May 20, 2015


"Grossly Over-Censored": Kanye's Camp Strikes Back at Mute-Happy BBMAs

Larry Busacca/BMA2015/Getty Images for dcp
Larry Busacca/BMA2015/Getty Images for dcp

For the most part, the 2015 Billboard Awards were a triumph. (We have the kickass "Bad Blood" video and Taylor Swift's posy of badass babes to thank.) But one person didn't leave smiling, however, and he goes by the name of Kanye West.

Nearly a full minute of the would've-been-hard-hitting "All Day" performance was muted by an overzealous censor with a heavy hand on the mute button. Yeezy, as you can imagine, was not pleased. As numerous sites have written, "All Day" contains like 40 instances of the word "n---a." But BuzzFeed's look at the situation revealed that—in a performance where Yeezy, a professional rapper, was already heavily editing himself independently, live—lines like "ride around listening to Sade" and "if you run into me, better have Allstate with ya" were muted in long, awkward stretches of broadcast silence.

Today Kanye's team has released a statement claiming Ye was "grossly over-censored."

The full statement, per Billboard, reads:

"Kanye West was grossly over-censored at the Billboard Music Awards. Non-profane lyrics such as “with my leather black jeans on” were muted for over 30 second intervals. As a result, his voice and performance were seriously misrepresented. It is ridiculous that in 2015, unwarranted censorship is something that artists still have to fight against. Although West was clearly set up to face elements beyond his control during the live broadcast, he would like to apologize to the television audience who were unable to enjoy the performance the way he envisioned."

If you haven seen Kanye's BBMA set, you can see it here in its original, awkwardly muted form. And while you've got 'Ye on the brain, peep our complete guide to his upcoming album, now titled Swish, and relive his recent audience-inclusive Time 100 gala performance.