I came home late two weekends ago, so I missed the vast majority of Kanye West's Glastonbury set on TV (I'm not ashamed to say I had been YASSSSSS-ing along to Taylor Swift at Hyde Park to appease my inner 14-year-old), but was thrilled when I came home to find my housemates, huddled on one of their beds, watching him do Touch The Sky on a giant fuck-off crane.
We're an unabashedly pro-Kanye household, but we'd all been a bit apprehensive about his Glastonbury appearance. He was killing it so far, but it was extremely important that he got it right. There had been a lot of hate thrown his way in the run-up, and it was vital he proved that he was deserving of his slot. It looked like he had been doing a good job, and then we heard the opening bars of Bohemian Rhapsody.
Kanye's brief rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody was, frankly, baffling. The three of us sat, open-mouthed, in silence, as he made sounds vaguely reminiscent of the melody. None of us dared to move, lest it somehow get worse, in some class of 'Butterfly Effect' disaster, but as it went on, we were unable to control our laughs. What was the man doing?!
The short (but regrettably not short enough) burst of Bohemian Rhapsody wasn't even the stand-out moment of the set, though, neither was the stage invasion by 'comedian' Lee Nelson, or even any of the songs he performed.
In fact, it was the awe-inspiring moment he interrupted HIS OWN SONG so he could declare himself "the greatest living rock star on the planet", not once, but twice.
The three of us sat staring, open-mouthed at the TV, as the words left his beautiful mouth, disbelieving that such an already-iconic pop culture moment had actually just transpired live on telly, right in front of us.
But then, wasn't he right? This was a man who performed a 90-minute set in front of an endless sea of people, with nothing but a load of lights, Justin Vernon and a giant crane for company. He had performed a cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, despite knowing full well that he can't actually sing in tune. And he even had the bottle to describe HIMSELF as the "greatest rock star on the planet". If that's not "rock star" behaviour - then what is, exactly?
Of course, not everybody agreed - and a timely two weeks later, we've now heard the all-important point of view of Corey Taylor from Slipknot, a band last seen on the back of hoodies, worn by scary-looking teenagers, in around 2005.
Sitting in his comfy chair and his Star Wars t-shirt, Corey has filmed a short video for Music Choice, addressing Kanye directly, telling him he is "not... NOT the greatest living rock star of all time".
"The fact you had to tell people that you were," he continues, "Kind of says it all."
Well, Corey. Just because Kanye doesn't spend his time sweating out the inside of a rubber mask whenever he performs live, doesn't mean he isn't a veritable rock star, and slapping your wrist and telling him to "stop it" doesn't make him less of one.
Of course, Kanye is not a rock musician, I'm pretty sure he's as aware of that as you and I are. But I'm also pretty sure that's not what he means when he describes himself as a rock star. He means he's an important entertainer and pop culture figure. And the fact he said one simple sentence and we're all still weighing up whether he's right or not two weeks later would certainly suggest that's the case.
Is it cocky for him to get up on stage and call himself a rock star? Hell yeah, it is. But last time I checked, that's what being a 'rock star' is all about?
Frankly, in all aspects of life, Kanye is slaying right now. His forthcoming album is one of the year's most highly-anticipated, his live shows are amazing, and he is married to Kim Actual Real-Life Kardashian.
On top of all that, he's unafraid to talk about the issues that matter the most to him, like race and class, sexism and homophobia, and gives zero fucks about the backlash they create, because he believes what he's saying, and that's the most important thing to him.
I know that one of the things people hate most about Kanye West is that he "loves himself" - but really think about that. Is "loving yourself" really that terrible? Is being aware of your positive traits really something so awful that it blights everybody's perception of you? Is getting on stage and declaring yourself "the greatest living rock star on the planet", because you're so swept away in enjoying the live performance you're doing in front of thousands of fans, and millions of people watching at home, really bad enough to discount all of the good things Kanye does?
The point, Corey Taylor, is that Kanye West does not care what you think of him, or what I think of him, or what a man in the street thinks of him, because he's got enough confidence to know that it doesn't actually matter either way. And if that doesn't make him a "rock star", then I genuinely don't know what does.Suggest a correction