Kanye West wishes: I wish that Kim Kardashian would truly love me… and not for my money.
The Evil Genie replies: Sitting in your darkened home theater, you can’t decide what the bigger travesty is: that they’re playing it again, or that you’re watching it again. As you sit in the actual, literal throne that you purchased and hired a 24-hour security team to watch, you gaze at the screen, the images at once deeply familiar and somehow still wholly unbelievable to you.
E! Entertainment television is rebroadcasting the episode of Kourtney & Kim Take New York that led you to this moment, alone in the blackness. A chyron at the bottom of the screen explains: you and Kim are on a romantic date at New York’s hottest club, Froosh. You see Kim’s beautiful face looking into yours and you watch as the scene, the scene that plays in your nightmares, unfolds. “I love you, Kanye,” the fifty-foot Kim breathes. A giant you replies, “Do you, Kim? But… is Us Weekly right? Is it only for the money?”
“No!” Kim exclaims, “I love you for so many things. The things that make you, you! Your narcissism, your materialism, your arrogance, your defensiveness…”
“What?” At first you were smiling, but your face has fallen. You look like you’re about to explain who deserves an award, or who does and does not care about black people.
“Your connections, your megalomania, your paranoia, your reactionary nature, your singing voice…”
“But what about my talent?” you ask Kim. “What about my music and my intensity and my honesty and my vulnerability and… and, how much I love my mom?” You’ve started to tear up now, on screen and in the throne.
“I’m Kim Kardashian,” Kim Kardashian says to you. “What do I care about talent? Or music? Or intensity or honesty or vulnerability or moms? I was raised by Kris Jenner.”
The camera cuts back to you. It’s disarming how real the look in your eyes is. This is reality television, and celebrity gossip, and pop music — there is very little room for human emotion. But you, Kanye West, you were finally ready for the in.ti.ma.c-y, and this is what you found instead: an empty person seeing an empty person in you. You’re crushed, and the tears start to fall freely now. Soon, you’re weeping uncontrollably and Kim looks uncomfortably away. “Kay…” she says. “Byyyy-yyye.” Her amazing butt waddles out of frame.
Now, in the dark, in your home, you’re crying more. You remember how in the hours that followed that taping — in the hours after the last time you ever saw your beloved Kim Kardashian — you and your team of lawyers did everything you could to suppress the tape. You remember how you felt — scared and confused and angry and lost in the wor-rld — as your pack of Maybachs pulled up in front of the enormous E! that houses the network. Charging towards the entrance, you were met at the door by E!’s spokesperson and covert CFO Ryan Seacrest.
“Sorry, Kanye. I know why you’re here, but you’ll never get the tape from us. It’s too valuable,” La Seacrest told you.
You couldn’t bring yourself to believe him. You screamed and stomped, begged and pleaded, threatened and cajoled and offered to get Ryan a lock of Beyonce’s hair, but to no avail. In fact, they chose to speed up the season and include the footage from this parking lot meltdown. The episode aired the following week. “We can’t afford to sit on something like this,” Seacrest told you.
“I’ll sue!” Your voice cracked. “I’ll sue everybody! I’ll sue everybody in the world!”
The episode aired and it was the final straw. Obviously, you have been through your share of scandals in the past. You’re Kanye West — you lay down amazing tracks while never removing your foot from your mouth. But the “Krying Kanye” meme takes off like no other, and the mountain of lawsuits you put into action result in a mountain of countersuits. All of your old enemies, the writers of South Park and SNL, George W. Bush, Tay, and more, come out in force to mock and ridicule you. A cartoon of your weeping visage atop a tiny, diapered baby body appears on stickers and t-shirts nationwide. “Don’t be a Krying Kanye” becomes a popular campaign slogan encouraging personal responsibility. Dame Taylor Swift introduces the clip at the Grammys and everyone laughs uproariously, then Wiz Khalifa wins all the awards. Jay-Z turns his back on you, first telling you that he is ashamed of what you’ve become. “Kim,” Hova glares, “is no Beyonce.”
You’re a laughingstock, again, but this time no one is interested in the comeback. You’ve been marginalized beyond recognition and you’ve lost your spark. You’re a heartbroken man, and your career is in shambles. Between your new legal battles and Treat Yo’ Self spending binge, you’re nearly out of the money you didn’t want Kim to love.
And now you’re here, hiding in the dark as your house is repossessed. Your cars have been taken, your records have been seized, your pool has been drained, your animal menagerie condemned. There’s a knock, and a voice comes through the locked door. “Mr. West, it’s time.” You sit still, shoulders hunched angrily. “Mr. West, please. It’s time to surrender the throne.”