Kanye West’s Most Memorable Airport Moments
Kanye West has experienced a bunch of "WTF" moments throughout his illustrious career that will make any die-hard fan scratch their head. Many of those moments happened at the airport of all places.
The 38-year-old rapper's airport incidents can be traced back to 2008, when Kanye and his road manager (and bodyguard) Don "Don C" Crowley smashed a photographer's camera at Los Angeles International Airport. They were later arrested and booked on charges of felony vandalism after an altercation with the paparazzi. West and Crowley were released from the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division station in Culver City on a $20,000 bail bond later that day. Charges of misdemeanor vandalism, grand theft and battery followed.
However, it's Yeezy's infamous paparazzi fight as he left LAX on July 19, 2013 that everyone remembers most. But jus in case you forgot, 'Ye became agitated after he was surrounded by paparazzi. Photographer Daniel Ramos continued to ask Kanye why people were not allowed to speak in his presence. "I told you don't talk to me, right? You trying to get me in trouble so I steal off on you and have to pay you like $250,000 and shit," the MC replied.
A scuffle ensued and Ramos was later examined by paramedics. West, who fled the scene, faced a felony attempted robbery charge for the incident. The charges were later reduced to misdemeanor criminal battery and attempted grand theft. West was sentenced to serve two years probation, required to attend 24 anger management sessions, perform 250 hours of community service and pay restitution to Ramos in March 2014 as a result of his actions.
The Chicago native has had a ton of other moments happen at major airports like LAX ranging from responding to beefs, previewing his new fashion line or just being a good samaritan. XXL takes a look back at Kanye West's well-documented airport moments here.
In September 2008, Kanye and Don "Don C." Crowley smashed a photographer's camera at Los Angeles International Airport. They were later arrested and booked for felony vandalism. West and Crowley were released from the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division station in Culver City on a $20,000 bail bond later that day. As a result of his actions, 'Ye was charged with one count of misdemeanor vandalism, one count of grand theft and one count of battery. Don C was hit with three counts of each.
Kanye got into a scuffle with photographer Daniel Ramos at LAX on July 19, 2013. 'Ye got annoyed once he was surrounded by a sea of paparazzi. Ramos continued to ask Kanye why people were not allowed to speak in his presence. "I told you don't talk to me, right? You trying to get me in trouble so I steal off on you and have to pay you like $250,000 and shit," the rapper told him. Yeezy and Ramos scuffled and the latter was examined by paramedics. The College Dropout creator, who fled the scene, faced a felony attempted robbery charge. The charges were later reduced to misdemeanor criminal battery and attempted grand theft. West was sentenced to serve two years probation, required to attend 24 anger management sessions, perform 250 hours of community service and pay restitution to Ramos in March 2014. Watch the video of the incident below.
While at the LAX in February of 2016, The rollout for Kanye West’s new album, The Life of Pablo, was far from perfect. When the rapper was stopped by some fans at the airport, he encountered some interesting questions about the rollout and Tidal, the streaming service he used to debut the effort.
One person actually asked Kanye if it was okay to steal the album. The Chicago rapper responded kindly to the inquiry. “I would prefer for everyone to sign up for Tidal,” Kanye said. “To get the album on Tidal. That’s what I prefer.”
As he provided his answer, someone yelled, “Nobody likes Tidal.” This caught 'Ye’s attention as he fired back and called the man a hater. “Who said no one likes Tidal?” the MC asked “You’re a hater. There’s a lot of people who like Tidal. What do you mean? You guys like it.”
The Chi-town rhymer was walking through the airport and was swarmed by a frenzied group of paparazzi back in February of 2016. Things got heated after two cameramen began pushing and shoving as they tried to get in position for a close-up of the rapper. TMZ captured footage of the two photographers starting to throw down, with one man throwing a punch and a kick. West quickly stepped in to stop the tussle and hugged the angered man in order to quell the beef.
Kanye West and Taylor Swift's relationship has been a roller coaster ride over the years. Things went sour at West’s Yeezy Season 3 unveiling and listening session (Feb. 10) when The Life of Pablo was played for the crowd and the line “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous” was heard at the beginning of his song “Famous.”
Swift, who won Album of the Year at the Grammys this year a few weeks later, seemed to allude to the now infamous “Famous” line in her acceptance speech. "To all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments, or your fame," she said. "But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there. That will be the greatest feeling in the world.”
West was later overheard backstage at Saturday Night Live calling Swift a “fake ass.” However, while making his way through an airport late February of 2016, the hip-hop vet sang a different tone.
“I want the best for that person,” he said in video obtained by X17. “But it’s people going through real issues out here. It’s people that’s out of work. It’s people that’s in debt that can’t make it out of the debt. There’s people in debt that don’t have a shoe. There’s people that’s in debt that don’t have a hit album out also. The media tries to make this ongoing story and everything for hits. I don’t think people care about me or her in that way. People care about they families, they kids. If you like my music listen to it. If you like her music, listen to it.”
Before Kanye's Yeezy Season 3 fashion show at Madison Square Garden in last February, he unveiled the olive green garment that was used as the invitation jacket for the showcase.
After Kanye's epic Twitter beef between himself and Wiz Khalifa last month (January 2016), he was spotted arriving at the LAX airport this month. Paparazzi was able to get a few words out of him. Things got a bit tense when he was asked about Wiz. When a question was thrown his way about his problem with Wiz, 'Ye responded with “I said what I had to say,” before doubling down after being prodded by the reporter, stating “I said what I had to say and I ain’t saying nothing else to y’all niggas.”
A reporter made one more effort to get a quote from Kanye, asking if “it was a bit much bringing the kid in it?” ‘Ye barked, “I told you, I said all I had to say don’t ask me no more questions about it. Thank you,” before continuing the conversation.
As Kanye made his way through LAX airport last month, the cameras caught up with 'Ye and asked him about his partnership with Adidas as well as his Yeezy Season clothing line. When a reporter wanted to know if he would sign with Nike for a billion dollars, Ye said, “It’s not about the money, it’s about he respect.”
The reporter would then go on to tell Kanye that he would love to wear his clothing line, but it was too expensive. In response to the reporter, Kanye mentions the prices of Yeezy Season 3 will be more affordable for consumers.
During Kanye's guest lecture at Oxford University last March, he made a lofty claim at the end of one of his segments. “Obama calls the home phone, by the way,” he shared. POTUS would later deny his remark on Jimmy Kimmel Live and said he does not speak regularly to either Jay Z or West, despite both of the rap stars’ claims.
TMZ cameras caught up with West at LAX later in March where he says despite what the Commander in Chief told the nation on Kimmel, he has rang his line before. “I love Obama. He’s called our house before, he knows that,” said a smiling Kanye (yes, he was actually smiling). “C’mon bro, don’t try to put us against each other.” After giving a photographer who questioned him about Rush Limbaugh’s recent statements a dap, West was off.
While Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian West were walking through JFK during last year February, paparazzi caught up with the MC to see if he stands by his 2015 post-Grammy comments about Beck. ‘Ye stood by his rant and clarified his statement saying that Beck didn’t disrespect Beyoncé, the Grammys did when they gave the L.A. native the award for Best Album over Beyoncé’s self-titled album. “Beck know that Beyoncé should of won,” said Yeezy. “He know that. I love Beck but he ain’t have album of the year.” Watch the video here.
Kanye West gets into another heated situation after he arrived at LAX in July of 2013. A TMZ cameraman caught up with West and told him how much he loves his music. However, ‘Ye wasn’t pleased with his complement. “Don’t talk to me. I don’t want to hear paparazzi talk to me or anybody I know. Don’t talk to me at all, and don’t talk to anyone I know.”
Later in the video, West is seen walking away but the reporter decided to ask one more question about Watch the Throne 2. Things escalate when West gets aggressive.