A Brief Timeline of Kanye West’s Ploys for Attention

It’s not news to anyone that Kanye West is one of the most egomaniacal, attention-hungry stars of our day. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that — in a lot of ways, it just comes with the territory, and it’s part of the Kanye package we all know and (to varying degrees) love. With the recent release of “Theraflu,” in which Kanye talks about his affection for his oft-rumored love interest Kim Kardashian, the critics are abuzz with questions — is this real, or yet another ploy for attention from two celebrities famous for their love of the spotlight? We’re not sure, but so we can all get a little perspective on the topic, we’ve put together a little retrospective of Kanye’s attention-grabbing antics for your reminiscing pleasure. Click through to see a very brief timeline, and let us know if we missed your favorite controversy in the comments.

September 2, 2005: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

In 2005, during a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina on NBC, Kanye uttered the awkward accusation heard round the world while presenting with an increasingly confused-looking Mike Myers as he deviated from the script. After the infamous statement, the producers cut away to Chris Tucker, who had no idea what was happening. Later, on The Today Show, West apologized, saying, “I would tell George Bush in my moment of frustration, I didn’t have the grounds to call him a racist… I believe that in a situation of high emotion like that we as human beings don’t always choose the right words.” Actually, we do believe that in this situation, Kanye was speaking out of frustration — his impassioned, off-book speech just before the famous comment proves it — and several people have spoken out in support of him. However, we think he was also trying to shock the media into paying attention to him by saying the most controversial thing he could think of at the moment. Hey, it worked.