zoo animal'

Truce! The “rap feud” between Jimmy Kimmel and Kanye West is over, following an extended chat between the two Wednesday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” that turned into a thoughtful discussion about Twitter and life as celebrities.

“I’m not running for office,” said West. “I’m just here to make good music, make people feel good when they hear my music. ... I’m a creative genius, there’s no other way to word it. I know you’re not supposed to say that about yourself, and I say things the wrong way a lot of times, but my intention is always positive.”

The feud, as Kimmel dubbed it, began in late September when he aired a sketch on his show using child actors to re-enact an interview West gave with BBC One Radio. The kids were dressed like West and his interviewer, and spoke the same words, although the show added milkshakes to the mix. West felt insulted, and went on a Twitter rant, calling Kimmel “out of line” and demanding a public apology.

He didn’t exactly get that, but he did get a massive swathe of space on Kimmel’s show, where the two ended up having an honest talk about the difficulties of being in the public eye, and touched on everything from fashion to education reform to Paula Deen.

“When people hear my music, they have a good time,” said West. “And I should be respected as such when I walk down the street. Don’t ask me a question about something you saw in the tabloids. Don’t try to antagonize me. Because you know what? It’s not safe for you in this zoo.”

West said he reacted as he did, in part, because he and Kimmel had previously had a good relationship.

“This is the one person I know, so I can go and let out everything that I feel about every single bogus weekly cover,” he said. “Every single bogus skit. ... Everything that people feel is OK to treat celebrities like zoo animals.”

Kimmel said he empathized with that kind of scrutiny, but noted that West draws fire with his comments sometimes. “A lot of people think you are a jerk,” he said. “I often in my own personal conversations say, ‘No. I know this guy. He is not a jerk.’”

But West also said that as he was Twitter-ranting at Kimmel (who also tweeted back), he was enjoying another aspect of the fight. “I thought it was so amazing that I was saying it in real time, in real life,” he said. “The only reason why I could do that is because we could speak on a similar level. We can go back and forth.”

The interview went on so long that band Arctic Monkeys got bumped to another night.

One other thing: Kimmel denied the whole fight had been some kind of publicity stunt, as did Kanye: “I don’t do publicity stunts, period,” said West.

“Yeah, me neither, guys,” said Kimmel, clearly winking about his recent twerking video hoax.